Float like a mosquito, sting like a … mosquito

Small semi-aqueous arthropods, such as mosquitoes and water striders, are free to go about their waterborne business thanks to their unique leg-based adaptations, which repel water and allow them to float freely on the surface.
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When age matters

A partial human skull unearthed in 2008 in northern Israel may hold some clues as to when and where humans and Neanderthals might have interbred. The key to addressing this, as well as other important issues, is precisely determining the age of the sku…


Mystery solved: Why seashells’ mineral forms differently in seawater

For almost a century, scientists have been puzzled by a process that is crucial to much of the life in Earth’s oceans: Why does calcium carbonate, the tough material of seashells and corals, sometimes take the form of calcite, and at other times form a…


Spurring production of a sluggish enzyme for crop yields


People use handshakes to sniff each other out

Limp or firm, your handshake conveys subliminal social cues. Now, research reveals it also transmits chemical signals that could explain why the greeting evolved in the first place.
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Some tropical plants pick the best hummingbirds to pollinate flowers

Rather than just waiting patiently for any pollinator that comes their way to start the next generation of seeds, some plants appear to recognize the best suitors and “turn on” to increase the chance of success, according to a new study published this …


Gorilla origins of the last two AIDS virus lineages confirmed

Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the Institut…


Desmoplakin’s tail gets the message

Cells control the adhesion protein desmoplakin by modifying the tail end of the protein, and this process goes awry in some patients with arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, according to a study in The Journal of Cell Biology.
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