The amazing lizard uses its hairy toes to defy gravity and its dynamic tail to always land on its feet if it falls. See how scientists are using the gecko's tricks to design better robots, spacesuits and—just maybe—Spiderman gloves
By Dan SmithPosted 04.04.2008 at 6:10 pm 5 Comments
Most people's knowledge of geckos doesn't extend much beyond the Cockney-tongued lizard hawking car insurance on TV. I wont go into the implausibility of these ads, the least of which being that a gecko wouldnt have a chance to survive Britains cold climate long enough to pick up an accent. They do, however, thrive abundantly in warm, tropical climates, and in total compose nearly 15% of all reptile species on Earth. If you're fortunate enough to live in gecko country, you've probably seen them climbing and crawling over just about every surface imaginable, including the ceiling.
Thought to be an anglerfish, its two forward-facing eyes are a first for the fish world
By Dawn StoverPosted 04.03.2008 at 2:28 pm 3 Comments
The flat face and leglike pectoral fin suggest that this newly found fish is an anglerfish.
M. Snyder, starknakedfish.com/divingmaluku.com
Divers have spotted a new type of fish off Ambon Island in Indonesian waters. The striped fish, which is about the size of a human fist, is believed to be an anglerfish because it crawls along the ground and into crevices using leglike pectoral fins.
New research on spider species suggests that their inverted lifestyle is energy efficient
By Gregory MonePosted 03.27.2008 at 10:36 am 0 Comments
Scientists in Spain and Croatia have found that certain spider species that feed, breed and travel upside-down are more energy efficient because of it. For the spiders, it turns out, walking is more of a swing—they use gravity to their advantage. They effectively act as a pendulum, and require less muscle mass in the legs to move themselves forward.
Biologist discovers that guns aren't always the best form of protection in the wild
By Gregory MonePosted 03.26.2008 at 10:10 am 8 Comments
Brigham Young University bear biologist Thomas Smith says that guns aren't necessarily your best option when facing down one of the beasts.
Smith and his team analyzed 20 years worth of incidents in Alaska, and found that the wilderness equivalent of pepper spray effectively deterred bears 92 percent of the time, whereas guns only did the trick one-third less often. (He studied polar bears, too, hence the picture, at left, of an unconscious mother and her cubs. And yes, he did get away before everyone woke up.)
Linda B. Buck, co-winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, retracts a 2001 Nature paper, citing irreproducible results.
By Martha HarbisonPosted 03.07.2008 at 3:47 pm 0 Comments
For scientists, having to retract a paper is like a kick to the gut. It means that your work cannot be verified, and thus is likely either 1) an error or 2) a fabrication. So it comes as something of a surprise that Nobel prize-winning scientist Linda B. Buck had to retract a 2001 Nature paper this week, citing an inability to reproduce the reported findings, and "inconsistencies between some of the figures and data published in the paper and the original data."
Investigators still don’t know why or how this poisonous compound came to be found in a Las Vegas hotel room, but we've got the beta on its deadly effects
By Megan MillerPosted 02.29.2008 at 6:43 pm 4 Comments
When a pile of castor beans and a couple of vials of white powder turned up on Thursday in a room at the Extended Stay America Hotel near the Las Vegas strip, authorities went into panic mode, calling in police, Homeland Security and FBI agents to investigate.
One of the world's most influential scientists would have turned 199 this week, and his work remains as volatile as ever
By Abby Seiff and John MahoneyPosted 02.14.2008 at 11:54 am 3 Comments
In 1809, exactly 199 years ago this past Tuesday, Charles Darwin was born. Fifty years later, he published The Origin of Species, arguably the most intellectually innovative and intensely disruptive single text in the history of science.
And now, here we are two centuries later: 262 days ago, the $27 million Creation Museum opened its doors; 174 days ago, a U.S. presidential candidate defended his stance against evolution; and earlier this week, the last public hearing was held by Florida's Board of Education over proposed standards to require that evolution be taught as the fundamental underpinning of biology. Clearly, Darwin and his singular theories are still under fire, but if a group of British scientists have their way, Darwins upcoming 200th birth year may be the time to begin an organized campaign to address Darwins critics with fervor.
Listening to cells might help scientists catch cancers without painful biopsies
By Corey BinnsPosted 01.28.2008 at 2:06 pm 3 Comments
You have to listen very, very closely, but yes, cells produce a symphony of sounds. Although they wont win a Grammy anytime soon, the various audio blips produced by cells are giving scientists insight into cellular biomechanics and could even be used to help detect cancer.
We visit operating rooms, observatories, and islands full of slightly-less-than-rational monkeys to find the young geniuses who are shaping the future of science
By Gregory Mone, Melinda Wenner, Kalee Thompson, Lauren Aaronson and Elizabeth SvobodaPosted 10.03.2007 at 2:00 am 18 Comments
We take about six months to create our annual list of the most impressive young scientists in the U.S., six months of quizzing academic department heads, professional organizations and journal editors about the most creative and important research in the country and the individuals making it happen. And every year, those leaders-a serious and measured group-nominate hundreds of candidates with barely contained excitement. "There is no doubt in my mind that his work will revolutionize the field," says one. "He has done something that, frankly, I thought was impossible," says another.