Getting to space is a tough enough prospect, and even once you make it out of our atmosphere, there are still physical issues. Chief among them: a long flight can cause a loss of bone and muscle mass. To find ways to combat that process, researchers study C. elegans, worms that have a surprising amount in common with humans. But a recent study noticed a strange side effect for space-bound worms: they lived longer.
It's time once again to celebrate all the weird and wonderful creatures scientists have found on Earth in the past year. Arizona State University compiles an annual list of the top 10 new species found in the last 12 months, and shares the list on May 23, Carl Linnaeus' birthday. The father of classification would no doubt be pleased with some of the names on this list — they include a mushroom named for a cartoon character, a worm named for the Devil and a jellyfish named "Oh Boy," because that's what people should exclaim when they behold it.
The list also includes a terrifyingly skull-looking sneezing monkey; a blue tarantula; a sausage-sized millipede; a night-blooming orchid; and much more.
For Halloween, Modernist Cuisine's Johnny Zhu and his young son teamed up to make olive-oil-flavored worm-shaped candies that wriggle in mounds of chocolate dirt. The gummy worms are formed of sugar, gelatin, and gum, and shaped in molds made for fishing lures.
If there is complex life on another planet like Mars, it may look less like the big-eyed bipeds of sci-fi lore and more like a tiny, 500-micrometer long nematoda worm. A Princeton University team has discovered a new species of worm, termed Halicephalobus mephisto (after Faust's demon Mephistopheles), at depths so deep that it was thought multicellular life couldn’t survive there.
One cell is all it takes to rebuild a complete, functioning flatworm, researchers have learned. The animals possess a special type of cell throughout their bodies, which shares some qualities with human embryonic stem cells. If scientists can find out how this special cell works, they could someday study ways to use the cells for human tissue regeneration.
The findings are the first time pluripotent stem cells have been found in an adult animal, according to researchers at MIT and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
We pay close attention to the modifications scientists are making to goats, moths and worms so they can harvest their silk. Now researchers in Singapore are reporting a new advancement: dyed-in-the-worm silks, which look pretty and could have interesting medical applications.
New nanotube “microworms” could lead to new types of embeddable biological sensors or drug-delivery systems, according to researchers in Boston. The tubes’ length keeps them well anchored in the body, where they can monitor chemical conditions or slowly leak medicine into targeted areas.
Researchers at MIT and Northeastern University developed the nanotubes, which are made of a porous membrane and can be filled with various materials.