Category: Science

Effect of odor on helpfulness in rats

Effect of odor on helpfulness in rats

Despite their reputation, rats are surprisingly sociable and regularly help each other out. Researchers have shown that a rat just has to smell another rat that is engaged in helpful behavior to increase their own helpfulness. This is the first study to show that just the smell of a cooperating rat is enough to trigger a helpful response. …read more

Offshore submarine freshwater discovery raises hopes for islands worldwide

Offshore submarine freshwater discovery raises hopes for islands worldwide

Twice as much freshwater is stored offshore of Hawai’i Island than previously thought, revealed a new study with important implications for volcanic islands around the world. An extensive reservoir of freshwater within the submarine southern flank of the Hualalai aquifer was mapped by researchers with Hawai’i EPSCoR ‘Ike Wai project, showing a way in which substantial volumes of freshwater are transported from onshore to offshore submarine aquifers along the coast of Hawai’i Island. …read more

Neutrinos yield first experimental evidence of catalyzed fusion dominant in many stars

Neutrinos yield first experimental evidence of catalyzed fusion dominant in many stars

Scientists report the detection of neutrinos from the sun, directly revealing for the first time that the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) fusion-cycle is at work in our sun. …read more

Scientists discover a motif that guides assembly of the algal pyrenoid

Scientists discover a motif that guides assembly of the algal pyrenoid

Researchers have discovered that assembly of the algal pyrenoid, a structure that mediates the incorporation of carbon dioxide into sugars, is guided by the presence of a particular protein sequence, or motif. …read more

Plants: Scientists solve the mystery behind an enigmatic organelle, the pyrenoid

Plants: Scientists solve the mystery behind an enigmatic organelle, the pyrenoid

Researchers have discovered how Rubisco holoenzymes assemble to form the fluid-like matrix of the algal pyrenoid, an organelle that mediates the incorporation of carbon dioxide into sugars. …read more

To push or to pull? How many-limbed marine organisms swim

To push or to pull? How many-limbed marine organisms swim

Couinter-intuitively, small marine animals don’t use their limbs or propulsors to push themselves through the water while swimming. Instead, their appendages create negative pressure behind them that pulls the animal through the water, scientists report. …read more

Can we harness a plant’s ability to synthesize medicinal compounds?

Can we harness a plant’s ability to synthesize medicinal compounds?

Anthraquinones are a class of naturally occurring compounds prized for their medicinal properties, as well as for other applications, including ecologically friendly dyes. Despite wide interest, the mechanism by which plants produce them has remained shrouded in mystery until now. New work reveals a gene responsible for anthraquinone synthesis in plants. Their findings could help scientists cultivate a plant-based mechanism for harvesting these useful compounds in bulk quantities. …read more

Pesticide deadly to bees now easily detected in honey

Pesticide deadly to bees now easily detected in honey

A common insecticide that is a major hazard for honeybees is now effectively detected in honey thanks to a simple new method. …read more

Machine learning: A breakthrough in the study of stellar nurseries

Machine learning: A breakthrough in the study of stellar nurseries

Artificial intelligence can make it possible to see astrophysical phenomena that were previously beyond reach. Astronomers present the most comprehensive observations yet carried out of one of the star-forming regions closest to the Earth. …read more

Commonly used antibiotic shows promise for combating Zika infections

Commonly used antibiotic shows promise for combating Zika infections

Researchers used a variety of advanced drug screening techniques to test out more than 10,000 compounds in search of a cure. To their surprise, they found that the widely used antibiotic methacycline was effective at preventing brain infections and reducing neurological problems associated with the virus in mice. …read more