Plants and Animals

Animals Fight Bacteria Using Stolen Defense Systems

Photo credit: Matt Pinski/University of Washington

Humans aren’t the only ones on the planet to be engaging in a battle against bacteria; these organisms are also constantly fighting each other over scarce resources. They’re some of the oldest inhabitants of Earth, so they’ve had a while to evolve the sophisticated antibacterial weaponry used to kill the competition. Some bacteria, for example, inject deadly enzymes into rival cells that rapidly degrade their protective walls, causing the contents of the cell to spill out.

The Brain

Brain Scans Reveal How Your Dog Really Feels

Photo credit: Borbala Ferenczy. MRI machines are providing new insight into canine thinking, in this case at Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary

Humans love our dogs, but do dogs love us back? Or is their apparent enthusiasm just an evolved form of acting? Two teams have used MRI machines to provide answers.

We cannot, of course, know what dogs are thinking. But we can see the parts of the brains they are using in different situations, and this can be very revealing.


Watch The Catastrophic Explosion Of The Antares Rocket From The Launch Pad

Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, CC BY 2.0

On October 28, a supply rocket belonging to the Orbital Sciences Corporation was due to launch into space to deliver payloads and various other items to the International Space Station. But the mission was a catastrophic failure as within seconds of liftoff, the 133-foot-tall Antares rocket exploded in spectacular style.


Robot Survey Suggests Antarctic Sea Ice Is Thicker And More Deformed Than Previously Believed

Photo credit: Klaus Meiners/WHOI

Using an underwater robot, scientists have pieced together the most detailed 3D map of Antarctic sea ice so far, which revealed it to be considerably thicker and more deformed in some areas than previous estimates had indicated. Because this technology is allowing researchers to probe areas that were previously inaccessible, the team hopes that these new measurements will help further our understanding of the complex interplay between climate change and sea ice dynamics.


Where Have The Stars Gone?

Photo credit: NASA, ESA, S. Larsen

Globular clusters are large balls of stars that orbit the core of a galaxy, just like a satellite. It has traditionally been assumed that older stars within the cluster are ejected out into the galaxy, but new observations using the Hubble Space Telescope and a smaller galaxy have found that the old stars haven’t been ejected out; they’re completely missing. This challenges current theories regarding globular cluster formation.

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