Plants and Animals

How Do Mosquitoes Walk On Water?

Photo credit: mosquito larvae / Svetoslav Radkov / shutterstock.com

Where there’s standing water, there’re mosquitoes: Bloodsucking adults land on the stagnant pools of water to lay their eggs just underneath the surface. Now, researchers have figured out how small semi-aqueous insects like water striders and pesky mosquitoes are able to walk so effortlessly on water: Their six legs generate an upward force that supports their body weight, and it’s all thanks to one super-flexible leg segment called the tarsus.

Space

Newly-Discovered Planet Has Four Parent Stars

Photo credit: Artist interpretation of 30 Ari. Credit: Karen Teramura, UH IfA

Earth only has one parent star, but other planets exist in systems much different than our own. Binary star systems are more common than single stars, and though planets in triple star systems are more rare, they are not unheard of. However, researchers have now identified a planet that is only the second one to ever be discovered in a quadruple star system. The existence of the planet was confirmed through observations from telescopes at the Palomar Observatory in California. The research has been described in the Astronomical Journal.

Plants and Animals

Newly Discovered Moth Is Enigmatic Evolutionary Wonder

Photo credit: Male enigma moth, a new species discovered on Kangaroo Island. George Gibbs, Author provided

The discovery of a new family of moth is one of the most exciting finds in entomology in the past 40 years. It was found not in some remote and unexplored region of Australia, but right in our backyard on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The island that is only 100km from Adelaide and 13km from the mainland, that has been settled since 1836 and is one of the loveliest destinations for a holiday.

Physics

Explainer: What Is A Superconductor?

Photo credit: Superconducting materials have strange and unusual properties including magnetic levitation. Shutterstock

Materials can be divided into two categories based on their ability to conduct electricity. Metals, such as copper and silver, allow electrons to move freely and carry with them electrical charge. Insulators, such as rubber or wood, hold on to their electrons tightly and will not allow an electrical current to flow.

The Brain

Childhood Trauma Alters Neural Responses to Stress

Photo credit: Brain regions showing significantly greater activation in the high-trauma-exposed group in response to stress cues, compared to the low-trauma-exposed group / 2015 J. Elsey et al., Nature Publishing Group

Trauma experienced early in life has been linked to anxiety, depression, obesity, and substance abuse later on. Researchers examining the brain scans of 64 teenagers now say that these and other psychiatric disorders or risky behaviors may be the result of altered neural responses to both stressful and relaxing cues.

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