Biology




Explaining a virgin birth by means of a serpent? God must have a sense of irony. Jennifer Viegas writes on Discovery News: An eastern diamond rattlesnake recently gave successful birth five years…


Via Wired, Dornith Doherty’s photographs offer a glimpse inside several of humanity’s vital seed-saving facilities, where samples of our planet’s flora are stored and protected in case of future mass extinction (be…



The implications of this are mind-boggling – one has visions of the scientists being moved to Guantanamo Bay for some real life “testing.” Katie Moisse reports for ABC News:

California scientists have found a way to see through another person’s eyes.

Researchers from UC Berkeley were able to reconstruct YouTube videos from viewers’ brain activity — a feat that might one day offer a glimpse into our dreams, memories and even fantasies.

“This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery,” said Jack Gallant, professor of psychology and coauthor of a study published today in Current Biology. “We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.”…



Olivia Solon writes on Wired: Japanese researchers have developed a chemical agent that turns biological tissue transparent, allowing for vivid imaging of neurons and blood vessels deep inside mouse brains. The aqueous reagent —…


Biologists are finding new species constantly, but it took a hungry market and working fishermen to find this new shark species. The National Geographic reports: It’s unlikely anyone’s ever complained, “Waiter, there’s…


Scientists at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University are creating headway in being able to grow human organs in laboratories. If you need a new liver or finger, it may soon be as easy as pressing print. Via Reuters:



Now if only the mysterious Vanishing Bees could tell us what stresses are making them disappear in droves… Jason Castro reports on provocative experiments suggesting that the insects have something like an…





RAAFReally terrible way to find out … Marissa Calligeros reports in the Sydney Morning Herald:

A member of the Royal Australian Air Force was seriously burnt when a portable toilet exploded in central Queensland [a few days ago].

The airman was using the toilet about 9.30 am when he lit a cigarette, a Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said.

‘‘It’s believed he was lighting a cigarette at the time.’’ The airman suffered third-degree burns to his head, face, arms, chest and airways, the spokeswoman said.

He was taken by ambulance to Rockhampton Hospital in a serious condition.


The New York Times discusses a growing science subculture — the urban evolutionist. These brave souls are charting the growth of the super-strong mutant rats, fish, bacteria, and bugs that will someday…




Interesting article from Alasdair Wilkins on io9.com: The evidence has been mounting for years that early humans and Neanderthals interbred, but now it’s pretty much a certainty. Part of the X chromosome…


Can the search for monsters and mystery creatures please become a reputable branch of science? Scientific American has a report on a meeting of experts who take the matter very seriously. Maybe…



Could the success of synthetic organ transplants lead to the donor’s list becoming obsolete? While it’s still too early to tell, the first trial of a synthetic trachea transplant leaves surgeons hopeful….