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Videos reveal rich upside-down world under polar ice

Posted on 23 Jan 2015 in Earth Science, Environment, Journalism

Appearances can be deceptive. At first glance, the sea ice that covers polar regions in winter seems rather barren – but clinging to the bottom of it are remarkable upside-down algal “forests” that support a wide array of creatures. Image: Scheherazade Al Arab

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Anti-radiation drug could work days after exposure

Posted on 22 Jan 2015 in Health, Journalism

After a nuclear meltdown, exposure to DNA-damaging radiation levels can happen in minutes – but accessing therapies that might combat the effects can take days. A new drug could help: in mice, it reduced death rates from radiation sickness even if given three days after exposure. It may one day protect astronauts heading for Mars from harmful cosmic rays. Image: Nomad Tales

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Mice are first pioneers of medical micromissiles

Posted on 16 Jan 2015 in Disease, Health, Journalism, Technology

It’s a small but significant step for microscopic machines. Tiny motors have journeyed through a living animal for the first time, delivering a test cargo of gold nanoparticles directly into the lining of a mouse’s stomach. Image: gIadius

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If birds in a truck fly, does the truck get lighter?

Posted on 15 Jan 2015 in Featured, Journalism, Physics

It’s an urban myth that had US TV show Mythbusters weighing a truck full of pigeons on a scale and getting them to fly. Now it seems there’s some truth to the idea that a truck driver carrying a cargo of birds can lighten the load by making the birds fly. Image: Lentink

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Adapt first, mutate later: Is evolution out of order?

Posted on 14 Jan 2015 in Evolution, Journalism, Life, Palaeontology

A growing number of biologists think developmental plasticity may play a key role in evolution. Instead of mutating first and adapting later, they argue, animals often adapt first and mutate later. Image: BioDivLibrary

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