Science & Technology

Science news

Most bees are solitary animals, and 4 other surprising bee facts

Nov 26, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonstateuniversity/36198139401">Andony Melathopoulos/Oregon State University</a>. <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>. Image cropped.

When you think of bees, your mind probably heads straight to the big, buzzing bumblebee, or the social honeybee flitting from flower to flower.

But there are thousands of other bees out there, too — some no larger than a grain of rice. And according to Shalene Jha, an associate professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin, these bees aren’t just important pollinators — they also have some curious quirks that you may not have heard about.

1. Most bees are solitary animals.

Keeping tabs on the elusive Florida panther

Nov 25, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast/5164633394">Larry W. Richardson/USFWS</a>. <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>. Image cropped.

The Florida panther may be an icon of the state and its sports teams, but in real life, the big, lanky cat has long been endangered. There may be as few as 120 panthers left in the wild, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission — but even that low number is better than in the past.

Along The Kelp Highway

Nov 23, 2017

Confronting the new geopolitics of ‘net-states’

Nov 23, 2017
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<a href="https://pixabay.com/en/media-social-media-apps-998990/">Pixelkult</a>/<a href="https://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage">CC0</a>. Image cropped.

Earlier this year, Facebook topped 2 billion monthly users — more people than live in the United States, China, Russia and Japan combined.

According to Alexis Wichowski, an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, there’s a name for what Facebook and other tech titans are now: net-states.

Crows, A Bird That’s Not Bird-Brained

Nov 22, 2017

Who Killed The Passenger Pigeon?

Nov 22, 2017

Along The Kelp Highway

Nov 22, 2017

Along The Kelp Highway

Nov 20, 2017

Visualizing Anatomy Unseen

Nov 20, 2017

Along The Kelp Highway

Nov 20, 2017

Crows, A Bird That’s Not Bird-Brained

Nov 20, 2017

Visualizing Anatomy Unseen

Nov 20, 2017
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NASA/JPL-Caltech&nbsp;

On Oct. 19, researchers at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy spotted a strange guest in the night sky: a quarter-mile-wide hunk of space rock hurtling through our solar system, the first “interstellar visitor” ever observed by scientists.

“Spacecraft, like Stardust, have captured interstellar dust,” says Meenakshi Wadhwa, director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University. “And there’s actually interstellar dust in meteorites, too. But this is the first object that’s macro in size.”

Scientists are figuring out that our microbiomes — those multitudes of bacteria, viruses and fungi in our guts — affect far more than digestion. Researchers writing recently in the journal, Science, describe how the microbiomes of people with melanoma even interact with their cancer treatment.

What’s the best way to test for partisan gerrymandering?

Nov 19, 2017

In October, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Gill v. Whitford, a landmark case about gerrymandering in Wisconsin. Democratic plaintiffs proposed an easy formula — called the efficiency gap — to determine whether an electoral district is fairly drawn.

A scientist who finds pharmaceutical promise in the venom of cone snails

Nov 18, 2017

Nestled inside its bright, patterned shell, the cone snail cuts a familiar figure in tropical waters — you may have even collected its shell on a walk along the beach. But watch your touch — every species of cone snail is venomous, and some, like Conus geographus, can even kill humans.

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