Family found for giant, stinking flower
First discovered nearly 200 years ago in the Sumatran rain forest, an unusual flowering plant with the largest single flower -- typically a full meter across and weighs up to 15 pounds -- has finally found its home in the botanical tree of life.
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Anchovy fishing could harm Patagonian penguins
In the movie "Happy Feet," Mumbles the emperor penguin discovers that overfishing by humans is causing a famine in the penguin colony in Antarctica. If we're not careful, a similar type of situation (minus the tap-dancing) could take place on the Patagonian coast of Argentina, researchers say.
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Giant European dinosaur found in Spain
Fossils of a giant Sauropod, found in Spain, reveal that Europe was home to giant dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic period -- about 150 million years ago. Giant dinosaurs have previously been found mainly in the New World and Africa.
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Stardust surprise -- Comet dust is mixed and varied
Researchers have only been able to speculate about the material in comets until now. The recent NASA mission brought the first samples to Earth from a comet.
Brand new craters and gullies on Mars
The Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft has been orbiting Mars for the last nine years, and its camera has been snapping photos of the Red Planet's surface all the while.
Can ancient forests help slow climate warming?
The trees in the Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, which is in China’s Guangdong Province are really old. As in 400 years old!
Saving the animals of the serengeti
How do you keep wildlife in a nature preserve safe and healthy when people want to kill them for food or to sell valuable animal parts to make money?
Researchers have designed a robot that can sense and recover from damage to its own body, an ability that should help robots operate in new or dangerous terrain.
What can a sea urchin tell us about having a backbone?
Scientists have begun to unravel the genome -- the chemical instructions for life contained in an organism's every cell -- for the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.
Seafood and fish are disappearing from the sea
Seafood and fish species loss is accelerating, and if things continue this way, researchers say their studies show we may have no more fish or seafood to eat from the ocean.
The buzz on bees: Oldest bee fossil found
Scientists reported finding the oldest fossil of a honey bee. It is 100 million years old. This fossil is about 40 millions years older than ones found before.
Cosmic rays go along for the Milky Way ride
Cosmic rays zoom through our galaxy near the speed of light. These streams of high energy particles may be accelerated in shock waves such as supernova blast waves, but theirs paths are scrambled by interstellar magnetic fields, making it difficult to determine where they came from.
If asteroids got dizzy
Then near-Earth asteroid 1999 KW4 would be about to lose its lunch right now. Scientists have discovered that the main piece of this asteroid, whose name is "Alpha," is spinning so fast that it would break apart if it went any faster. Alpha also has a little buddy named "Beta." Beta is revolving around its own axis, but it also circles around Alpha. That's a lot of spinning!
Shell fossils tell life came out of the tropics
Researchers studied 11 million years worth of shell fossils and learned that the tropics are where new types of life -- called species -- begin and old species continue to live.
Parasite plants 'sniff' out their new homes
"Witches' shoelaces," "hairweed," "devils hair," "devilguts": These are all nicknames for the dodder plant, which winds around other plants and sucks out nutrients and water. Large numbers of dodder plants looks like a big tangle of hair smothering their host plants.
Why sleep? Flies tell us why
Sleep is a mystery. Scientists do not know why we need sleep. But, adults know they need sleep and parents know children need sleep. Other living beings need sleep.
Oldest writing in the new world
While digging in a gravel quarry in Mexico, workers found a stone block that researchers believe has the oldest writing in the New World carved into it.
Opportunity Rover on Mars keeps going and going
Imagine having a robot with a transformer-like tool that you can send to a distant planet. It could send back photos so you could see that planet's landscape and provide you information about the rocks it finds because the transformer can open up rocks and test what is inside.
Race, stereotypes and school performance
A 15-minute writing exercise at the beginning of the seventh-grade school year improved African-American students' grades at the end of the semester, researchers report.
Nibbled leaf fossils and prehistoric bugs
If you give the same kind of pizza to a group of kids, some kids might just eat the cheese, some might pick off the pepperoni, others might leave the crusts. Afterward, the plates of leftovers would look pretty different from each other.
The Hubble Telescope lets astronomers see deeply into stars
Summer is a great time to sit outside and watch the heavens. The sky is full of stars. You can see planets and constellations if you know when and where to look.
Mussels grow a thick skin against a crab bully
"Grow thicker skin" is what people tell us when a bully bothers us. Atlantic mussels are even taking the advice and doing so quickly.
Super-stretchy blood clot fibers
Even though blood is a liquid, when you cut yourself, something amazing happens. Special proteins in your blood link together in chains, forming solid fibers that work their way into a net. This net catches red blood cells, and, voila, you have a blood clot that stops the bleeding.
A natural snake-bite antidote?
Snake bites and bee stings can be either painful or downright deadly, depending on which species is doing the biting, and sometimes whether the person being bitten is allergic to the venom.
Losing the bees and the flowers
What would a world without bees be like? Well, picnics would be easier -- no bee stings to worry about -- but it would a lot harder to fill that picnic basket. The plants that produce many of our fruits and vegetables depend on bees for pollination. So do plants that give us beautiful wildflowers and food for livestock.
Funding provided by the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation at AAAS.