Category: Life Science News

There’s a secret code in the Mars rover’s parachute

When NASA’s Perseverance rover deployed its parachute during its death-defying plunge through the Red Planet’s atmosphere on Feb. 18, it flashed a secret code of red-and-white stripes across the sky, NASA scientists confirmed in a news conference on Monday (Feb. 22). Internet sleuths cracked the code six hours after learning about it. The stripes, which […]

Read More

Worms Reveal How Melatonin Works in the Brain to Promote Sleep

The Caennorhabditis elegans worm’s neurons expressing the receptor for melatonin glow green. Credit: Bojun Chen/UConn Health Research in C. elegans shows how melatonin activates the BK channel in the brain. Melatonin is used as a dietary supplement to promote sleep and get over jet lag, but nobody really understands how it works in the brain. […]

Read More

‘Homegrown’ California coronavirus variant is more contagious and possibly deadlier

Scientists in California are increasingly worried about the state’s “homegrown” coronavirus variant, with studies now showing that the variant is more transmissible than earlier strains and may be more resistant to current vaccines, according to news reports. The variant, known as B.1.427/B.1.429, first emerged in California last spring but didn’t show up on scientists’ radar […]

Read More

Lumpy, 30-pound meteorite that crashed in Sweden recovered in local village

A half-melted hunk of iron-rich rock found in Uppsala, Sweden, is part of a meteorite that fell there in November 2020.  The lumpy meteorite is about the size of a loaf of bread and weighs around 31 pounds (14 kilograms), according to the Swedish Museum of Natural History. It was once part of a larger […]

Read More

Mysterious oil spill covers Israel’s coastline in toxic tar balls

More than 100 miles (161 kilometers) of Israel’s normally pristine Meditteranean coastline have been stained with thick globules of tar that washed up after an oil spill off the coast of the country last week. Authorities have yet to identify the culprit, but they say it is harmful to both humans and marine life. Israel’s […]

Read More

Simply Talking While Infected Can Spread COVID-19 – Even While Wearing Masks

Airflow patterns around two people conversing in typical situations, such as hair salons, medical exam rooms, and long-term care facilities. COVID-19 can spread from asymptomatic but infected people through small aerosol droplets in their exhaled breath. Most studies of the flow of exhaled air have focused on coughing or sneezing, which can send aerosols flying […]

Read More

Weird rodent glows under UV light with disco swirls of pink and orange

In the scientific world right now, it’s mammals’ time to shine — literally.  Researchers are building a growing (and glowing) list of fluorescent mammals, and a new addition, an endearing jumping rodent called the springhare, just leaped into the spotlight, its brown fur lighting up in swirling disco patterns of pink and orange under ultraviolet (UV) […]

Read More

Extremists struggle with certain kinds of brain processing, research shows

Scientists have found the psychological signature of people who are likely to hold dogmatic or extremist views.  It makes sense, the researchers said, as people who are dogmatic tend to be impulsive but also slow to process perceptual information. Extremists — regardless of whether they are right-wing or left-wing — also tend to struggle with […]

Read More

Woman contracts COVID-19 from lung transplant in a first

A lifesaving operation turned tragic when a Michigan woman contracted COVID-19 from her double lung transplant last year and died soon after. The case marks the first time that doctors have confirmed COVID-19 transmission through an organ transplant, according to a report of the case, published Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Transplantation. A […]

Read More

40 beached whales ‘refloated’ in New Zealand

Hundreds of people in New Zealand worked together to successfully “refloat” 40 long-finned pilot whales that stranded on a remote beach, meaning they returned the animals to open water, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The whales did not swim out into the deeper ocean, however, so some conservationists are worried that the animals may beach […]

Read More