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An artist's impression of the aurorae on the brown dwarf LSR J1835. (Image credit: Chuck Carter and Gregg Hallinan/Caltech)

Powerful aurora seen 18.5 light years away

Astronomers have detected auroral activity, seen on Earth as the Northern and Southern Lights, on a stellar object, believed to be a brown dwarf, outside of our Solar System. The team simultaneously detected radio and optical auroral emissions from the extrasolar body LSR J1853, located 5.67 parsecs or 18.5 light years away from our Sun. Additionally […]

A group of longhorn crazy ants cooperate to transfer an item too heavy for each of them to move alone. (Photo credit: Ehud Fonio and Ofer Feinerman)

Ants too have their guides

  It takes a lot of coordination for a group to carry a large load together. It’s a rare ability in the animal world, but one shared by ants and humans. Like humans, longhorn crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis) use individuals for steering the direction of the group. This collective movement appears to arise by the […]

A close-up of a thin section of a tooth from Gorgosaurus, a large theropod from Alberta. (Skull drawing by Danielle Default)

T. Rex’s secret weapon: Revealing a unique tooth structure

The unique tooth structure of carnivorous theropods such as Tyrannosaurus rex allowed them to tear through the flesh and bones of other dinosaurs with ease, and likely led to their success according to new research. The research team found that the deeply serrated structure, and the special arrangement of tissue inside, strengthened the teeth and […]

An antibody against MERS

Researchers have found, for the first time, an antibody against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), which has been responsible for over 1,300 human infections and over 450 deaths since it was first identified in 2012. The research team believes the antibody, known as LCA60, can be used to develop a monoclonal antibody against MERS-CoV that […]

Using nasal balloons to treat hearing loss in children

New research indicates that nasal balloons can reduce hearing loss in children with a common middle-ear problem, avoiding the use of unnecessary antibiotics. Otitis media effusion, also known as “glue ear”, occurs when the middle ear fills with a thick fluid, affecting hearing development. Currently there is no nonsurgical intervention proven to help with the […]

Finding the function of over 150 mouse genes

The largest analysis of mouse genes to date has identified the function of 159 genes whose purpose was previously unknown. The researchers developed new statistical methods to analyse the 413 measurements and 320 genes from each mouse. The new data set is available to the scientific community as a reference resource, and provides a strategy […]

Current dietary protein recommendations are too low

Recommendations for protein intake in healthy populations may be incorrect, according to researchers who point to a meta-analysis reviewing the latest findings. Current recommendations may not be sufficient to promote optimal muscle health, especially in aging populations prone to muscle loss. Consuming moderate amounts of high-quality protein at each meal, rather than a larger quantity once […]

A new chemo delivery system minimizes impact on healthy cells

A research team developed a nanoparticle that releases chemotherapeutics inside tumor cells only, sparing healthy tissues. This nanoparticle, called ZnO-nanocarrier, activates when surrounded by high acidity – a pathological feature of tumor cells. The particle releases its chemotherapeutic load within six hours in acidic pH. During this process, the tumor cell undergoes a color change which […]

Stink bugs are able to select how light or dark their eggs are when they lay them. The varying shades can be seen along the bottom of the image from the lightest eggs (left) to the darkest (right). (Image credit: Leslie Abram)

The secrets of stink bugs: A new chemical compound and selective egg colouration

Stink bugs, Podisus maculiventris, are able to change the colour of the eggs they lay to better protect them from UV radiation, according to new findings. The researchers expected the colour variation to come from differing levels of melanin, however they found a new compound responsible for the pigmentation. While stink bugs are the first […]

Boa constrictors’ victims die of circulatory arrest, not suffocation

Boa constrictors do not kill their victim by suffocation, but by quickly stopping blood flow. When attacking, boas apply several loops of their body against the prey’s chest. This not only allows them to compress the vital organs directly, but may also enable them to monitor the victim’s heartbeat according to the researchers. Researchers inserted […]

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