Biology

Honeybees are Even Better Mathematicians than We Thought

Humans have a threshold limit for instantly processing one to four elements accurately; and it seems that our species is not alone, says a team of scientists from France and Australia. A honeybee (Apis mellifera). Image credit: Joanna Jankowski. “Guppies, angelfish and even honeybees are capable of distinguishing between quantities …

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New Antibiotic Discovered: Phazolicin

Scientists have discovered an antibiotic produced by a symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacterium from a tropical forest in Mexico that may help lead to a ‘plant prebiotic.’ Rhizobium sp. forms nodules on bean plant roots, resulting in a more robust plant (right) than on the left. Image credit: Dmitrii Y. Travin. The …

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New Bird Species Discovered in Indonesia: Alor Myzomela

An international team of ornithologists has discovered a new species of the honeyeater genus Myzomela in the highlands of the Lesser Sunda island of Alor, southeast Indonesia. Two individuals of the Alor myzomela (Myzomela prawiradilagae) perched in Eucalyptus urophylla tree at 1,250 m near Manmas-Subo, Alor Island, Indonesia, in April …

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New Freshwater Crocodile Species Found in New Guinea

Scientists had known that New Guinea was home to a unique species of crocodile since the New Guinea crocodile (Crocodylus novaeguineae) was officially described in 1928, but since then, they have wondered if the island was actually home to two separate species, one in the north and one in the …

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Pet Cats Really Bond with Their Owners, Says New Study

Domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) form attachments with their owners that are similar to the bonds formed by children and dogs with their caretakers, a new study from Oregon State University shows. Pet cats show a similar capacity for the formation of secure and insecure attachments towards human caregivers previously …

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Scientists Disprove Popular Theory of How DNA Binds Itself

DNA is constructed of two strands, consisting of sugar molecules and phosphate groups. Between these two strands are nitrogen bases, the compounds which make up genes, with hydrogen bonds between them. Until now, it was thought that those hydrogen bonds were what held the two strands together. But a new …

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Two New Giant Salamander Species Identified

A team of researchers from the United Kingdom, Canada and China has discovered there are not just one but three distinct species of Chinese giant salamanders. One of these species, Andrias sligoi, is possibly the world’s biggest amphibian. Wild Chinese giant salamander. Image credit: Ben Tapley, Zoological Society of London. …

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