Equation helps to explain plant growth

A new biology breakthrough has important implications for plants as they adapt to a warming environment, say authors of a new report. …

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Snake bite? Chemists figure out how to easily and cheaply halt venom’s spread

Chemists have developed a way to neutralize deadly snake venom more cheaply and effectively than with traditional anti-venom — an innovation that could spare millions of people the loss of life or limbs each year. …

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Why Did Life Move to Land? For the View

The ancient creatures who first crawled onto land may have been lured by the informational benefit that comes from seeing through air. …

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Survival instinct, not family bonds, weave massive spider colonies together

Spiders will live in groups if environmental conditions make it too difficult for single mothers to go it alone, new research shows. …

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Light rain can spread soil bacteria far and wide, study finds

A good rain can have a cleansing effect on the land. But a new study reports that, under just the right conditions, rain can also be a means of spreading bacteria. Using high-resolution imaging, researchers observed the effect of raindrops falling on dry soil laden with bacteria.

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New study shines light on photosynthesis

Researchers have solved a longstanding mystery in photosynthesis, a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy. …

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Portuguese moth’s mystery solved after 22 years

An unknown moth, collected from Portugal 22 years ago, has finally been named and placed in the tree of life. The tiny moth belongs to the looper moth family and has been particularly difficult to study because it did not resemble any other European species. The breakthrough was possible thanks to the recent advances in DNA technologies and combined expertise of scientists. …

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Identification of genes controlling mouthpart development key to insect diversity

New research revealed roles for genes responsible for insect limb formation in the development of stag beetle mouthparts. Different genes were shown to control mandible size and generation of inner teeth, and appeared to cooperate with signaling of the insect juvenile hormone, leading to species-specific differences in morphology. These findings advance understanding of insect diversification and are relevant to control of insects as an agricultural pest and disease vector. …

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