‘Tree farts’ make up about a fifth of greenhouse gases from ghost forests

If a tree farts in the forest, does it make a sound? No. But it does add a smidge of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. A…

Common parasite may help mussels survive heat waves

When is a parasite not a parasite? Answer: When it provides a benefit to its host. Consider some microbes long thought to bring only harm to coastal mussels. New research…

Sleep-friendlier lighting is on the way

Don’t watch TV close to bedtime. Put away your phone, too, or you may have trouble falling asleep. You may not realize it, but the blue light from device screens…

Mantis shrimp inspires somersaults of new soft robot

A tiny mantis shrimp found off the Pacific coast of South and Central America has inspired a new robot that somersaults and rolls as well as a circus acrobat —…

‘Smart’ pasta morphs into fun shapes as it cooks

This pasta is no limp noodle. When imprinted with grooves, it can morph into tubes, spirals and other traditional shapes as it cooks. This new technique would allow uncooked pasta…

Most species of beetles pee differently than other insects

Like most creatures, beetles and other insects release wastes in their pee. But most species of beetles appear to process urine differently from all other insects. That’s the finding of…

The Milky Way’s ‘yellowballs’ are clusters of baby stars

Astronomers have cracked a curious cosmic case: What are “yellowballs”? These mysterious space objects were first thought to be signs of young, supermassive stars. Scientists now have confirmed that they…

Let’s learn about lightning

Around 100 times a second, every hour of every day, lightning strikes somewhere on Earth. It might strike over the ocean, far from where anyone might see it. It might…

Pond scum can release a paralyzing pollutant into the air

The summer sun warms the still surface of a pond on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. This water contains fertilizer that had washed off of a nearby farm during a storm.…

A common antibiotic might save some sick corals

A dose of antibiotics seems to help some corals recover from a mysterious tissue-eating disease. And yes, they’re the same antibiotics used in people. Divers discovered the coral disease in…

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