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Category: Life

Science Magazine: Corals can still grow their ‘bones’ in acid waters

Stony corals may be more resilient to ocean acidification than once thought, according to a Rutgers University study that shows they rely on proteins to help create their rock-hard skeletons.

Why whales grew to such monster sizes

A new study in Science Magazine explains the evolutionary forces behind the ocean’s behemoths. It offers an explanation of why some whales became the world’s biggest animals. “They found that the baleen whales’ growth spurt coincided with the beginning of the first ice ages. As glaciers expanded, spring and summer runoff poured nutrients into the …

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How Sherpas have evolved ‘superhuman’ energy efficiency

New research at Cambridge University reveals how the people living at high altitude in the Himalayas, sherpas included, have evolved to become superhuman mountain climbers, extremely efficient at producing the energy to power their bodies even when oxygen is scarce. The new research was published yesterday in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). …

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Engineering Human Genomes & Environments with Dr. George M. Church

This FORA.tv lecture by Dr. George M. Church is on two ever more relevant topics, genetic engineering of humans and what gene drive could imply for the environment and our future. CRISPR and its great potential is also accompanied with potentially catastrophic adverse effects. The CRISPR gene editing tools can be used to create a …

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Newly Discovered Dinosaur Is Named After Ghostbuster’s Zuul

Researchers have named a newly discovered dinosaur species after the Zuul monster from the original Ghostbusters movie. The dinosaur’s full name is ‘Zuul Crurivastator’ and was an armored dinosaur with a 10 foot-long tail (3 meters) covered in armor. It and other Ankylosauridae walked around on Earth about 75 million years ago. The dinosaur was …

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BBC Earth: Great White Shark Attack And Breach

This some epic footage of one of Earth’s most feared predators, the Great White Shark. Cape Fur Seals leave their colony to go fishing each and every evening, but to reach the open sea they must cross a narrow strip of Water which is patrolled by the largest Predatory Fish on the Planet. From the …

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TED-Ed: The evolution of animal genitalia – Menno Schilthuizen

Genitals are the fastest-evolving organs in the animal kingdom. But why is this so? And what’s the point of having decorative private parts? Menno Schilthuizen explains how the evolutionary biology of nature’s nether regions uncovers a hidden world of seduction, conflict, and rivalry.  

American Museum of Natural History: 2017 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: De-Extinction

The 2017 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History with host Neil deGrasse Tyson and a panel of experts for a lively debate about the merits and shortcomings of a provocative idea: de-extinction. Biologists today have the knowledge, the tools, and the ability to influence the evolution of life on Earth. …

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VOX: Why peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on earth

Cheetahs are fast, but the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on Earth. Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals and it’s no wonder, their bodies are built for speed. While cheetahs can run up to 70 mph on land, peregrine falcons can dive at speed of over 200 mph. That’s faster than a 100 mph …

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TED-Ed: Why do we itch?

The average person experiences dozens of individual itches each day. We’ve all experienced the annoyance of an inconvenient itch — but have you ever pondered why we itch in the first place? Is there actually an evolutionary purpose to the itch, or is it simply there to annoy us? Emma Bryce digs deep into the …

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Filmed on location by Roth Rind with a DJI Mavic Pro, this stunning drone footage tour of South Africa takes you from precarious cliff sides to the majestic Kruger National Park, one of the world’s largest game reserves covering an area of 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 sq mi). Music: African Skies (Stephen J. Anderson)  

A sucker for jellyfish: The unexpected prey of the seven-arm octopus

There is much we do not yet know about the deep parts of our oceans. What you can see in this video is a very rare sight. Researchers have now been successful in filming a seven-armed octopus called ‘Haliphron atlanticus’. It can grow up to four meters long and weigh almost 75 kilos. But because …

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BBC: Planet Earth | Amazing Kangaroo Technique To Stay Cool

Australia is the World’s most arid continent, and its blistering daytime heat can be a potential killer. Using thermal imaging, we are given a fascinating glimpse into how the Red Kangaroo cools their body temperatures and avoid the deadly effects of the midday Sun.  

Science Magazine: Hunting microbe wields a “gatling gun” harpoon

Biologists sometimes use the phrase “arms race” to describe an evolutionary tug-of-war, but it’s rarely this literal. Microbes called dinoflagellates (above) have developed intricate weapons—including a microscopic version of a Gatling gun—to harpoon their dinners, a new study shows. Single-celled organisms have intricate microscopic weapons evolved for capturing prey.  

Cambridge University: The Robber Fly – Top Gun of the fly world

The robber fly is the size of a grain of rice, but it could be described as the Top Gun of the fly world. It has the ability to spot and catch prey more than half a metre away in less than half a second. And it can do this because of its incredible eyes …

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Paleontologists Discovered the Largest Ever Dinosaur Footprint in Australia

Image Courtesy of Steven Salisbury

A team of Australian paleontologists from the University of Queensland has found the largest-ever dinosaur footprint in an area entitled “Australia’s Jurassic Park.” The findings were published in the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology on March 24. Here, lead author Dr. Steve Salisbury of The University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences discusses the diversity of …

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TED-Ed: Why do we feel nostalgia? – Clay Routledge

Nostalgia was once considered an illness confined to specific groups of people. Today, people all over the world report experiencing and enjoying nostalgia. But how does nostalgia work? And is it healthy? Clay Routledge details the way our understanding of nostalgia has changed since the term was first coined in the late 17th century. Lesson …

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Smithsonian Channel: Incredibly Cute Polar Bear Cubs See the World for First Time

After a long winter in their den, a polar bear mother and her cubs emerge at the first signs of spring. It’s a magical moment when the youngins experience the world for the first time–and photographers are there to capture it.  

Salk Institute: Salk scientists reverse signs of aging in mice

Scientists at the Salk Institute have found that intermittent expression of genes normally associated with an embryonic state can reverse the hallmarks of old age. This approach, which not only prompted human skin cells in a dish to look and behave young again, also resulted in the rejuvenation of mice with a premature aging disease, …

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TED: What will humans look like in 100 years? | Juan Enriquez

We can evolve bacteria, plants and animals — futurist Juan Enriquez asks: Is it ethical to evolve the human body? In a visionary talk that ranges from medieval prosthetics to present day neuroengineering and genetics, Enriquez sorts out the ethics associated with evolving humans and imagines the ways we’ll have to transform our own bodies …

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