From Science Insider
on 2 February 2012, 1:50 PM
The debate over whether a bacterium can incorporate arsenic into its DNA just flared up again, with the posting yesterday of a paper refuting the idea on ArXiv, an electronic preprint archive primarily used by astronomers, mathematicians, and
physicists. The controversy began in December 2010, when NASA astrobiology fellow Felisa Wolfe-Simon and colleagues described online in Science a microbe called GFAJ-1, which grew, albeit slowly,
in the presence of arsenic, leading the authors to conclude the bacterium had taken up the toxic element and incorporated it into its cellular components. The report, amplified by a NASA press
conference, quickly lit up the blogosphere and Twitter and led to the unprecedented publication of eight critical technical comments alongside the print version of the
From Huffington Post
By: Life's Little Mysteries Staff
Published: 06/09/2012 12:01 PM EDT on Lifes Little Mysteries
A team of explorers for the National Geographic Channel has captured never-before-seen footage of the tube-lipped nectar bat, a peculiar species discovered in 2005
in the cloud forests of Ecuador. The bat is camera-worthy thanks to one attribute in particular: its incredibly long, wormlike tongue.
New research on tiny spiders has revealed that their brains are so large that they fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs, say a team of scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.
Posted on 12 December 2011
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet Of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology
by Lawrence Weschler by Vintage
"Deep in the Cameroonian rain forests of west-central Africa there lives a floor-dwelling ant known as Megaloponera foetens, or more commonly, the stink ant. This large ant - indeed, one of the very few capable of emitting a cry audible to the human ear - survives by foraging for food among the fallen leaves and undergrowth of the extraordinarily rich rain-forest floor.
WHEN the Nobel prizewinning physicist Richard Feynman died in 1988, his blackboard carried the inscription, "What I cannot create, I do not understand." By that measure, biologists still have a lot to learn, because no one has yet succeeded in turning a chemical soup into a living, reproducing, evolving life form...... but - well read on