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Tarantulas Shoot Silk From Feet, Spider-Man Style

Tarantulas shoot silk from "spigots" in their feet to climb slippery surfaces, a new study says. Keeping balance is crucial for the delicate arachnids, which would likely die in a fall. So tarantulas often use silk much like Spider-Man does when wall-crawling--to stick to surfaces and stay firmly attached, even when the ground is shaky, the research confirmed...

from National Geographic News

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Giant Radio Telescope Scans Newfound Planets for Signs of Intelligent Life

The search for alien civilizations is returning to its roots. In the latest chapter of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, researchers are using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to check out some of the distant worlds being discovered in droves by NASA's Kepler spacecraft. Green Bank is where SETI began in earnest more than 50 years ago with a campaign called Project Ozma, led by astronomer Frank Drake...

from Scientific American

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Iridescent Bugs: The Science Behind Nature's Bling

With bug season approaching, you might be stocking up on citronella, repellent sprays and swatters. But before the murderous assault begins, it's worth considering the elegant optical wizardry of some of the insects you will be offing...

from the Washington Post (Registration Required)

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Turning to Biomechanics to Build a Kinder, Gentler Rib Spreader

DURHAM, N.C. -- The sign on the door at the renovated tobacco warehouse reads "Physcient." Inside are a few rooms that, depending on where you look, seem like an artist's studio, a machine shop or a natural history museum. A lathe stands next to a drill press; along other walls are vises, huge enamel-red C-clamps, microscopes and plywood frames covered in electronics. But there are also reed-woven sculptures of insects called water boatmen hanging on the walls, along with glass-fronted boxes holding preserved flying dragon lizards. Casts of human rib bones are scattered on tables. A huge cast of a fearsome pair of fish jaws rests on a row of books...

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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Deep Magma Ocean Fuels Hundreds of Volcanoes on Jupiter Moon

There's a deep ocean of magma lurking beneath the crust of Jupiter's moon Io, a new study says...

from National Geographic News

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Clues to How Anesthesia Numbs the Brain

Emery Brown knows how to take the sting out of surgery. As an anesthesiologist, he has steered hundreds of patients to pain-free oblivion, allowing doctors to go about their business resetting bones, repairing heart valves or removing tumors. During surgery he continually monitors his patients, keeping tabs on their heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Recently, he has also been eyeing what happens in their brains...

from Science News

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Superhuman Hearing Possible, Experiments Suggest

People may one day be able to hear what are now inaudible sounds, scientists say. New experiments suggest that just vibrating the ear bones could create shortcuts for sounds to enter the brain, thus boosting hearing...

from National Geographic News

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Bright Lights, Rich Cities

Fly into a city on a clear night and you'll enjoy a jeweled panorama below. Starkly lit skyscrapers, yellow glows from the windows of scattered homes, and roads pulsing white and red as cars speed over highways and crawl along residential streets. All of this electricity usage tends to indicate that a city has money to spend. And, indeed, in a new study, economists have shown that satellite measurements of an area's lights reveal how economically developed it is...

from ScienceNOW Daily News

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