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Behind the Porpoise's Echolocation

Magnus Wahlberg, Meike Linnenschmidt, Peter Madsen, Danuta Wisniewska, Lee Miller

2015-01WahlbergF1.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageAnimals see the world differently than humans through the use of additional senses. One such sense is called biological sonar. Biological sonar is when an animal releases a series of clicks not audible to humans and listens for the click’s echoes to return. Porpoises are one of two animals that use biological sonar to sense and navigate through its environment; the only other animal known for this is bats.

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From Biology to Military History: Patterns in Animal Weaponry

Katie-Leigh Corder, Katie L. Burke, Sandra J. Ackerman

EmlenBookCoverWhat are the parallels between an ancient war ship and a dung beetle? More than you would think, actually! Douglas J. Emlen, PhD, a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana, has a unique perspective on animal weaponry.

When he started to examine how humans engaged in warfare throughout time, Dr. Emlen discovered a consistent pattern that connects all the way back to animal weaponry. The pattern is so striking that he has made it the focus of his new book, Animal Weaponry: The Evolution of Battle.

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Revealing the Logic Behind Candy Crush

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders, Toby Walsh

2014-11WalshF2.jpgClick to Enlarge Image In this animation, Candy Crush is turned into a model electrical circuit, which can be used to structure the equivalent of a logic puzzle. Besides justifying Candy Crush addictions, this information could be used to harness the player power of this game for bigger concerns, including computer security. Watch the behind-the-scenes movements and how it is truly a logic puzzle.

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Hydrangea Colors: It’s All in the Soil

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders, Henry Schreiber

The Hydrangea macrophylla (big-leafed hydrangea) plant is the only known plant that can 'detect' the pH level in HydrangeaAnimationsurrounding soil!

One of the world’s most popular ornamental flowers, it conceals a bouquet of biological and biochemical surprises.  The iconic “snowball” shaped hydrangea blooms are a common staple of backyard gardens.

Hydrangea colors ultimately depend on the availability of aluminum ions(Al3+) within the soil.

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Citizen Scientists Aid Researchers in Studying Camel Crickets

Katie-Leigh Corder

MJEpps CricketsThey may bounce really high and look strange, but don't worry, they are harmless...they even scavenge for crumbs off of your floor! A continental-scale citizen science campaign was launched in order to study the spread and frequency of native and nonnative camel crickets in human homes across North America.

Mary Jane Epps, PhD, an author of the paper, went into more detail about the study and significance of citizen scientists in an interview with Katie-Leigh Corder, web managing editor.

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The Relaunch of an Ocean Workhorse

Heather Olins, Fenella Saunders

Alvin Sub

Happy Birthday to Alvin! August 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Alvin, the submersible that has been so influential in ocean research, including the discovery of hydrothermal vents. In 2014, a retrofitted Alvin also took its first test cruise.

Heather Olins, a doctoral candidate at Harvard, studies microbial ecology at deep sea hydrothermal vents with the help of Alvin, and shares her personal tribute to the submersible on these landmark occasions.

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Cleaner than Clean: Understanding the Grooming Habits of Termites in Japan

Katie-Leigh Corder

Many unfortunate homeowners in the United States, around 600,000 to be exact, will discover these pesky and TermitesOEhard-to-control insects snacking away at their homes. On top of that, it's estimated that $5 billion a year will be spent to control these insects and repair damage. What are these common, yet unwanted insects? Termites!

The United States isn't the only country that deals with them. In Japan, termites are also a major source of structural damage, costing an estimated $1 billion per year in control and repair. Japanese homes are predominately made of wood, as are a number of its cultural heritage sites.

Dr. Aya Yanagawa discusses how she and her colleagues research ways to more effectively control termites in Japan. Biological pathogens and odors show strong potential for getting rid of them, but as Dr. Yanagawa describes, understanding the insect's grooming behavior is key in increasing the pathogens's effects.

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Saving the Honeybee with Genetics and Beekeeping

Katie-Leigh Corder

Bishop with beehivesThe disappearance of honeybees continues to make headlines in the news and science journals, but are their numbers still dwindling, and if so, what are the causes?

Dr. Jack Bishop, a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a hobby beekeeper, and treasurer of Sigma Xi's Research Triangle Park Chapter,discusses the external influences that are linked to bee population decline, as well as ways to help honeybees thrive.

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Scientific Artwork Attracts Human and Arthropod Alike

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fenella Saunders

Love Motel for InsectsHumans are bitten and stung by them, and sometimes have their gardens and crops eaten or even destroyed by these little organisms. Insects are everywhere and have a bad reputation with many people. But without them, the terrestrial environment would fall into chaos. Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society exhibited scientific artwork created by artist and ecologist Brandon Ballengée, PhD, at an event in Research Triangle Park, NC, in July 2014. Named Love Motel for Insects, the goal of these renowned sculptures is to attract insects and to allow humans to get a close look while learning about their role in Earth's ecosystems.

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Drawn Together by the Casimir Effect

Katie-Leigh Corder, Fabrizio Pinto, Fenella Saunders

2014-07PintoFp283.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageHow and why does the Casimir effect take place? This animation interprets what happens to the electromagnetic field because of quantum effects and virtual photons, to show what results when two plates are brought close together in such an environment.

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Total Records : 12


 

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Latest Multimedia

EmlenBookCover

VIDEO: From Biology to Military History: Patterns in Animal Weaponry

What are the parallels between an ancient war ship and a dung beetle? More than you would think, actually! Douglas J. Emlen, PhD, has a unique perspective on animal weaponry that looks at patterns in military history.

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