A new type of robot balances on a ball rather than relying on legs or wheels. The Ballbot, as it is called, can move in tight spots, making it potentially more useful than other designs for some uses.
As a leopard kitten matures into a prowling adult, its baby spots morph into more commanding rosette markings. Now scientists think they have uncovered the mechanism behind the transformation. Biologists have long wondered how leopards and other m
Next time someone complains about arithmetic being hard, math lovers can defend themselves by saying "even a six-month-old can do it." Through monitoring the brains of infants, researchers confirmed that infants as early as six months in
In a paper to appear in a scientific journal this month, researchers said they came to this conclusion after watching how elephants on a Kenyan game reserve behaved towards a matriarch who fell ill and died. The dying elephant -- named Eleanor by
It's not Jurassic Park, but scientists have reconstructed a 530-million-year-old gene by piecing together key portions of two modern genes descended from it. "We've shown some of the elements involved in the process of evolution by re
If you think it's a long trip to the local supermarket, consider the sooty shearwater. This tiny seabird flies an astounding 40,000 miles in 200 days, covering the entire Pacific Ocean in search of food. It is the longest animal migration recorde
[Now if we could test it in DC's water supply...] A German scientist has been testing an "anti-stupidity" pill with encouraging results on mice and fruit flies. The pill thwarts hyperactivity in certain brain nerve cells, helping stabil
Whether in a bar or on the battlefield, it’s easier to fight knowing friends have your back. The same is true in the ant world. A new study shows ants are more aggressive when they think they’re part of a larger group.
If your doctor suggests you're the perfect candidate for some clinical trial, you might as how much he's getting paid to recruit you. Finders fees from $2,000 to $5,000 are common, says University of Toronto researchers Trude Lemmens and Pau
The scientists found that faults in the p53 gene, which stops damaged cells from dividing, and in the p16 gene, which helps to regulate and prevent cancer from developing, were two changes linked to more aggressive tumors.
Using a new genetic mapping technique, scientists say they found more than 20,000 different types of microbe in a single liter of water from deep sites in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. "These observations blow away all previous estimates o
A British bumblebee has set a record for long-distance flight, finding its way home after being dropped off 8 miles away. Nobody knows if other bees have flown farther—few tests have been done—but this flight is about 5 miles more than scientists
"The agency hopes that as both sides are committed to working diligently through these issues, the process can be wrapped up in a matter of weeks," the FDA said in a statement.
Humans aren't the only creatures that vocalize during sex. While mating, female Physocylus globosus spiders emit high-frequency squeaks to let males know what they should be doing, a new study finds.
Researchers say they have come closer to unlocking the secrets of earthquake prediction by uncovering a link between tiny, almost imperceptible, tremors deep inside the earth and devastating quakes capable of wiping out cities.
A University of Arizona professor has invented a sticker that can tell consumers if a fruit or vegetable is ripe. The stickers will be available to growers next year, and should make their way to supermarkets within two to three years, said their inv
Scientists have identified two ancient reptiles that swam in icy waters off Australia 115 million years ago, researchers said. They are among the first of their kind to be found from the period soon after the Jurassic era.
A new technology allows researchers to write on water. The AMOEBA (Advanced Multiple Organized Experimental Basin), a circular tank created by Mitsui Engineering at their Akishima laboratory, is able form letters with standing waves.
The triangular shark fin that sends frightened swimmers scrambling to shore is made using the same genes that help form the arms and legs of humans. Researchers found that about a dozen genes that help give rise to a shark's median fins—those tha
[Shades of Probability Broach.] 2 genes enable cells to respond to electrical signals in the body to heal wounds. By applying an electrical field to a wound they could change the movement of cells and speed up the healing process.
Scientists have extracted intact bone marrow from the fossilized remains of 10-million-year-old frogs and salamanders. The finding is the first case of fossilized bone marrow ever to be discovered and only the second report of fossilized soft tiss
Researchers believe they have found a second code in DNA in addition to the genetic code. The second code, superimposed on the first, sets the placement of the nucleosomes, miniature protein spools around which the DNA is looped. The spools both prot
On an animal-breeding farm in Siberia are cages housing two colonies of rats. In one colony, the rats have been bred for tameness in the hope of mimicking the mysterious process by which Neolithic farmers first domesticated an animal still kept today
An evolutionary arms race between early snakes and mammals triggered the development of improved vision and large brains in primates, a radical new theory suggests. Snakes and primates share a long and intimate history, one that forced both groups to
Cacti have can be found in rain forests and as far north as Canada. But it is their ability to thrive in the desert, where rain falls infrequently and unpredictably, that is their most remarkable trait. How do they do it? By working nights, usi
It is the transparent part of the eye, but for scientists, its origin was anything but clear. Now researchers have pinpointed why the cornea, the thin covering that allows light into the eye, is completely see-through. The discovery could lead to pot
President George Bush issued his first veto after almost six years on a bill federally funding stem cell research. I agree with the veto, just not the reasons stated for the veto.
Men and boys with autism have fewer neurons in the amygdala, a part of the brain involved in emotion and memory. Looked at the brains of nine autistic men and boys, aged 10 to 44, and compared them to 10 brains of males who did not have autism. Th
Once upon a time, a 2-ton wombat lumbered across the Australian Outback. Around the same time, mammoths and saber-toothed tigers had the California coastline all to themselves. Millions of years before any of these animals existed, Tyrannosaurus r
[Bush finally finds veto pen?!] The U.S. Senate strongly backed bipartisan legislation to expand federally funded embryonic stem cell research, but President Bush has vowed to veto the measure as morally indefensible. The vote was 63-37, four shor