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I will be taking a brief hiatus from tumblr and other social media for the next month to focus on research and my dissertation. Tune in by December for exciting news!

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Busy Bees Take a Break During Total Solar Ecli…

Busy Bees Take a Break During Total Solar Eclipses 

Using tiny microphones suspended among flowers, the team recorded the buzzing of the bees through all stages of the eclipse. The bees were active and noisy right up to the last moments before totality, the part of a total solar eclipse when the moon blocks all direct sunlight, and a night-like darkness settles over the land. As totality hit, the bees went totally silent in unison.

This bacterium gets paid in gold A bacterium …

This bacterium gets paid in gold

A bacterium named Moorella thermoacetica won’t work for free. But UC Berkeley researchers have figured out it has an appetite for gold. And in exchange for this special treat, the bacterium has revealed a more efficient path to producing solar fuels through artificial photosynthesis. 

A single nanocluster of 22 gold atoms – Au22 – is only 1 nanometer in diameter, allowing it to easily slip through the bacterial cell wall. Credit: Peidong Yang, UC Berkeley

Scientists Break the Rules of Reproduction by …

Scientists Break the Rules of Reproduction by Breeding Mice From Single-Sex Parents 

Yesterday, in the journal Cell Stem Cell, a team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported the birth of healthy offspring to same-sex mouse parents. By modifying the genomes of eggs to resemble those of sperm, and vice versa, the scientists were able to overcome a major hurdle in biological reproduction. Pups from female-female unions survived well into adulthood, even becoming mothers themselves, and short-lived babies were welcomed by a dad-dad duo.

Scientists used modified egg and stem cells to create female mice with two mothers. These fatherless mice grew up to have babies of their own (through more typical means of conception). (Le-Yun Wang / Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Vampire burial’ reveals efforts to preve…

Vampire burial’ reveals efforts to prevent child’s return from grave

A rock was inserted into the mouth of a 10-year-old to keep the deceased child from rising from the grave and spreading malaria, researchers believe.Credit: Photo courtesy of David Pickel/Stanford University

Giant mosquitoes flourish in floodwaters that …

Giant mosquitoes flourish in floodwaters that hurricanes leave behind: undefined

Secrets Of Color Vision Emerge From Lab-Grown …

Secrets Of Color Vision Emerge From Lab-Grown Human Retinas 

In order to see the red of a sunset or the green of spring leaves, developing human eyes need to get the right hormone at the right time.

That’s the finding of a team of scientists who studied how color vision develops using hundreds of human retinas grown in the lab.

A 291-day-old retina. Our ability to see colors develops in the womb. Now scientists have replicated that process, which could help accelerate efforts to cure colorblindness and lead to new treatments for diseases. Johns Hopkins University

Never Forget a Face? People Know an Average of…

Never Forget a Face? People Know an Average of 5,000 Faces 

For the first time scientists have been able to put a figure on how many faces people actually know- a staggering 5,000 on average.

The research team, from the University of York, tested study participants on how many faces they could recall from their personal lives and the media, as well as the number of famous faces they recognised.

Humans have typically lived in small groups of around one hundred individuals, but the study suggests our facial recognition abilities equip us to deal with the thousands of faces we encounter in the modern world – on our screens as well as in social interactions.