Shrimp Eyes Make Better DVD Players

Shrimp eyes make better DVD players according to an article in ABC News in Science, 26 October 2009. Researchers studying the eyes of an Australian crustacean have found that its eyes process light in a more complex way than any man-made DVD or CD player. The shrimps’ eyes are able to convert linear polarised light […]

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Shedding Light on Super Reflective Proteins

Shedding light on super reflective proteins, described in an article in news@nature 8 December 2006. Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, have found a group of proteins in octopus skin that reflect all wavelengths of light from any angle. The researchers found the proteins in cells called leucophores that form the bottom […]

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Sexy Daddy-Long-Legs

Sexy daddy-long-legs the same way for 400 million years, according a report in New Scientist, 20 September 2003, p19. A team of palaeontologists led by Jason Dunlop of Humboldt University found fossilised harvestmen (a type of spider commonly known as daddy-long-legs) in silica formations at Rhymie, near Aberdeen in Scotland that are believed to be […]

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Sea Urchin Surprise

Sea urchin surprise reported in news@nature, and Biology News Net 9 November 2006 and Science, vol. 314, p398, 10 Nov 2006. Scientists have decoded the genome of the California purple sea urchin and have identified 23,300 genes made from 814 million DNA code letters. The scientists were surprised to find 7,077 of the sea urchin […]

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Sea Sponge Inspired Solar Cells

Sea sponge inspired solar cells described in New Scientist, 24 March 2007, p32. Some sea sponges are covered with fine spikes of silica, which they make by converting silicic acid from sea water, using an enzyme named silicatein to catalyse the reaction. Spikey structures like these could help make photovoltaic cells (solar panels) more efficient, […]

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Sea Spiders Aren’t Spiders

Sea spiders aren’t spiders, according to an article in ScienceNOW 19 October 2005 and Nature, vol 437, p 20 October 2005. Sea spiders live on the sea floor where they eat seaweed and small invertebrates. They are believed to have evolved 490 million years ago and have been classified as spiders because they have eight […]

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River Blindness End in Sight

River blindness end in sight, according to an article in ScienceNOW 21 July 2009. The number of people suffering a parasitic infection that causes blindness has dramatically decreased over the last 20 years due to effective treatments that kill the parasitic worms. People become infected with the worms when they are bitten by black flies. […]

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Reef Evolving Fast Enough

Reef evolving fast enough say James Cook University Marine Biologists in Science, 4 June 2005. Following a bleaching episode in 1998 involving half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, probably due to abnormally warm water which caused the coral to die, scientists have feared global temperatures were rising so fast coral would be unable […]

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Rats and Jellyfish Join Bomb Squad

Rats and jellyfish combine to join bomb squad, as described in an article in New Scientist, 12 May 2007. Scientists at Temple University, Philadelphia are developing an explosive detector using smell receptor proteins found in rats. Smell receptor proteins work by sending electrical signals when certain chemicals attach to them. In animals the electrical signals […]

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Poisonous Spiders Prefer Dead Food

Poisonous spiders prefer dead food, as described in Nature, vol 426, p30, 6 November 2003. Jamel Sandidge of the University of Kansas has studied the feeding habits of Brown Recluse spiders, and was surprised to find that they preferred to scavenge on dead critters in spite of having a deadly venom that quickly paralyses prey. […]

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