Nature Magazine has published the controversial study about how to re-engineer a bird flu virus to make it infectious to mammals. The logic is that making the knowledge public will improve our ability to spot new dangerous viruses when they emerge. As in emerge from some lab where someone has engineered them?...
Dinosaurs, it turns out, had fleas worthy of them, ten times as big as dog fleas.
On June 5th and 6th, Venus will cross the face of the Sun. The astronomical event is called a "transit of Venus." We won't have another one in our lifetimes, though it won't be visible without special equipment, unless you are really lucky at dawn or dusk.
Bacteria are only remotely related to vertebrates. But that doesn't stop a newly discovered species of bacteria from having their own microscopic "bones" – tiny lumps of calcium they presumably use for ballast.
Rather surprisingly (at least it surprised me), the House of Representatives has approved increases in the budget for the Department of Energy's research into fusion energy. Fusion could be clean and abundant energy … if we ever figure out how to do it.
Comb jellies – things that look related to jellyfish, though they aren't really – can reproduce even before they reach adulthood. This is fortunate for the comb jellies in the Baltic Sea, because they hardly ever get the chance to grow up. The whole population, breeders and all, is larvae.
The National Institutes of Health have found a chemical that helps reduce autistic symptoms, at least in mice. The chemical, GRN-529, reduces repetitive behavior and increases social behavior. The question, of course, is how well this translates to humans.
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have found a class of chemicals in the body that combine with antibiotics to attack bacteria that are normally resistant to antibiotics. They control inflammation responses, limiting damage to the body without inhibiting the immune response.
Thousands of scientists from 67 countries have called for an international ban on fishing in the Arctic waters that have been opened up by the recent melting of the ice cap. We simply don't know, yet, if the fish population could withstand our onslaught.