biology
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This Toxic Hot Spring Looks Like An Acid-Fuelled Nightmare

It looks like the set from a 1950s sci-fi flick, but this toxic, funhouse-coloured hot spring isn’t humanity’s first deadly encounter with alien biology. Although it is home to some very strange life forms, and we’re not sure what would happen if those gloves came off.


The World's Smallest Thermometer Is Made Of DNA

Need to take a temperature in a hard-to-reach spot? Researchers have created the world’s smallest thermometer from DNA, and it could be used to measure temperature even within living cells.


FDA Moves To Ban Shock Devices Used To Treat Behavioural Problems

The US Food and Drug Administration wants to ban electrical stimulation devices used to treat behavioural problems, saying they pose an “unreasonable and substantial” risk to public health. Uh, you think?


Gigantic Dinosaurs Had To Grow Freakishly Fast 

Titanosaurs were the largest land animals to ever appear on this planet, but even these lumbering beasts had humble beginnings. The discovery of a baby titanosaur fossil suggests that these dinosaurs were born with very adult-like features — and wow did they ever grow fast.


Why We Sleep So Poorly In Unfamiliar Places

Many of us have trouble sleeping in an unfamiliar place, like a hotel, or a friend’s house for the first time. When we finally do get to sleep, it’s often fidgety and disturbed. New research shows that one hemisphere of our brain stays more active during the first night of sleep — and it does so to keep us ready for trouble.


CRISPR Just Got One Step Closer To Editing Human Genes With Ease

Leveraging the pre-existing power of CRISPR, a team of researchers has made an important adjustment to the groundbreaking gene-editing tool that could make it precise enough for human applications.


Why Elk Bugles Sound Like Ringwraith Shrieks  

Majestic North American elk are known for producing high-pitched, screeching calls that carry for kilometres, particularly during breeding season. Known as “bugling”, it sounds for all the world like the piercing shrieks of the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings. This has puzzled scientists, because the pitch of an animal’s call in the wild usually depends on its size.


Life Rafts Made Entirely From Ants Are Surprisingly Sophisticated

Ants are amazing at co-operation, using their bodies to form parts of chains, ladders, walls and even rafts. A new study shows that the rafts built by ants are surprisingly well organised, the product of specialised skills and complex memorisation tasks.


Lab Mice Are Freezing Their Asses Off, And It's Screwing Up Science

Most science labs maintain a temperature far below levels preferred by mice, and it’s taking a toll on their health. New research suggests these chilly mice are skewing science results across a wide range of research areas — and the problem is far worse than anyone realised.


The Most Effective Way To Wash Your Hands, According To Science

Keeping our hands clean is the best way to prevent the spread of infections, so it’s surprising to learn that that US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) disagree on how to do it right. A new study shows that the six-step hand-washing technique promoted by the WHO is the better option.


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