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New research has found a gene that looks to be the reason why rabbits, and perhaps all bouncing mammals hop. Using an unusual type of rabbit, called a sauteur d'Alfort, which doesn't hop, but runs on its front paws like a handstand, scientists have found a specific gene called RORB, that's missing in these rabbits. Defects in this gene may have dam…
 
Spinosaurus was a dinosaur that was around 13 metres long, and looked a little like a T-Rex with the addition of a massive sail on its back. There's been much debate around how it lived; while it seems to be tied to the water, it's unclear how close those ties were. One theory suggests it was actually like a crocodile, living a pretty aquatic life.…
 
We share our planet with microbes. Some do us harm, others do us good and are known as our microbiome. Plants also have a microbiome, and in a paper out recently, scientists working in a seed bank report how they got curious about what microbes could be stored away inside banked seeds. And by surveying seeds from just 1 type of plant, they found ab…
 
In 1994, at DeGray Lake in the state of Arkansas in the USA, 29 bald eagles were found dead from a mysterious disease. Many more across the area have been found suffering from "Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy", which causes holes in the brain and spinal cord, and erratic behaviour. Researchers now think they've cracked the mystery, as Eva Higginbotham …
 
Crohn's Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (or IBD), where the immune system attacks and inflames bits of the intestines. It can cause diarrhea, pain, fatigue, and consequent disruptions to daily activities like school and work. There are treatments, but currently no cure. Now, scientists in the US have found that a fungus used industr…
 
Fires of any scale tend to produce a certain amount of smoke - a variety of different particles including small bits of unburnt fuel, which eventually disperse into the atmosphere. And looking at data from satellites out in space, scientists in Israel have shown that smoke from the late 2019 / early 2020 Australian wildfires actually travelled up b…
 
Cone snails are a group of highly venomous marine snails. Their shells are beautiful, but they pack a powerful neurotoxic punch: some members of this family are so poisonous that they can easily kill a person. But one species of cone snail, called Conus imperialis, produces a very different reaction in the worms they hunt. This snail has a venom co…
 
In recent years we've realised quite how bad a knock on the head can be for us, because the brain bobs about suspended in fluid inside our skulls. And if you move, or stop, the head suddenly, the brain cannons into the inside of the skull and can be injured. It's especially important in sports, but it's hard to study - and to develop effective safe…
 
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