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Scientists are trying to save bees with special bacteria for bee gut microbiome

news.utexas.edu
  • Researchers from the University of Texas have engineered bacteria that protects bees from inside their tiny bee guts.
  • The bacteria helps bees fight off two major causes of colony collapse - Varroa mites and deformed wing virus.
  • It’s the first time ever that scientists have improved bee health by engineering their microbiome.
  • Further research is needed to confirm these claims, but the team believes this could be scaled up for agricultural use, and that negative side-effects are very unlikely.
  • Honey bees contribute $20 billion yearly to US crop production alone, and they are critical to global food production.

New proof of ocean acidification, found thanks to 150-year-old samples from a museum

sciencemag.org
  • Analysis of 150-year-old plankton against new plankton, collected from the same location, provides new proof for increasing acidification of oceans.
  • By creating precise 3D images of the shells researchers found that on average, new plankton shells were 76% thinner than the 150-year samples.
  • While acidification is most likely to blame, study authors admit that other factors play a role, like warmer water and lower amounts of oxygen.
  • This study is significant because, for the first time, it involves samples from before the 1950s, when the pH of oceans wasn’t yet on a downward trajectory.
  • This proves that sometimes the most interesting study materials can be found in museums.

Single-cell organisms might be able to process information and make decisions

hms.harvard.edu
  • New single-cell organism characteristics found by scientists who looked where no one else bothered, and replicated a 100-year old experiment.
  • The non-funded side-project revealed that an organism called Stentor roeselii can make relatively complex decisions, it’s behaviours aren’t automatic.
  • This might mean that cells can process information and make decisions.

There are a million times more microplastics in oceans than we thought

ucsdnews.ucsd.edu
  • Previous estimates of the amount of microplastics in oceans has just been proven to be very, very wrong.
  • New study provides data that suggests 8.3 million pieces of microplastics per cubic meter of water, previous studies estimated 10 pieces per cubic meter.
  • It was discovered by analysing salps, jellyfish-like water creatures, and study authors found microplastics in all 100 samples.

Despite being reptiles, giant tortoises show mammal-like social behaviour

nature.com
  • Tortoises show great memory, and could be learning from watching each other.
  • Scientists trained Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises to bite a blue, green, or yellow ball.
  • The reptiles remembered it after three months, as well as after 9 years.
  • They used to be called ‘living rocks’, but this shows that they might be more social than we thought.

Newsletter

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Categories

  • Science Science (59) Study shows, for the first time, that giving Oxytocin to men with autism can have lasting positive effects
  • Psychology Psychology (64) You’re more likely to make a decision when you breathe out
  • Cosmos Cosmos (29) Astronomers witness the dragging of space-time in stellar cosmic dance
  • History History (14) Humans survived off rodents in the mountains during the last ice age, study says
  • Society Society (65) The start-up bubble is finally bursting (a little bit)
  • Medicine Medicine (65) Scientists discover powerful antibiotic using AI
  • Technology Technology (70) Polymer patch could reduce negative effects of cardiac scar tissue
  • Nature Nature (45) Scientists are trying to save bees with special bacteria for bee gut microbiome