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Think pink: Fluorescent pink flying squirrel in UV light at night

The North American flying squirrel fluoresces pink at night under ultraviolet light, but the purpose of the pink color is still a mystery to researchers. Allison Kohler, a graduate student in the Texas A&M University wildlife and fisheries department in College Station, helped make this discovery as well as affirm ...

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The Way Superman Picks Up a Building Is a Physics Travesty

You can’t really use standard physics principles to explain how Superman can be so strong or fly or have x-ray vision. Pretty much everything he does is impossible. But hey—that’s OK. I’m fine with this stretching of reality. It’s what makes superheroes interesting. They don’t have to be completely realistic ...

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Magnetic teeth hold promise for materials and energy

A mollusk with teeth that can grind down rock may hold the key to making next generation abrasion-resistant materials and nanoscale materials for energy. The mollusk, called a gumboot chiton, scrapes algae off ocean rocks using a specialized set of teeth made from the magnetic mineral magnetite. The teeth have ...

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Huge cavity in Antarctic glacier signals rapid decay

A gigantic cavity — two-thirds the area of Manhattan and almost 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall — growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is one of several disturbing discoveries reported in a new NASA-led study of the disintegrating glacier. The findings highlight the need for detailed ...

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Ditch the Super Bowl for a Who’s Who of Superb Owls

This Sunday, the subreddit /r/superbowl will host a gathering of hoo-ligans. They’ll be fans of the Nocturnal Flying League. Real birds of a feather. Starting at 6 pm ET, the Superb Owl community will kick off an Ask Me Anything with biologist James Duncan, who has spent his entire adult ...

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Self-growing materials that strengthen in response to force

A strategy inspired by the process responsible for muscle growth could lead to the development of stronger, longer-lasting materials. Hokkaido University researchers have developed a strategy to fabricate materials that become stronger in response to mechanical stress — mimicking skeletal muscle growth. Their findings, published in the journal Science, could ...

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The 210-million-year-old Smok was crushing bones like a hyena

Coprolites, or fossil droppings, of the dinosaur-like archosaur Smok wawelski contain lots of chewed-up bone fragments. This led researchers at Uppsala University to conclude that this top predator was exploiting bones for salt and marrow, a behavior often linked to mammals but seldom to archosaurs. Most predatory dinosaurs used their ...

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James Watson and the Insidiousness of Scientific Racism

Scientific pedigrees are like any genealogical tree: When shaken, they can reveal family secrets. Most often, academic connections are divulged informally; potential employers want to know who you published with and who they can call to get a personal reference. But sometimes they reveal much more. WIRED OPINION ABOUT C. ...

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Climate change reshaping how heat moves around globe

The Earth’s atmosphere and oceans play important roles in moving heat from one part of the world to another, and new research is illuminating how those patterns are changing in the face of climate change. “The greenhouse effect and carbon dioxide aren’t the only issues to consider as the planet ...

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