Morsels for the mind – 26/4/2013
As we remind you every week, just as it’s important to nourish your body, you’ve got to make sure to nourish your mind. Every day, #SixIncredibleThingsBeforeBreakfast are served up as a delectable assortment of “amuse-bouche” for your brain.
Here we’ve collated some of the tastiest morsels from the past week, creating a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy!
Feather, fur & fin – birds, beasts, fishes, and the things they do
Thieves like us? Do dogs know when they are stealing?
They speak with forked teeth. Well, maybe not speak, but these seals eat with them – surprisingly for small prey, not big things.
Getting’ mighty crowded. And when it is, squirrels give birth to fast growing pups.
Making sense of scents. The amazing canine nose.
Sex is killing koalas. Literally. Sexually transmitted diseases really taking their toll.
Birds and bats both wing it. Here’s how they do it.
When times got frigid, salmon retreated to refugia. That’s right, even ocean species had refugia during the ice age.
When fish gesture “hi”, when their prey swims on by, that’s a moray! Groupers gesture to moray eels to team up to catch prey.
Bugs’ life – insects and other things that creep, crawl and otherwise delight
Moths keep everything in one place. When they hover. We now know how they do it.
Ants are content with a mid-life career switch.
Beautiful botanicals – wonders of the photosynthesising world – that is, mainly plants
Not just the lungs of the Earth, but the sprinklers of the earth. Plants give us water.
Fossil finds – organisms of times past – dinosaurs and beyond
When fuzzy logic is logic about being fuzzy. The case for fine feathered sauropods.
A sorted tail? Nope, dinosaurs got into their crouch position due to larger forearms, not shorter tails.
Who had the more terrifying claws, Megaraptor or Saurophaganax? You decide.
Dinosaurs got the drift. At least they did when they were on continents that were drifting apart. It changed the course of their evolution.
Microscopic marvels – smaller than the eye can see, but big in action – bacteria, fungi and viruses
Viruses have a high batting average. Bats are a huge reservoir for them.
Have you herd? If we want to maintain herd immunity, we all must keep up on our vaccinations!
Here’s an interesting story, warts and all. Actually, it’s about how meat handlers get so many warts.
Salt of the earth. Some microbes, halophiles, absolutely love it. Their evolution is remarkable.
Molecular machinery – the toils of the macromolecules of life – nucleic acids and proteins (and others)
Sometimes research delivers you a hot, steamy pile of data. Especially when it is the crystal structure of myoglobin.
Earth, wind and fire – planet shaping – geology, meteorology, oceanography & the climate
The Earth really stirs it up. That is, it recycles its crust.
When they come down to Earth, asteroids can create groovy impact marks.
Star attractions – the final frontier, space
Good morning sunshine! Three years of solar activity captured in three minutes.
Curiosity’s trip to Mars says as much about us and our planet as it does the red one. Amazing.
Around they go. An animated tally of exoplanets. So cool.
My corona! Exciting times when a coronal mass ejection reaches Earth.
It’s a celestial smash! When galaxies collide.
It’s got flare! The blazar gives a blast of gamma rays.
Forces of nature – big ticket items – cosmology, ecology, evolution, physics, chemistry
When positive goes negative. How do we deal with a shrinking proton?
Dance, dance revolution. The tiny dance of molecules has been captured by ultra slow motion.
Looking as good as it sounds. Acoustic signals visualised, from animals to instruments. So cool.
Small is beautiful, but nano is even more so.
Matters of mind – how we, and other animals, perceive our world and our place in it
Playtime is exploration time. It makes us great.
If ever you need to build a brain from scratch, here’s how you might want to start.
You mental lost and found. How your brain finds stuff.
Weight a minute. Pulling all-nighters will make you substitute calories for sleep. That explains much!
While you were sleeping. People were decoding your dreams. Here’s how.
Behind the scenes – the workings of the museum – discovery and communication
This week, two hot science stories from last week were beautifully critiqued. First was the supernova signature in microbe fossils. The second was electron microscopy of living organisms. The power of science communication in action.
The old name game. Might there be an advantage to women just using their initials to publish? There may be.
Looking for the teacher’s pet? Try insects. They are a great way to communicate science to kids.
What goes around. The circle of life. A wonderful tribute to a grandfather.
The best piece of science communication last week was, hands down, the wringing out of a wet cloth in space.