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image: Discovering Phasmids

Discovering Phasmids

By | June 9, 2012

Shortly after a rat infested supply ship ran around in Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia in 1918, the newly introduced mammals wiped out the island's phasmids—stick insects the size of a human hand. 

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image: Spot the Moth

Spot the Moth

By | May 1, 2012

It’s a well-known story: The peppered moth’s ancestral typica phenotype is white with dark speckles. 

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image: Early Bird Plumage

Early Bird Plumage

By | September 15, 2011

After rummaging through thousands of amber inclusions housed at the University of Alberta and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Canada, researchers discovered 11 amber encased-feather fossils that provide the most detailed picture yet of early feather evolution.

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image: The Right Sort

The Right Sort

By | August 1, 2011

Isolating specific cell types from a mass of plant or animal tissue is laborious and tricky. 

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image: Repainting Ancient Birds

Repainting Ancient Birds

By | July 1, 2011

Using synchrotron rapid scanning X-ray fluorescence to map the distribution of trace metals in avian fossils over 120 million-year-old, researchers reconstruct the pigment patterns of their feathers—revealing some of the extinct birds' long-lost colors.

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image: OPSINS: Tools of the trade

OPSINS: Tools of the trade

By | July 1, 2011

The optogenetic toolset is composed of genetically encoded molecules that, when targeted to specific neurons in the brain, enable the electrical activity of those neurons to be driven or silenced by light. 

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image: Meet the Crystal Smasher

Meet the Crystal Smasher

By | July 1, 2011

Take a tour of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), whose ultra-powerful X-ray beam is being used to solve the structures of proteins that are notoriously hard to crystallize.

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image: Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

By | July 1, 2011

This animation illustrates optogenetics—a radical new technology for controlling brain activity with light. 

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image: Smashing Crystals

Smashing Crystals

July 1, 2011

A powerful new X-ray–generating laser is imaging smaller crystals than ever before.

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image: One Hip Dino

One Hip Dino

By | June 13, 2011

University College London researcher Mike Taylor recounts the discovery of a new dinosaur with unusually powerful thigh muscles. Read the full story.

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