More than 140 children and 200 llamas, dating back to the 1400s, were discovered along the northern coast of Peru. Why is it believed this was likely an unprecedented child sacrifice?
Biomedicine & Biotech
It's dangerous being livestock. If you aren't being fattened up to be turned into a Happy Meal, you're wandering the fields, gobbling up plants that appear tasty and innocent – but are actually toxic. Plant poisonings cost the livestock industry more than $500 million every year.
The sudden loss of any body part is life-altering. Yet we live in a time with plentiful options that are continuously advancing, and which can be used to restore a person to a high degree of function.
A genetically-engineered enzyme could provide a more elegant solution for plastic bottles, most of which that can hang around the environment for hundreds of years.
The link between the bacteria in our bodies, or microbiome, and diseases of the immune system has been established for some time. However, the role bacteria play is not well understood. A new paper takes that linkage to the next level, showing how one bacterium may play a big role in autoimmune diseases, such as lupus.
Basically, exaggerated male sex organs may intensify an organism’s focus so much that they pay a hefty cost when it comes to their own survival. In some cases, they facilitate their own extinction.
The U.S. space agency recently launched sperm specimens, from humans and bulls, to the international space station. There, astronauts will conduct experiments on the impact of microgravity on sperm’s motility and function.
Mary Shelley popularized the work of Luigi Galvani, work that continues today. And while electricity does not reanimate the dead, bioelectricity – Galvani's legacy – may have a role in our embryologic development.
Damaged by the environment, tomb robbers and time, a severed mummified head from the early Middle Kingdom was finally identified. All thanks to science!
CRISPR-Cas9, unlike other methods, can create food products so close to the original that they are not considered genetically-modified organisms. That's because it's not how the process of change is of regulatory concern, but instead, it's the final result. Biosimilar is not genetically modified.
Since snakes can't chew, in order to eat they swallow their food whole. This means finding prey small enough that they can stretch their open mouths around. But one evolved snake, to the surprise of a veteran biologist and reptile expert, rips its prey apart to consume it in bites.
As the chick readies to hatch, the eggshell's inner surface weakens. How the hardness of eggshells is created by a matrix is fascinating biology. And it may give us insight into a more human problem: the hip fractures of old age.