Intelligent microbes, boarding planes, and ganging up underwater

Tim's blog

This week on radio, Tim Thwaites is talking about intelligent microbes; ganging up underwater; boarding planes; how frogs drink; and more…

Your brain chemistry existed before animals did—Many of the key chemical components of the brain first appeared in single-celled organisms, long before multicellular animals, their brains or even nerve cells existed, work by several research groups have shown.—New Scientist

A New Scientist story on this topic can be found at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128283.800-your-brain-chemistry-existed-before-animals-did.html

Shortage of “legal” drugs hampers work on their illegal counterpartsAttempts to understand and control new synthetic recreational drugs are being hindered by the inability of laboratories to obtain pure samples of the compounds, experts say. And that’s because of legal problems with making and supplying such drugs.—Nature

A Nature story on this topic can be found at http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110831/full/news.2011.513.html

Test shows most efficient way to board a plane—An American astrophysicist has come up with a solution to one of the world’s most irritating problems—the most efficient way to board a plane. His method reduced the boarding time by about a half.—New Scientist

A New Scientist story on this topic can be found http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20859-test-shows-most-efficient-way-to-board-a-plane.html

Hibernation compound reduces damage during a heart attack—A compound which can suppress the metabolism of hibernating animals could possibly be used to reduce tissue damage following a heart attack, US researchers have shown in mice.—American Journal of Translational Research

A New Scientist story on this topic can be found at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128275.900-hibernation-molecule-boosts-therapeutic-hypothermia.html

Australian frogs drink dew—Green tree frogs survive the dry season in Queensland’s savannah country by moving out into the cool air, and then hopping back into their warm nests producing condensation on their skin. Soaking up this dew keeps them well hydrated, a Melbourne ecologist has found.—The American Naturalist

A Science story on this topic can be found at http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/09/australian-frogs-do-the-dew.html?ref=hp

Ganging up on sea urchins—Wrasse and starfish are both partial to sea urchins, but struggle to catch them on their own. So they team up to tackle their culinary favourite, Italian researchers have found.—New Scientist

A New Scientist story on this topic can be found at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128284.300-wrasse-and-starfish-gang-up-on-sea-urchins.html