It's two inches long, is shaped like a phallus and is commonly associated with wood. A middle school joke? No, it's a new species of stinkhorn mushroom discovered on the African island of Sao Tome and named after Robert Drewes, Curator of Herpetology at the California Academy of Sciences.
Phallus drewesii belongs to a group of mushrooms known as stinkhorns which give off a foul, rotting meat odor. There are 28 other species of Phallus fungi worldwide, but this particular species is notable for its small size, white net-like stem, and brown spore-covered head. It is also the only Phallus species to curve downward instead of upward.
A team of researchershas discovered a biological marker for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in older adults. The marker, a receptor known as CCR3, shows strong potential as a means for both the early detection of the disease and for preventive treatment.
Neovascular (or "wet-type") macular degeneration is caused by choroidal neovascularization (CNV) – the invasive growth of new blood vessels in the thin vascular layer that provides nourishment and oxygen to the eye. Central vision loss occurs when these abnormal blood vessels invade the retina, the light-sensitive tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyeball.
Dr Jennifer Loveland-Curtze and a team of scientists from Pennsylvania State University say that a bacterium trapped more than a mile under under glacial ice in Greenland for over 120,000 years may hold clues as to what life forms might exist on other planets.
Almost 140 years ago, Charles Darwin formalized what many people already believed - mate selection isn't pure chance; it's a deliberate process that involves numerous factors, including biological ones.
Darwin scored a scientific bullseye but a very big question has been, "What have we learned since then?"
Adam Jones, a Texas A&M University evolutionary biologist, says that Darwin's beliefs about the choice of mates and sexual selection being beyond mere chance have been proven correct, as stated in Darwin's landmark book "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex" in 1871. His work has withstood decades of analysis and scrutiny.
Conception is not a meeting of equals, as scientists have said for decades. The egg is a relatively large, impressive biological factory compared with the tiny sperm, which delivers to the egg one copy of the father's genes. However, the lack of parity may be less one sided than believed. A new study in Nature from Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah reveals that the father's sperm delivers much more complex genetic material than previously thought.
Researchers discovered particular genes packaged in a special way within the sperm, and that may promote the development of the fetus.
Doom and gloom types always want to lament that the presence of people is killing the Earth. Not so, say California Institute of Technology (Caltech) scientists. At least on a cosmic scale, the presence of life may increase longevity for planets.
In traditional thinking, a billion years from now the ever-increasing radiation from the sun will have heated Earth into inhabitability, causing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that serves as food for plant to disappear. The oceans will evaporate and all living things will disappear.
Maybe not quite so soon, say researchers from Caltech, who have come up with a mechanism that doubles the future lifespan of the biosphere while also increasing the chance that advanced life will be found elsewhere in the universe.