Microscope

Stamped across the shoreline of Calvert Island in British Columbia, Canada, are 13,000-year-old human footprints that archaeologists believe to be the earliest found in North America. The discovery, published in the journal PLOS One, adds support to the idea that some ancient humans from Asia ventured into North America by hugging the Pacific coastline.

  • Published 4.06.18
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The first footprints 

• Stamped across the shoreline of Calvert Island in British Columbia, Canada, are 13,000-year-old human footprints that archaeologists believe to be the earliest found in North America. The discovery, published in the journal PLOS One, adds support to the idea that some ancient humans from Asia ventured into North America by hugging the Pacific coastline.

Borrowed gene 

• The common fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus ( in pic below) can respond to wind and touch, grow towards light, and detect and navigate around objects placed above it. It senses gravity too - with crystals that move around inside single, but giant, elongated, spore-containing cells. In a paper published in PLOS Biology, Gregory Jedd, who studies fungi at Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory in Singapore, and his colleagues determined that the crystals were likely the result of a gene that the mold's ancestor borrowed from bacteria long ago.

 Exploding ant

• Scientists recently published an in-depth description of a newly named ant species in the journal ZooKeys . The worker ants of Colobopsis explodens have a distinctive talent. When their nest is invaded, they rupture their own abdomens, releasing a sticky, bright yellow fluid laced with toxins on their attackers. The exploded ants do not survive, but their sacrifice helps save the colony.

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