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Wonders Inside You

Do you have any idea how many emergencies are resolved inside your body every day without your conscious knowledge or control? Here are just 3 examples.

Why Your Inner Ear Has a Spiral Shape

The cochlea in the inner ear, where sound is transmitted to the brain, has a spiral shape resembling a snail shell. It's not just to save space, researchers have found.

Pitcher Plant Inspires R&D Award

The R&D 100 award, previously given for inventions like the fax machine and automated teller machine, has been given this year for a biologically-inspired design that could revolutionize society in many ways.

Animal Olympians Inspire Engineers

Here are more stories about animals, plants and cells attracting scientists with their astonishing capabilities, proving that biomimetics is one of the hottest trends in science.

Venus Transit Recalls Adventures of Yore

Today's transit of Venus, in which our sister planet appears to cross the disk of the sun, will be the last till 2117. As observatories and millions of people watch the rare planetary alignment, few may know the stories of astronomers who predicted them and explorers who risked life and limb to observe them.

The Wonder and Blunder in Your Skull

Even when it goes awry, the brain wins an award of cosmic proportions, according to a veteran psychiatrist.

Bacteria as a Vast Unexplored Medicine Chest

Most of our therapeutic agents have been derived from bacteria. A new survey shows we have barely tapped the surface of potential medicines beneath our feet.

Ready, Aim, Flower

How does a plant know the time to flower? A new study describes a process involving genes, sunlight sensors, switches, clocks, feedback loops and messages.

Follow the Leader: Plants and Animals

Need solutions to engineering problems? Look no further than the plants and animals around you. That's what more and more scientists are doing.

Stem Cells Getting Healthier

Over the past decade, stem cells have been a hot news item. Here are some late breaking news stories about them.

Animals Have Biological GPS

Global Positioning System (GPS): that's a function. Maintaining a suite of satellites is one method for achieving the function. But there are other ways to figure out where in the world you are, and two very different animals show the way – naturally – using Earth's global magnetic field.

Why You Are Waterproof

Can you imagine inflating like a water balloon every time you jumped in a swimming pool? Or what if water leaked out of your skin every time you drank a glass of water? Your skin forms an impermeable barrier to water, a new study found, because of a unique way certain molecules are arranged.

From Wonders of Nature to Wonders of Technology

Living things have solved physics problems like design engineers. Inventors are just now catching on to their tricks in ways that could improve our technology, weaning us off our crude, polluting past and ushering in advanced technology that is not only greener but more effective. The latest stars are two insects and a bacterium.

Small Animals Show Even More Design

Your smart phone is a triumph of miniaturization. The first computers were room-filling monstrosities; now, you can hold more computing power than a Univac in the palm of your hand. In the living world, we should't despise small creatures. They can pack a lot of technology into a small space. Here are some record-setting examples of living miniatures reported recently.

News for the Birds

Our amazing feathered friends range from tiny hummingbirds to fast-running ostriches, from penguins to pigeons. In both living and fossil forms, they provide endless opportunities for study and fascination. Here are a few recent examples of news for the birds, in both good and bad connotations of the phrase.
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