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More Olympic Creatures

Plants and animals continue to amaze us with their Olympic-level abilities. New observations promote some to the award stand.

Olympic Plants Perform in Place

They may be rooted in the ground, but plants run their own Olympic organization.

Evolution Falsely So Called

Evolutionary theory gets credited for changes that really do not help Darwin's view of a universal tree of life. Three examples show how.

Ingenious Seed Bomb "Designed by Evolution"

Red hot peppers! Can evolution "design" anything, especially a chemical bomb a plant uses to be sure its seeds get spread properly?

Maple to the Rescue

The SWAT team surrounds the compound. An officer tosses a maple seed into an open window and checks the readout on his computer. The team bursts in and, surprising the terrorists, rescues the hostages safely.

Explanatory Filter in Action: Fairy Circles in Africa

The old "crop circle" craze fanned the curiosity of many, till humans were filmed making them. Now, scientists have a different circle mystery, and they're stumped.

Evolution Worked Magic in Plants

Some evolutionary papers are filled with verbs like arose, emerged, and originated. Do these convey scientific understanding, or are they veils concealing ignorance? Is it like saying "abracadabra" to say something "arose" by evolution? A recent paper about sophisticated metabolic enzymes in plants is a case in point.

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.

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.

Is This Plant Really 30,000 Years Old?

A plant said to be 30,000 years old has been brought to life in Russia. A team resurrected a fruit from a rodent burrow in Siberian permafrost, getting it to grow into a whole plant that produces viable seeds. This is now the oldest age claim, by an order of magnitude, for plant material made to live again. Other scientists are startled that plant material could remain viable for so long, since cells have to repair their DNA continually. Other botany news bring different problems to evolutionary theory.

Living Surprises, Living Hopes

Here are ten recent discoveries about plants and animals that are surprising and inspiring. Some of them may lead to technologies that can improve our own lives.

Science Grab Bag

Here's a random assortment of things floating around in the science news media – some fascinating, some informative, some disgusting. We’ll let the readers decide which is which. Since it’s Friday the 13th, a day to enjoy like any other day, we’ll give you a baker’s dozen to sample.

Nature Does It Right

Scientists and engineers continue to find well-designed features in living things that are worth imitating.

Biomimetics for Your Christmas Wish List

Biomimetics (the imitation of nature) continues to promise cool gadgets and useful materials that will someday yield prized gifts under the tree. Some of them might even save your life.
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