WASHINGTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Superman can use his X-ray
vision whenever the need arises. It turns out that in real life,
some fish and amphibians can do something nearly as super when
it come to their sight.
Researchers on Thursday said these animals, when navigating
murky freshwater environments like rivers and streams, can turn
on an enzyme in their eyes that supercharges their ability to
see infrared light, sharpening their vision in the muck and
WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) – You might call the Jurassic
Period meat-eating dinosaur Allosaurus the ultimate big mouth.
A new study analyzing dinosaur jaw musculature found that
this fearsome hunter that prowled North America about 150
million years ago was able to crank open its jaws between 79 and
92 degrees, wider than a right angle.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The pineapple, the tropical fruit enjoyed by people worldwide in slices, chunks, juice, upside-down cakes, jam, tarts, ice cream, yogurt, stir-fry dishes, piña coladas, glazed ham and even Hawaiian pizza, is finally giving up its genetic secrets.
Scientists on Monday said they have sequenced the genome of the pineapple, learning about the genetic underpinning of the plant’s drought tolerance and special form of photosynthesis, the process plants use to convert light into chemical energy.
WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – A team of scientists took
issue on Monday with a study published in February claiming to
demonstrate vocal learning by chimpanzees in their food grunts,
saying the researchers offered exaggerated assertions backed by
The authors of that study in the journal Current Biology,
which received wide media coverage, stated chimps joining
another troop changed their calls to match their new peers in a
finding interpreted as shedding light on language evolution.
WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan
can add one more burning issue to his agenda as the new speaker
of the U.S. House of Representatives: how to get rid of the
stench of cigarette smoke.
Ryan said on Sunday he has been trying to come up with ways
to remove the smell of cigarettes from the House speaker’s
office that he took over on Thursday after he replaced the
retiring John Boehner, a heavy smoker.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidates accused President Barack Obama on Sunday of showing weakness in U.S. policy in Syria, doubting that his small deployment of special operations troops will make much difference without a coherent broader strategy.
“I don’t have a problem with the tactics of it. And the numbers might even have to be larger at some point,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio said of the Obama administration’s disclosure on Friday of the deployment of fewer than 50 special operations troops on the ground in northern Syria in the coming weeks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on Sunday it would be ridiculous to work with President Barack Obama on immigration policy reform, saying he cannot trust the president on the issue.
Republicans have fought Obama’s unilateral steps that bypassed a gridlocked Congress to try to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.
WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Scientists have created a
battery whose technology in principle could power electric cars
and other energy-hungry devices far better than current
lithium-ion batteries, but it remains years away from commercial
Researchers at the University of Cambridge on Thursday
announced the creation of a laboratory demonstration model of a
lithium-oxygen battery that overcomes many of the barriers that
have held back the development of this technology.
WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The well-preserved partial
skull and skeleton of a gibbon-like creature that lived 11.6
million years ago in Spain is shedding new light on the
evolutionary history of modern apes.
Scientists on Thursday announced the discovery in Catalonia
of fossil remains of a small, fruit-eating female ape that lived
in a warm, wet forested region teeming with animals including
elephant relatives, rhinos and saber-toothed predators.
WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – When it comes to unleashing
their trademark zaps, electric eels employ an impressive and
sophisticated set of tactics.
A study unveiled on Wednesday detailed how these dangerous
denizens of the muddy waterways of South America’s Amazon and
Orinoco basins can double the voltage of their jolts by curling
their serpentine bodies to adjust the position of the positive
and negative poles of their electric organ.