Contrary to popular belief, coca not the driving force of deforestation, report reveals

Most of the world’s coca—the plant source of cocaine—grows in the Amazon forests of the Andean countries of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, where many think this illicit crop causes deforestation. However, a team of researchers shows that most deforestation isn’t caused by coca cultivation. In fact, the study found that deforestation and coca both share a common origin in the implementation of an infrastructure plan from the 1960s to open the Amazon frontier through road construction and development projects.

What do piranhas and goldfish have in common?

Researchers including some of the biggest names in ichthyology from universities and museums across the US and Mexico used highly conserved regions of animal genomes, called ultraconserved elements (UCEs), to compile one of the most data-rich phylogenies of fishes to date. Here's what they found.

Crystalline fault lines provide pathway for solar cell current

A team of scientists studying solar cells made from cadmium telluride, a promising alternative to silicon, has discovered that microscopic "fault lines" within and between crystals of the material act as conductive pathways that ease the flow of electric current. This research may help explain how a common processing technique turns cadmium telluride into an excellent material for transforming sunlight into electricity, and suggests a strategy for engineering more efficient solar devices that surpass the performance of silicon.

Ecological underpinnings of rural poverty

A first-of-its-kind effort to examine the ecological drivers of rural poverty combines economic, ecological and epidemiological models. The lessons learned could inform interventions to lift people out of poverty.

The absence of ants: Entomologist confirms first Saharan farming 10,000 years ago

By analysing a prehistoric site in the Libyan desert, a team of researchers has been able to establish that people in Saharan Africa were cultivating and storing wild cereals 10,000 years ago. In addition to revelations about early agricultural practices, there could be a lesson for the future, if global warming leads to a necessity for alternative crops.

Top 10 new species for 2018

The large and small, beautiful and bizarre are among the newly discovered animals, plants and microbes announced as the Top 10 New Species for 2018.

Lionfish genes studied for clues to invasive prowess

What makes the red lionfish (Pterois volitans) such a successful and powerful invader in Atlantic Ocean waters compared to its rather lamb-like existence in its native Pacific Ocean? A new study sorts it out.

Mystery of how black widow spiders create steel-strength silk webs further unravelled

Researchers have better unraveled the complex process of how black widow spiders transform proteins into steel-strength fibers. This knowledge promises to aid scientists in creating equally strong synthetic materials. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, the research team was able to more closely see inside the protein gland where the silk fibers originate, revealing a more complex, hierarchical protein assembly. The researchers' 'modified micelles theory' concludes that spider silk proteins start out as complex, compound micelles.

Plant’s parent genes cooperate in shaping their child

Plant biologists discovered for the first time how factors arising from the mother and father in flowering plants cooperate to develop the shape of their child. Until now, it has been unknown whether paternal factors cooperate or conflict with each other to bring about zygote asymmetry. The outcome of this discovery is expected to shed light on the exact mechanism of plant body shape formation and possibly lead to the generation of new hybrid plants.

Bigger eyes but reduced brain power in nocturnal fishes

How does living life in darkness influence the way nocturnal fishes see? A new study finds out.

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El príncipe Andrés insiste en que nunca presenció o sospechó el comportamiento de Epstein

"Su suicidio ha dejado muchas preguntas sin respuesta y reconozco y simpatizo con todos los que han sido afectados", dijo el príncipe Andrés sobre Jeffrey Epstein. Fuente: Cnnenespanol.com

The Dish: Chef Anya Fernald shares her signature recipes

Including sausage, chimichurri, and roasted baby carrots

Unpiloted Soyuz spacecraft aborts space station docking

Russian flight controllers hope to make a second docking attempt after troubleshooting