Biology

Aquatic mammals need to be big, but not too big

Examining body sizes of ancient and modern aquatic mammals and their terrestrial counterparts reveals that life in water restricts mammals to a narrow range of body sizes – big enough to stay warm, but not so big they can’t find enough food.

Making intricate images with bacterial communities

A technique for growing sticky films of bacteria into elaborate microscopic images could reveal how potentially dangerous biofilms grow and transmit antibiotic resistance, and could lead to novel biomaterials or synthetic microbial communities.

Seeing nanoscale details in mammalian cells

W. E. Moerner and his lab members peer inside mammalian cells, producing intricately detailed, 3-D images of the tiny structures within and tracking molecules’ subtle movements.

Insects took off when they evolved wings

Now buzzing and whizzing around every continent, insects were mysteriously scarce in the fossil record until 325 million years ago – when they first took flight and, according to a new study, evolutionarily took off.

Cooling glove helps athletes and patients

What unites the needs of Ebola workers, people with multiple sclerosis and athletes comes down to one thing – cold hands. A device that cools the hands is finding widespread use from the playing field to the clinic.

Ocean monuments face possible loss of protection

Federal regulators have indicated they may open some marine national monuments to commercial fishing. Researchers who have studied these and adjacent areas discuss their value and the potential impacts of a change in protected status.