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A female zebra shark living in captivity at a hotel in Dubai has had four recorded births, despite the fact that she has not mated with any males! Some animals, including some amphibians, reptiles, birds, and sharks, are able to have offspring by so called "virgin births" (parthenogenesis) where a female creates a fertile egg without sperm from a male.
Microbes might be too small to see, but they can certainly make a big impact! After the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, microbes cleaned up 120,000 metric tons of the methane in the oil! However, they do not eat some of the more toxic components of the oil, which still remain in the environment. Have you thanked a microbe today?
Have you heard of coral bleaching? That is what happens when corals lose their green or brown colored algae living inside of them due to environmental stress such as warmer temperatures. If conditions return to normal fairly quickly, the algae will come back; but if conditions change for too long then the coral will be permanently bleached and won’t be able to survive.
Water is an incredible molecule with a variety of qualities that facilitate life on earth. Water molecules form bonds with each other called hydrogen bonds, which allows water to stick to itself. This creates surface tension, which some insects use to walk on top of the surface of the water. This is also why it hurts when you do a belly flop!
You may have known that corals are living animals but did you know that they have a partnership with algae living inside of them? Algae known as zooxanthellae (zo-zan- thel-ay) live in the coral’s tissue. The coral gives the algae protection and nutrients while the algae provide food and oxygen to the coral in return. When two living organisms help each other out like this we call it a symbiotic relationship.
Photo: 3M State of Science Index Survey Understanding how people think of and view science is a complicated process. Recently, the company 3M designed a survey (State of Science Index Survey) to investigate how people across the world view the image, impact, and expectations of science now and into the future. The survey was conducted in 14 countries, both in developed and emerging nations, including Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, and the US. Over 14,000 adults (age 18+) were surveyed (about 1,000 per nation). Questions were asked of subjects over... (more)