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Digging echidnas are essential Australian ecosystem engineers

A team of Australian scientists has found that the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is a keystone species on the continent. In the Journal of Experimental Biology, they report that echidnas mix and move soil around and are essential for the health of the Australian environment.

Unusual quantum liquid on crystal surface could inspire future electronics

For the first time, an experiment has directly imaged electron orbits in a high-magnetic field, illuminating an unusual collective behavior in electrons and suggesting new ways of manipulating the charged particles.

Algorithm can trace lineage trajectories through single-cell gene expression data

A new algorithm created at ASTAR allows scientists to track the trajectories of different cell lineages on the basis of their gene activity at the individual cell level. The tool, dubbed Mpath, should help reveal new insights into disease states and offer a way to see how drugs are working.

Meet the Metallic Means

The golden ratio is familiar to many math enthusiasts—what about the silver ratio? Bronze? Aluminum? -- Read more on

Update on Indie Neuroblogs

Independent Neuroblogs, a combined aggregate feed for non-network Neuroscience Blogs, was started on FriendFeed in response to the proliferation of blog networks in 2010. The associated Twitter account @neuroghetto has survived the demise of FriendFeed, Yahoo Pipes, and now twitterfeed. Show More Summary

Washington's 1776 Warning to the City of New York: "Get Out While You Can"

In this August, 1776 proclamation, printed and distributed in New York City, George Washington asked vulnerable citizens—"Women, Children, and infirm Persons"— to leave the city ahead of the coming conflict with the British Army. The...Show More Summary

TGIF: Barnacles put a ring on it

Have you ever seen the bottom of a barnacle? Or to be totally accurate, the top? I hadn’t either until a good friend and photographer, Michael Ready, showed me this photo he took in down in Baja California. There is just something about it, that I find absolutely stunning. Similar to annual growth rings found in […]

+1 For the Robot Army

What better animal to use as the spokesperson for the first soft bodied, autonomous robot?? To the engineers at Harvard 1. You win science today and 2. I would like all the baby octobots please.   Wehner et al. 2016 An integrated design and fabrication strategy for entirely soft, autonomous robots. Nature. 536, 451–455 doi:10.1038/nature19100

Paddy Power Pays Out on the Presidency

“Paddy Power is paying out to customers who backed Hillary Clinton,” I read. Reminds me of another story about election day bets that make punters sweat. Early in the evening of November 8, 1932—election day, that year—Sam Lamport was running around Democratic National Committee headquarters in mid-Manhattan (just by Grand Central Terminal) trying to find […]

Robopocalypse Report #92

Drones: Amazon just patented mini personal drones.Attachments are made to transform drones into search and rescue tools.Barbers are safe from a drone led robopocalypse. Drones are starting to deliver blood in Rwanda.Drones and VR were...Show More Summary

The Coming Cyber War #19

Cyber Warfare: The United States had a cyber attack today with a massive DDOS attack on a key company on the internet causing outages mainly on the East Coast.Is cyber defense the great space race of our generation? Destructive cyber attacks are coming. Show More Summary

Carbonate deposits from the ancient aqueduct of Béziers, France as Evidence of Local Environment During Roman Empire

Carbonate deposits from the ancient aqueduct of Béziers, France — A high-resolution palaeoenvironmental archive for the Roman Empire Authors: Passchier et al Abstract: Carbonate deposits from a Roman aqueduct in Béziers, southern France, record environmental conditions during the late first century C.E. Show More Summary

Paleolithic Papers #10

Homo: The hybrid individuals from different species of hominins might be easily identifiable.There is now evidence supporting hominin 'hanky panky' between lineages through STDs. Yes, STDs.Introgression happened a lot more often than previously thought in the hominin lineage. Show More Summary

“Wyoming is requiring citizenship proof from naturalized voters”

AP: The Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office alerted county clerks to require an undetermined number of people to provide proof of citizenship before allowing them to vote, stirring anger from some who say it has deterred people from casting ballots. … Continue reading ?

Supernovae analysis finds scant evidence for dark energy

New statistical analysis casts doubt on accelerating expansion of the universe

Dietary Ecology of Pleistocene Quaternary Camels

Dietary ecology of Pleistocene camelids: Influences of climate, environment, and sympatric taxa Authors: Yann et al Abstract: Wild members of Camelidae live in some of the most arid environments, including North Africa, Arabia, the Gobi Desert of China and Mongolia and high elevation environments in the Andes Mountains. Show More Summary

Voter Fraud as Part of Donald Trump’s Pre-Mortem and Excuse for His Losing Campaign

From Jenna Johnson’s fabulous piece: The gloomy mood has extended to his signature rallies, which Trump used to find fun. He would bound onto rally stages bursting with energy and a sense of excitement that intensified as the crowds chanted … Continue reading ?

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