Songbirds Can Sense Tornado-Producing Storms, Ornithologists Say

While tracking a population of golden-winged warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) in Tennessee in April 2014, a team of ornithologists led by Dr Henry Streby of the University of California, Berkeley discovered that the birds fled their breeding grounds days ahead of the arrival of severe, tornado-producing storms. “The most curious finding is that the birds left [...] —> Read More Here

Art, Science And Style Converge In Incredible Bacteria-Laced Fabric Art

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Are you looking for that little je ne sais quois to spruce up your winter wardrobe? How about taking a hint from your middle school biology class and incorporating some bacterial colonies into your look?

But truly, this project is incredible. Experimental bio-design firm Studio Natsai Audrey has crafted a line of silk scarves, mixing principles of biology, craft and design, and offering a potential solution to the rampant pollution in the textile industry. It’s called “The Fold” and is the brainchild of studio founder Natsai Audrey Chieza.

“Can biological systems co-author with design and craft to generate new technologies that offer a sustainable material paradigm?” This was the challenge Chieza set out to solve as she combined art, science and style in a radical new way. She began by folding each scarf in an origami-like pattern until it fits inside a petri dish, then introducing a non-pathogenic bacteria called Streptomyces to produce the pigment.

The results are an array of stunning mirrored prints that morph and shift as pigment secreted by bacteria diffuses through layers of inoculated silk habotai,” reads a statement from project’s website. “Long after the peak of microbial activity is reached, a fine silk —> Read More Here

This Week in Science: Mars Methane, Feathery Weather Forecasters, and Philae’s Wake-Up Call

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Seven days; lots of science in the news. Here’s our roundup of this week’s most notable and quotable items:

Illustration credit: Sarah Peavey

NASA’s Curiosity rover detected a burp of methane on Mars lasting for several months — possibly stemming from a geologic process called serpentinization, or possibly the signature of microscopic Martian life. American military researchers are testing bullets that can change direction mid-flight. Some birds may be able to hear tornadoes and massive storms approaching days ahead of time.

Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider — scheduled to switch on again in 2015 after two years of rest and retooling — might explain why our universe has so much more matter than antimatter. The ESA’s Venus Express probe is about to end its 8-and-a-half year mission with a fiery plunge into the planet’s sulfuric atmosphere. Vegans eat an average of 6 million microbes a day.

Geologists are hoping a rock stuffed with 30,000 tiny diamonds will yield new insights about chemical processes below the Earth’s surface. Humankind probably began using fire about 350,000 years ago, based on burnt flint tools found in an Israeli cave. There’s no evidence that “paleo” —> Read More Here

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