Tag: Biology and Biochemistry

This Moss Uses Quartz as a Parasol

To humans, a desert oasis may conjure an image of a blue pool encircled by a coronet of palm trees. But to certain mosses, an oasis takes the form of a pebble of milky quartz. The cloudy crystal dilutes the sun’s piercing ultraviolet rays and, in the dry desert heat, traps moisture beneath it, creating […]

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How Ultra-Black Fish Disappear in the Deepest Seas

Alexander Davis admits that he can be a glutton for punishment. He staked part of his Ph.D. on finding some of the world’s best-camouflaged fishes in the ocean’s deepest depths. These animals are so keen on not being found that they’ve evolved the ability to absorb more than 99.9 percent of the light that hits […]

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This Ancient Sea Creature Builds Its Body With a Whisper, Not a Scream

Building a body from scratch is a daunting task, one that requires careful coordination among all those involved. That’s why nature’s starting stuff — cells — have learned to be remarkably chatty to get the job done right. Decades of experiments on embryos from fish, frogs and mice have painted a general picture of the way […]

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