A few ancient stones with a spider web pattern on them have been found among hundreds depicting the sun on an island in Denmark, raising questions about the sun-worshiping people who lived there 5,000 years ago. In addition, archaeologists were surprised to find a piece of copper at the site since the community was not believed to have had access to metals at that time.
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Bedbugs can leave behind histamine that can trigger allergies long after the insects themselves have been eradicated, a study published in PLOS ONE suggests. Histamine from the bedbugs' excrement was detected in dust from apartments that had been cleared of the bugs.
Researchers have compared the genomes of German cockroaches and drywood termites, looking for information about how sociality evolved in the creatures. The study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, charts the evolutionary changes that took place to make the lifestyles of termites and cockroaches so different, even though termites sprang from cockroaches around 150 million years ago.
Flattie spiders can quickly grab prey with their super-fast spin, the fastest such maneuver by any land animal, and researchers have captured the move on slow-motion cameras. The spiders pivot on the leg closest to their prey, moving rapidly to lunge at the prey mouth first, according to findings published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
The next payload for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket will be the ultra-precise Deep Space Atomic Clock, according to Jet Propulsion Laboratory officials. The clock, which will be launched sometime in June, is expected to help spacecraft in deep space make precise calculations for course corrections.
A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found no significant link between prenatal ultrasound and autism. Researchers looked at records of ultrasounds performed during the first and second trimesters of over 400 children born at Boston Medical Center.
Numerous studies are underway to determine how gene therapy and the use of gene-editing tools can possibly cure HIV by using altered cells to decimate the virus and reduce the number of cells in reservoirs where HIV stays hidden in a dormant state. One such study is being conducted by Dr. John Zaia of City of Hope research center in California, which tweaks blood stem cells to disable a gene to allow the cells to resist HIV.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the NIH have awarded a total of $4.6 million in grants to Inovio Pharmaceuticals for its work with Philadelphia's Wistar Institute on vaccines for tuberculosis and malaria. The Gates Foundation is funding the malaria research while the NIH is funding the tuberculosis study.
The Universities UK International Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner initiative has awarded a $208,000 grant to Scotland's Dundee University to bring researchers from Australia to help with research on cereals. The program aims to create better ties with Australia while strengthening the university's prominence in the research field of cereals, particularly barley.
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