New tardigrade species withstands lethal UV radiation thanks to fluorescent 'shield'

Another amazing tardigrade survival skill is discovered.

Credit: Suma et al., Biology Letters (2020)
  • Apparently, some water bears can even beat extreme UV light.
  • It may be an adaptation to the summer heat in India.
  • Special under-skin pigments neutralize harmful rays.
Keep reading Show less

Earth’s first lifeforms breathed arsenic, not oxygen

The microbes that eventually produced the planet's oxygen had to breathe something, after all.

Credit: BRONWYN GUDGEON/Shutterstock
  • We owe the Earth's oxygen to ancient microbes that photosynthesized and released it into the world's oceans.
  • A long-standing question has been: Before oxygen, what did they breathe?
  • The discovery of microbes living in a hostile early-Earth-like environment may provide the answer.
Keep reading Show less

Meet antivitamins. They may replace your antibiotics one day

German researchers have just solved the mystery of how these substances work.

  • As pathogens' resistance grows, scientists are searching for a class of drugs that could replace antibiotics.
  • Antivitamins that switch off vitamins in bacteria are being investigated.
  • Scientists have been struggling to understand how naturally occurring antivitamins do what they do.

Keep reading Show less

Man whose stomach brewed beer is cured—by a poop transplant​

The human body is endlessly fascinating.

Photo: Chris Howey / Shutterstock
  • Last year, it was reported that a Belgian man arrested for drunk driving brewed the alcohol in his own gut.
  • The disorder, auto-brewery syndrome, occurred after he took a round of antibiotics.
  • He was cured after a fecal donation from his daughter.
Keep reading Show less

Ask a Chemist: How does handwashing kill coronavirus?

The physical action of handwashing plus the properties of soap is a one-two punch for the virus.

  • A common recommendation from experts to help protect against coronavirus is to wash your hands often, but why? It turns out that each time you do it is an effective two-pronged attack.
  • As Kate the Chemist explains, the virus has a weak outer membrane. By using the proper handwashing technique, you're actually breaking through that membrane and ripping the virus apart.
  • Soap is an important part of the equation because of its two sides: the hydrophobic side (which grabs onto the virus), and the hydrophilic side (which grabs onto the water). Washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds allows the virus to be rinsed away.

Keep reading Show less
Quantcast