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Biology


This is a fossil ptilodactyline beetle found in amber from Mexico. The black arrow points to pollinia attached to the beetle's mouthparts.
When most people hear the word "pollinator," they think of bees and butterflies. However, certain beetles are known to pollinate plants as well, and new fossil evidence indicates that they were doing so 20 million years ago.

Biology


Squinting won't help you spot the fish in this photo. These snub-nosed darts blend seamlessly into their watery surroundings with help from their silvery reflective skin.
In a matchup of animal superpowers, a clever form of camouflage might beat super sight -- at least in the ocean.

Molecular & Cell Biology


A single thymic epithelial cell (red) in contact with developing T cells (white).
Researchers at the universities of Basel and Oxford have for the first time identified all genes regulated by the protein Foxn1. The results show that Foxn1 not only plays a crucial role in development of the thymus in the embryo, but it also regulates vital functions in the developed, postnatal organ. The decryption of the protein's functions is important in the understanding and treatment of autoimmune diseases, vaccination responses in old age and defense against tumor cells. The study was published in the journal Nature Immunology.

Microbiology

Microsporidia cause diarrhea, an illness called microsporidiosis and even death in immune-compromised individuals.

Health & Medicine


The just-discovered disease is a rare and sometimes lethal inflammatory disease that causes fever, skin rashes, diarrhea and joint pain in young children.
National Institutes of Health researchers have discovered a rare and sometimes lethal inflammatory disease - otulipenia - that primarily affects young children. They have also identified anti-inflammatory treatments that ease some of the patients' symptoms: fever, skin rashes, diarrhea, joint pain and overall failure to grow or thrive.