This Week

Forgotten But Not Gone

Forgotten But Not Gone
Languages heard early in life are inscribed on the brain, even when they aren't remembered.  A new Canadian study looked at brain activity of children, adopted into new countries after their first year of life - specifically, children adopted from China as babies into families that don't speak Chinese. And the results show that their brains respond to their birth-language, even though they have no recollection of it.  

Plus - what is turning the lakes of Ontario into jelly? And what is killing the sea stars off the coast of BC?

Quirks & Quarks for Nov. 22, 2014

Quirks & Quarks for Nov. 22, 2014
download_blue.jpg This week, we find out how lakes are turning to jelly; how the brain can remember a forgotten language; what's killing sea stars; how the forests may be saved by GMO trees; why butterflies have spots; and we get a new appreciation of the extinct dodo

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Lakes Turning to Jelly

Lakes Turning to Jelly
download_blue.jpgAcid rain has depleted calcium in lakes, leading to an overpopulation of jelly-coated organisms.

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The Brain Remembers Forgotten Language

The Brain Remembers Forgotten Language
download_blue.jpgThe brains of infants, who were adopted and raised without exposure to their birth language, still recognize it.

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Sea Star Virus Identified

Sea Star Virus Identified
download_blue.jpgA mystery ailment that has been killing Pacific coast sea stars turns out to be a virus, but why it is so lethal is still mysterious.

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Genetically Modified Chestnuts

Genetically Modified Chestnuts
download_blue.jpgA new GMO strain of the American Chestnut, which was wiped out by a fungal blight in the 20th century, might enable its return to the  forest.

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Butterfly's Eyespots Are Targets

Butterfly's Eyespots Are Targets
download_blue.jpgInsect eyespots serve not only to fool animals into thinking a large animal is there, but also as bulls-eyes to displace attacks.

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The Dodo Was No Dodo

The Dodo Was No Dodo
download_blue.jpg3D scanning of the rare remains of the extinct dodo suggests they weren't clumsy or awkward, but lean and fast.

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Quirks & Quarks for Nov. 15, 2014

Quirks & Quarks for Nov. 15, 2014
download_blue.jpg This week, we find out: how to tame a wild-cat; why ants do it inter-specifically; how duck bills ran the distance; how stars hide in the dark; the relationship between birds and music; and it's na-na-na-na na-na-na-na Bat-Jam! 

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The Taming of the Cat

The Taming of the Cat
download_blue.jpgGenetics suggests that cats were tamed by bravery and bribes.

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Ant Queen Wins Sperm Battle

Ant Queen Wins Sperm Battle
download_blue.jpgInter-species ant mating produces sterile workers for the colony.

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