Scientists have engineered a bacterium that can take carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into fuel in a single enzymatic step.
The process draws on sunlight to produce methane and hydrogen inside the bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris, in essence reversing combustion. These engineered bacteria could guide scientists toward better carbon-neutral biofuels.
Growing demand for rechargeable lithium batteries used in consumer electronics and electric vehicles is driving efforts to expand battery recycling, primarily to recover lithium, cobalt, and other valuable metals.
Burning forests to make way for plantations to support the world’s insatiable demand for palm oil is one of the main causes of the astonishing decline in numbers of this species
Related: Logging roads can rob forest soil of water
Related: Stopping deforestation will not end tropical species losses
While researching lions in Zambia, biologist Thandiwe Mweetwa noticed that lionesses within a pride will all have cubs around the same time.
When she looked into it further, Mweetwa learned lionesses sync their fertility cycles so that they can all raise their young together.
A team of researchers with members from France, Hungary and Madagascar has found that a type of carp bred to have fewer scales and subsequently released into the wild in Madagascar a century ago has devolved to get its scales back. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes how they collected large numbers of specimens to study their scales and to look at their DNA and what they found.
When commercial fishers set off to trap blue crabs, they bring along buckets of small, frozen baitfish such as menhaden. They stuff the fish into the traps and lower them into the sea. The stinky, slowly rotting fish carcasses decay underwater, temping the prized crabs to crawl inside the traps.
It can be lonely at the top. Snub-nosed monkeys live at a higher altitude than any other non-human primate – but they are also among the rarest of all primates.
Related: Extreme bees live on edge of active volcano
What an awakening. A man has been roused from a minimally conscious state by stimulating his brain with ultrasound.
The 25-year-old man, who had suffered a severe brain injury after a road traffic accident, progressed from having only a fleeting awareness of the outside world to being able to answer questions and attempt to walk.
Bacteria that respond to magnetic fields and low oxygen levels may soon join the fight against cancer. Researchers in Canada have done experiments that show how magneto-aerotactic bacteria can be used to deliver drugs to hard-to-reach parts of tumours.
A man has used thought alone to control nanorobots inside a living creature for the first time. The technology released a drug inside cockroaches in response to the man’s brain activity – a technique that may be useful for treating brain disorders such as schizophrenia and ADHD.
A rubbery little “octobot” is the first robot made completely from soft parts, according to a new study. The tiny, squishy guy also doesn’t need batteries or wires of any kind, and runs on a liquid fuel.
Related: Natural scale caterpillar soft robot is powered and controlled with light
A robot tattooist might have steadier “hands” than its human counterpart, but how do you know it’s not going to accidentally tattoo you all the way down to the bone? That’s all I could think of watching this video of what’s been billed as the “world’s first tattoo by an industrial robot.”
Mushrooms can be magical and functional. Now, the fungus is being grown and modified as a leather substitute. Instead of cowhide, lambskin or snakeskin, the latest addition to your wardrobe may be made of mushroom leather.
Can the woolly mammoth be brought back from the dead? Scientists say it’s only a matter of time. A conservation ecologist and colleagues have examined ecologically responsible de-extinction, and what it means for science.
Is cheating at the Olympic Games a symptom of modernity? Do recent scandals involving athletes signal the decline of the Olympic idea?
Related: Ancient Greece’s restored tower of winds keeps its secrets
Scientists once thought spherical stones found in South Africa were used as tools, but now there’s evidence they were actually weapons for defense and hunting.
Related: Is It Neander-TAL or Neander-THAL?
Sensational’ discovery in Denisova Cave is at least 50,000 years old BUT it wasn’t made by Homo sapiens.
The 7 centimetre (2 3/4 inch) needle was made and used by our long extinct Denisovan ancestors, a recently-discovered hominin species or subspecies.
Alt: 50,000-Year-Old Needle Found in Siberian Cave AND It Was Not Made by Homo Sapiens