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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: Stolen Fungus Gene Turned Aphids Red
29 April 2010 2:00 pm
You are what you eat—or, at least, you may turn the same color as the things you eat. Flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp, and even humans can turn orange if we consume too many carrots or tomatoes. The agents responsible are pigments known as carotenoids, but scientists have now found that at least one animal doesn't need to eat them to change color. Instead, tiny insects called aphids picked up the genes needed to produce carotenoids from a fungus sometime during their evolutionary history. That makes aphids the first animal known to produce its own carotenoids, researchers report tomorrow in Science. The scientists remark that it is curious that other animals haven't acquired a means to produce carotenoids, given the many important functions they perform, such as strengthening the immune system.