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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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ScienceShot: Cockroaches Prefer Right Turns
10 December 2010 2:37 pm
When a cockroach scuttles into a dark corner as we flip on the kitchen light, we feel revulsion, not kinship. But a new study reveals that most humans share a basic trait with Kafka's creepy creatures: right-handedness. Researchers released roaches into a Y-shaped tube, where scents of vanilla or ethanol enticed the insects to venture past the tube's splitting point. The researchers then recorded which direction the bugs turned. Cockroaches with intact antennae preferred the tube's right fork 57% of the time. This right-side bias persisted even after the scientists chopped off one of the bugs' sensitive antennae, used to sense touch and smells. The finding, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Insect Behavior, adds to a growing body of evidence that even the tiniest brains show side-preference. The insight could aid bioengineers who hope to control cockroaches for search and rescue missions or pest control.
See more ScienceShots.