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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: Old Spiders Weave Messy Webs
1 July 2011 11:48 am
In humans, we associate getting older with cobwebs of the mind; in spiders, it's the cobwebs themselves that suffer. On Saturday, biologists will present research at the Society for Experimental Biology annual conference in Glasgow showing that as spiders age, they build shabbier, less perfect webs than they did in their youth. As a young creepy-crawly, the European house spider, Zygiella x-notata, weaves intricately patterned webs with regular spacing and exact angles, like this one in the left photo, built by a 17-day-old spider. The web in the right photo was built by a 188-days-old spider nearing the end of its life, and its web design is far more irregular and shows numerous gaps. Researchers suspect that, like in humans, the spider's central nervous system breaks down in old age. If that's the case, studying how these spiders' weaving skills deteriorate with age could help scientists learn more about aging's effect on human behavior, too.
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