Farmland would seem to be a bad neighborhood for forest-dwelling birds, because nest predators easily infiltrate scraps of forest that border fields. And yet, these woody strips may actually be safer than thick forests for many songbirds.
Plants shuttle their nutrients and messenger molecules through a vast network of pipes, called the phloem. Because this highway system has narrow onramps, biologists had expected the traffic to be limited to small and simple signaling molecules.
The man who masterminded the Soviet Union's early triumphs in military and civilian rocketry was born today in 1906. Sergei Korolyov launched his first liquid-fueled rocket in 1933 and helped develop the world's first two-stage rocket in the 1940s.
The El Niño of 1997 hit many regions hard--toasting Texas, practically drowning parts of California, and burying much of New England under a fierce ice storm. But the pernicious weather phenomenon also had a much more pervasive, if easily overlooked, impact.
On this day in 1944, chemist Lewis Hastings Sarett succeeded in a 2-year quest to synthesize the hormone cortisone, a potent anti-inflammatory. Born in 1917, Sarett joined Merck Research Laboratories in Rahway, New Jersey, in 1942.
In ancient Greece, immortality was the province of gods who spun the length of each lifetime. The myth has a kernel of truth, because the ends of chromosomes are protected by specialized stretches of DNA called telomeres.
While Christians celebrate Christmas for a particular birth almost 2000 years ago, scientists have two other anniversaries to honor: English physicist James Prescott Joule was born on Christmas Eve in 1818, and Isaac Newton (left) arrived in the world on 25 December 1642.