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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Why Wallabies Don't Pass Methane Gas
30 June 2011 2:00 pm
When cows digest food, they produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas, but when kangaroos chow down, their digestive tract is relatively methane-free. The difference comes down to one group of bacteria, new research suggests. Scientists studying wallabies, a smaller relative of kangaroos, isolated gut bacteria that they have now classified as Wallaby Group 1 (WG-1). When the researchers grew the bacteria in a nutrient broth, they found that the microbes produce a compound called succinate instead of methane as an end product of digestion. As succinate is not a greenhouse gas, the scientists hope that further studies on the WG-1 bacteria will help researchers find a way to modify livestock to produce less gas—methane gas, that is.
See more ScienceShots.