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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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ScienceShot: Warmer Eggs, Better Ducks
23 August 2011 7:02 pm
All that time ducks spend sitting on their nests pays off, and not just by protecting their eggs from hungry foxes. The warmer a duck egg stays, the stronger the immune system of the duckling that hatches, according to a new study. Researchers incubated the eggs of wood ducks (Aix sponsa) at 35˚, 35.9˚, and 37˚C, temperatures within the normal range for eggs in the wild. When the eggs hatched, the scientists challenged the immune system of each duckling by injecting it with foreign cells. The birds that had been incubated at the lowest temperature had the least swelling at the injection site and the fewest antibodies in their blood. That indicates that their bodies were not as robustly attacking the foreign cells, the team reports today in Biology Letters. In the wild, ducklings are exposed to pathogens and parasites as soon as they hatch, and small differences in immune function could determine whether the hatchling survives or not.
See more ScienceShots.