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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: A Butterfly's Secret to Long Life
10 January 2013 3:10 pm
Live fast, die young. That seems to be the mantra of the animal kingdom. The more energy a creature burns, the more free radicals and other unstable, cell-damaging molecules its body produces—and in some cases, too many of these can shorten lifespans. But the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) doesn't seem to have gotten the memo. When researchers measured the metabolic rates of this intricately patterned insect, they found that butterflies that expended the most energy during flight also lived the longest, whether they were lab-bound or released to island meadows in Finland. The findings suggest that the connection between oxidative stress—the long-term buildup of free radicals and similar detrimental molecules—and lifespan may be more complicated than previously thought. The ability to fly in top gear might indicate that a butterfly is naturally in better shape—whether through access to more-nutritious food or individual genetics—to override high metabolism's harmful side effects, the researchers reported online last month in The Journal of Experimental Biology. But they also wonder whether butterflies adapted to high-powered flight might have evolved ways to protect themselves from their own high-speed metabolisms.
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