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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
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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...
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...
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ScienceShot: Snails on Speed
27 May 2010 7:01 pm
Talk about an oxymoron: A snail on speed. No, researchers weren't trying to make the gastropods slide faster—they were trying to improve their memories. When the great pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) wades into water low in oxygen, it extends a special breathing tube to the surface. A team of researchers trained snails not to do this by repeatedly poking at their breathing tubes when the snails tried to extend them. Two days later, the team again placed the snails in low-oxygen water. The snails trained in normal water had already forgotten their training, and they extended their breathing tubes twice as often as snails trained in methamphetamine-laced water, the researchers report tomorrow in The Journal of Experimental Biology. The results suggest that meth improves memory, something that has been previously observed in creatures with large, complex brains like rats and humans. But since the snails store their memories in a simple, three-neuron network, the team hopes that studying the meth effect in these gastropods will help pinpoint how the drug's memory magnification powers work.
See more ScienceShots.