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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: How Starfish Sweat
29 May 2013 6:00 pm
Dogs pant. Humans sweat. But how do starfish keep from overheating? At the hub of a sea creature's five arms (or more, in some species) is the central disk, which holds the animal's heart, stomach, and central nervous system. If this disk's temperature rises above 35°C (such as at low tide, when the animal may be isolated from cool ocean water) the starfish dies. To figure out how the animal stays cool, scientists collected 70 ochre starfish ( Pisaster ochraceus) from the California coast and placed them under heat lamps to simulate potentially lethal low tide heat exposure, at temperatures ranging from 26°C to 42° C. About one-third of the starfish died when their central disk temperatures reached 35°C, the team reports online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology. Researchers found that the arms of surviving starfish were a few degrees warmer than the disk, as warm as 39°, suggesting that the animals shunted heat into their extremities. The strategy is not without a cost, however. In the days following the experiment, 16 of the surviving starfish severed their own heat-damaged arms, which are costly to regrow.
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