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Plankton species uses bioluminescence to scare off predators

Plankton species uses bioluminescence to scare off predators

Science
June 17 (UPI) -- At least one species of dinoflagellate plankton uses its bioluminescence for defensive purposes. Researchers determined the species Lingulodinium polyedra uses its glow-in-the-dark abilities to scare off copepod grazers, the species' primary predator. According to the new study -- published this week in the journal Current Biology -- the bioluminescent cells sense low concentrations of copepodamides, polar lipids emitted by copepod grazers, a group of small crustaceans. "This in turn helps to better protect them from their grazers, letting them survive longer to reproduce and therefore compete better within the plankton," Andrew Prevett of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said in a news release. Researchers used low-light, high-speed cameras to observe the behavior...
Apollo 11 at 50: Mission’s scientific legacy was just getting to the moon

Apollo 11 at 50: Mission’s scientific legacy was just getting to the moon

Science
June 17 (UPI) -- In 1961, when President John F. Kennedy called on the United States to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, he wasn't inspired by a curiosity about the moon's formation. Kennedy felt the intense pressure of the Cold War, and in the wake of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human in space, Kennedy called on the United States to "catch up to and overtake" the Soviet Union in the so-called space race. "This was war by another means," Roger Launius, former chief historian of NASA, told UPI. Today, dozens of scientific experiments regularly travel to and from the International Space Station, and each new NASA mission features an array of scientific instruments and objectives. But during the early 1960s, NASA wasn't sure if space exploration beyond n...
Hubble image showcases supernovae-filled spiral galaxy

Hubble image showcases supernovae-filled spiral galaxy

Science
June 14 (UPI) -- The picture perfect spiral galaxy NGC 4051, positioned in the constellation of Ursa Major, is speckled with the bright flashes of dying stars. The plethora of supernovae scattered throughout the arms of the spiral galaxy make NGC 4051 an ideal portrait subject for the Hubble Space Telescope. On Friday, NASA shared NGC 4051's latest head shot. "When massive stars die at the end of their short lives, they light up the cosmos with bright, explosive bursts of light and material known as supernovae," NASA reported. "A supernova event is incredibly energetic and intensely luminous -- so much so that it forms what looks like an especially bright new star that slowly fades away over time." Astronomers first spotted a supernova originating from NGC 4051 in 1983. Scientists observ...
Pope warns oil bosses of climate threat

Pope warns oil bosses of climate threat

Science
The Pope has told oil company bosses that climate change threatens the future of the "human family". The oil executives had been invited to the Vatican in Rome for an audience with the pontiff.Pope Francis said a radical energy transition is needed to save what he called "our common home".The head of BP agreed that the world must find urgent solutions to environmental problems - but said all must play a part.The Pope warned him and other bosses: "Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation."The oil bosses were brought to the Vatican alongside fund managers who invest in their stocks.The companies represented were believed to include Eni, Exxon, Total, Repsol, BP, Sinopec, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, and Chevron.Pope urges acti...
More than 260 dead dolphins found on Gulf Coast since February

More than 260 dead dolphins found on Gulf Coast since February

Science
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are investigating why bottlenose dolphins are stranding themselves at an unusually high rate in the Northern Gulf of Mexico this year Excessive freshwater in the gulf from the Mississippi River flooding could be to blame. More than 260 dolphins have stranded themselves across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle since the beginning of February, which is approximately three-times higher than the historical average, NOAA said. A Mississippi scientist said the spillway opening is at least partly to blame for 126 dolphin deaths across Mississippi's coastline, CBS News reports. These strandings prompted the declaration of an unusual mortality event. or UME. Unusual mortality events are defined as "a stra...