Top stories Superblack spiders the wood wide web and an antivenom funding

first_img(left to right): JURGEN OTTO; KABIR GABRIEL PEAY; REPTILES4ALL/SHUTTERSTOCK Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The ‘superblack’ patches on these spiders make their other colors glowMale peacock spiders attract mates through elaborate dances that show off their brilliant colors. The key to those vibrant hues appears to be so-called “superblack” patches on the arachnid’s abdomen. Using an electron microscope and hyperspectral imaging, scientists found that the patches are made up of an array of small, tightly packed bumps called microlenses. These microlenses reflect less than 0.5% of light, thus eliminating any highlights in the black and making the other nearby colors appear far brighter—even glowing.‘Wood wide web’—the underground network of microbes that connects trees—mapped for first time Trees, from the mighty redwoods to slender dogwoods, would be nothing without their microbial sidekicks. Millions of species of fungi and bacteria swap nutrients between soil and the roots of trees, forming a vast, interconnected web of organisms throughout the woods. Now, for the first time, scientists have mapped this “wood wide web” on a global scale, using a database of more than 28,000 tree species living in more than 70 countries.Snakebites, a globally neglected killer, get a ‘transformational’ injection of research fundsSnakebites kill as many as 138,000 people a year, mostly among the rural poor in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Another 400,000 victims suffer major disabilities such as amputation. Yet funders, more interested in infectious diseases that can be prevented and eradicated, have largely stayed away. That is now changing. This week, the Wellcome Trust charity in London announced an £80 million, 7-year research program to improve antivenoms and search for new treatments—a major influx of money in a small field.The world needs to get serious about managing sand, U.N. report saysOur reliance on sand is staggering—by volume, the amount we use is second only to water. As a key component of cement, asphalt, and glass, sand is integral to our phones, schools, hospitals, and roads. But our insatiable demand for sand now poses “one of the major sustainability challenges of the 21st century,” and meeting it will require “improved governance of global sand resources,” concludes a United Nations report released this month.Citizen sleuths exposed pollution from a century-old Michigan factory, with nationwide implicationsIn 2010, citizens in Rockford, Michigan, started to uncover evidence that a shuttered tannery owned by bootmaker Wolverine Worldwide had contaminated large swaths of land and water with “forever chemicals” linked to a wide array of health problems, known as a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The citizen sleuthing helped trigger a statewide survey of PFAS contamination and spurred hundreds of lawsuits. It has also made Michigan a closely watched battleground in a rapidly expanding scientific, political, and legal dispute over the threat PFASs may pose to millions of people in the United States. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Alex FoxMay. 17, 2019 , 4:25 PM Top stories: Superblack spiders, the ‘wood wide web,’ and an antivenom funding infusion Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emaillast_img

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