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Staff Writer

Roberta Kwok

Roberta Kwok's Articles

  • Ants on guard

    Tiny insects can take on big critters — from fly larvae to giraffes — in defense of their home, sweet home. And that home pays them back for this help.
  • True vampires

    Forget Count Dracula or Twilight’s Edward and Bella. Many creatures have a true thirst for blood, and here’s why.
  • Close cousins

    Studies of humans’ nearest living relatives — chimps and bonobos — reveal similarities and differences among them and us.
  • Alien carp leap onto the scene

    Last summer, Alison Coulter got a big surprise as she piloted a boat along the Wabash River in Indiana. Startled by her boat’s motor, a 60-centimeter (24-inch) carp leaped out of the river. In some cases, jumping Asian carp have broken a boater’s nose, jaw or arm.
  • Wanted: ‘Smart’ cleaners

    Cleaning is a lot of work. When you spill spaghetti sauce on a table, you have to wipe it up. When your clothes get dirty, you have to launder them. And when birds poop on your car, you have to scrub off the droppings.

    But what if these everyday things could clean or sanitize themselves? Imagine surfaces, paints and fabrics with special cleansers built right into them. A material with such additives could disinfect itself or remove its own stains.

    Some scientists are already creating such products. One team has concocted a special paint that could keep stains from sticking to cars. Another group has engineered cotton fabrics to break down dangerous chemicals. And other researchers are creating a coating to kill germs.

  • Monkeys’ mistake detector

    You’ve probably learned lessons by watching other people goof up. For example, if you saw another kid ride her bike too fast around a corner and fall down, you might ride your bike more slowly on that turn.

    “We humans are very sensitive to others’ mistakes,” Masaki Isoda of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan told Science News. And the same is true for other animals, his new data show.

From the SSP Newsroom

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