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Life & Evolution

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GM mosquitoes

Immature GM mosquitoes being raised in the lab. Adults from such breeding programs were released into the wild. They helped cut the rate of dengue fever in one Brazilian community.

valerian

Male valerian plants growing at 3,790 meters (12,434 feet). These males have moved to higher elevations in response to hotter, drier weather. That has caused the ratio of males to females to climb over the last 40 years. 

frigate flyer

Frigate birds, even young ones like this one, ride air currents over the ocean to stay in flight for months.

Life & Evolution

Life trapped under a glacier

Iron in water seeping from an underground ecosystem takes on a rusty color as it is exposed to air. Surprisingly hearty life forms use iron and sulfates, instead of oxygen, to live in their long-isolated, dark and salty home.

Iron in water seeping from an underground ecosystem takes on a rusty color as it is exposed to air. Surprisingly hearty life forms use iron and sulfates, instead of oxygen, to live in their long-isolated, dark and salty home.

A 'book' on every living thing

Fish that weigh more than a refrigerator. Fish with glowing slime. Fish that look like cows—or at least did to the folks who named them cowfish (and these creatures do have long faces).

Some very odd creatures swim through the world's waters. Now, getting to know them is about to get easier. Beginning last week, a new Web site went live. Called the Encyclopedia of Life (www.eol.org), this online book of life will offer basic facts on about 30,000 species—or kinds—of fish. That's every type known.

What Comets Are Made Of

Astronomers are watching a comet break into pieces, practically before their eyes. Their observations, reported by scientists at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., are giving surprising insight into the structure of these space objects.

Comets are fairly small (about 12 miles across or less) balls of ice, rock, and dust that make long, noncircular orbits around the sun. When a comet gets near the sun, the star's heat melts some of it, creating what looks like a tail. At this stage, it looks somewhat like a tadpole.

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