Unintended consequences of beachgrass

A four-year study of one rare and one common lupine growing in coastal dunes showed that a native mouse steals most of the rare lupines seeds while they are still attached to the plant. The mouse is a “subsidized species,” given cover for nocturnal forays by European beachgrass, originally planted to stabilize the dunes.

Preventing lead spread

While lead pipes were banned decades ago, they still supply millions of American households with water each day. A team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a new way to track where dangerous lead particles might be transported in the drinking-water supply during a common abatement procedure.

Secrets of the shells

By growing phytoplankton called coccolithophores in the lab, scientists were able to understand the large biological overprint on the climate signal encoded by their remains, clearing the way for their use as climate proxies.

The power of tea

A team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis and their German collaborators say a compound found in green tea could have lifesaving potential for patients with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis, who face often-fatal medical complications associated with bone-marrow disorders.

Water world

A team of seismologists analyzing the data from 671 earthquakes that occurred between 30 and 280 miles beneath the Earth’s surface in the Pacific Plate as it descended into the Tonga Trench were surprised to find a zone of intense earthquake activity in the downgoing slab. The pattern of the activity along the slab provided strong evidence that the earthquakes are sparked by the release of water at depth.
Courtroom testimony

Misinformation may improve event recall, study finds

Research on eyewitness testimony has shown that false details put forth during an interrogation can lead some people to develop vivid memories of events that never happened. While this “false memory” phenomenon is alive and well, new research suggests that a bit of misinformation also has potential to improve our memories of past events — at least under certain circumstances.

The cost of braininess

Do big-brained creatures steal energy for them from other organs or eat more to supply this expensive tissue? New work in large-brained fish suggests skimping elsewhere is not enough to meet the energy demands of an extreme brain.
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