Tiny Cubesat Will Shine an Infrared ‘Flashlight’ Into the Moon’s Shadowed Craters, Searching for Water Ice

A tiny spacecraft is ready to head out for a big job: shining a light on water ice at the Moon’s south pole. Lunar Flashlight is a cubesat about the size of a briefcase, set to launch on December 1 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, sharing a ride with the Hakuto-R Mission to the … Read more

Tiny sea creature’s genes shed light on evolution of immunity

When compatible Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus colonies recognize each other as “self,” via Alr genes, they fuse together. Credit: Huene, AL et al., PNAS, 2022 How a tiny marine invertebrate distinguishes its own cells from competitors’ bears striking similarities to the human immune system, according to a new study led by the University of Pittsburgh School of … Read more

Scientists discover new kind of synapse in neurons’ tiny hairs

Cell (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2022.07.026″ width=”450″ height=”450″/> A model of the serotonergic axo-ciliary synapse. The serotonergic axon comes from the brainstem (blue) and contacts the primary cilia (yellow). Cilia-specific serotonin receptors constitute a distinct signaling pathway to the nucleus. Activation of this pathway modulates nuclear actin, increases histone acetylation and chromatin accessibility. Credit: Cell (2022). DOI: … Read more

The westward spread of zebra and quagga mussels shows how tiny invaders can cause big problems

NPS/Flickr” width=”800″ height=”394″/> A boat propeller encrusted with zebra mussels. Credit: NPS/Flickr The zebra mussel has been a poster child for invasive species ever since it is unleashed economic and ecological havoc on the Great Lakes in the late 1980s. Yet despite intensive efforts to control it and its relative, the quagga mussel, these fingernail-sized … Read more

Tiny limbs and long bodies: Coordinating lizard locomotion

Credit: Georgia Institute of Technology Snakes and lizards have distinct body movement patterns. Lizards bend from side to side as they retract their legs to walk or run. Snakes, on the other hand, slither and undulate, like a wave that travels down the body. However, there are species of lizards that have long, snakelike bodies, … Read more

Evolving to outpace climate change, tiny marine animal provides new evidence of long-theorized genetic mechanism

Several species of copepods and one ostracod are shown here. Credit: NOAA Some copepods, diminutive crustaceans with an outsized place in the aquatic food web, can evolve fast enough to survive in the face of rapid climate change, according to new research that addresses a longstanding question in the field of genetics. Barely more than … Read more

NASA’s tiny CAPSTONE cubesat launches on pioneering moon mission

NASA’s tiny CAPSTONE spacecraft has begun its long, history-making journey to the moon. The 55-pound (25 kilograms) cubesat launched today (June 28) atop a Rocket Lab Electron booster, which was lifted off from the company’s Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula of New Zealand at 5:55 am EDT (0955 GMT; 9:55 pm local time … Read more

Tiny and alternate houses can help ease Australia’s rental affordability crisis

Credit: Shutterstock Rental housing in Australia is less affordable than ever before. It is no exaggeration to call the situation a crisis, with vacancy rates at record lows. But there are some relatively affordable, easy-to-implement and cost-effective things that can be done to ease rentalability pressures. These include relaxing planning restrictions on small and non-traditional … Read more