Every Friday at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! our contributors pass around links to new scientific results, or science-y news, or videos of adorable wildlife, that they’re most likely to bring up while waiting in line for a latte.
From CJ: A new kind of DNA is found in short, circular snippets.
Professor Anindya Dutta and colleagues pruified DNA taken from samples of mouse brain tissue and then digested away the linear DNA (which consists of millions of base pairs) to leave only circular DNA pieces, which they then sequenced using ultra-high-throughput sequencing. Circles were identified by a new bioinformatics program. [Link sic.]
From Sarah: Parasitic wasps help two species of weevil to coexist.
Without the ever-present effects of a predator [the wasp], one of the two weevil species would die off within 20 weeks, the researchers found. If they introduced the predator wasp into the lab ecosystem, all three would survive for 118 weeks (the length of the study — that’s two years, three months and two weeks).
And, from Jeremy: A behavioral biologist explains her study of ground squirrels’ methods for scaring off rattlesnakes—using a robot squirrel.