New Scientist

First million-year-old DNA extracted from Siberian mammoth teeth

By Michael Marshall Mammoths once roamed SiberiaBeth Zaiken/Centre for PalaeogeneticsFor the first time, preserved DNA has been recovered from animal remains over a million years old. The DNA belonged to two mammoths that lived around 1.2 million years ago. The genetic sequences change our understanding of mammoth evolution. They reveal that, at that time, Siberia was…

Some frogs stop being able to jump if they become dehydrated

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre Great Basin spadefoot toad (Spea intermontana)All Canada Photos / Alamy When some frogs lose too much water, they also lose their ability to jump – more evidence of the problems they face with climate change. Dan Greenberg at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada and his colleague Wendy Palen experimented with three…

A tiny spider can spin different types of web for land, air and water

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre The Wendilgarda galapagensis spider sometimes spins a ‘water’ webDarko CotorasAn island spider decides which of its three kinds of webs to make depending on location and perhaps individual preferences. Spiders usually make only one kind of web, but the Wendilgarda galapagensis spider – which lives exclusively on Cocos island, about 550 km…

Exclusive: Two variants have merged into heavily mutated coronavirus

The UK and California variants of coronavirus appear to have combined into a heavily mutated hybrid, sparking concern that we may be entering a new phase of the covid-19 pandemic Health 16 February 2021 By Graham Lawton People get tested for covid-19 in Los AngelesXinhua/Shutterstock (11701695a)Two variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes covid-19 have…