Science News Archive - April 18, 2009

The Chesapeake Bay's female blue crab population doubled in the last year, say Maryland and Virginia officials working to halt steep declines in harvests. The increase was credited to catch restrictions aimed at preserving females so they can live to produce future generations, The Sun newspaper in Baltimore reported Saturday. Overall, the Bay's blue crab numbers increased from an estimated 280 million in 2007-2008 to more than 418 million in 2008-2009, with the number of baby crabs holding steady at 175 million, said John Griffin, secretary of Maryland's Department of Natural Resources. It's a great first step in terms of rebuilding the crab population, Griffin said, adding It's just the first step, not the last.

Nations with ties to Antarctica have agreed to limit tourism, say scientists and diplomats working together to protect the fragile ecosystem. The restrictions would require member countries of the Antarctic Treaty to prevent ships with more than 500 passengers from landing in Antarctica and to allow


The U.S. National Institutes of Health released new stem cell guidelines on Friday that would limit federal funding of the research to embryos left over at fertility clinics and prohibit federal funding of embryos made by cloning or certain other methods,


New research from Duke University suggests a reversal in the order in which two four-limbed creatures transitioned from water to land.


According to a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers have found the structure of a key genetic mechanism in bacteria, which may allow them to design a new type of antibiotic.

Word of the Day
  • The horn of a unicorn considered as a medical or pharmacological ingredient.
  • A winged horse with a single horn on its head; a winged unicorn.
The word 'alicorn' comes from Italian alicorno, already associated with unicorns and reinterpreted, popularized by Bearing an Hourglass (1984) and other fantasy novels by Piers Anthony.