Hannah Devlin, theguardian: Scientists have shown the urge to eat after smoking is caused by cannabinoids hijacking brain cells that normally suppress appetite. Caption: Research on the ‘munchies’ side-effect of smoking cannabis has helped scientists understand how the appetite centre of the brain responds to marijuana. Photograph: Alamy
Synapse in Brain Deep inside the brain, a neuron prepares to transmit a signal to its target. To capture that expectant, fleeting moment with painstaking detail, science illustrator Graham Johnson based his elegant, highly accurate drawing on ultra-thin micrographs of sequential brain slices. The brain contains billions of neurons, whose network of chemical messages form the basis of all thought, movement and behavior. Johnson's illustration tells the story of one such millisecond signal.
A stalk-eyed wasp, found in Colombia – and named after a cartoon character – is the very definition of rare, says Quentin Wheeler. Caption: Axima sidi, named after the bug-eyed sloth in Ice Age. Photograph: Courtesy Dr Lars Krogmann
By using optogenetics to trigger REM sleep in mice, a team of researchers from MIT has moved a step closer to being able to produce natural sleep patterns. In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers describe how they were able to trigger a p
Pterosaur hunting is illustrated. Credit: Illustration by MARK WITTON, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Portsmouth - Related: Tricky take-off kept pterodactyls grounded - http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-11/sovp-ttk102714.php
New research reveals the first experimental evidence that our solar system’s protoplanetary disk was shaped by an intense magnetic field that drove a massive amount of gas into the sun within just a few million years. Caption: Magnified image of the section of the Semarkona meteorite used in this study. Chondrules are millimeter sized, light-colored objects. Image: MIT Paleomagnetism Laboratory
Around 90 percent of these losses were from the 36 most common and widespread species, including house sparrows, skylarks, grey partridges and starlings. Credit: Tomas Belka, birdphoto.eu - Related: Study reveals startling decline in European birds - http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-11/uoe-srs103014.php