Color

In Sports, Red Is Winning Color, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 18, 2005   View Article

Note to sportswear shops: stock up on red.

When opponents of a game are equally matched, the team dressed in red is more likely to win, according to a new study.

British anthropologists Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham reached that conclusion by studying the outcomes of one-on-one boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman-wresting, and freestyle-wrestling matches at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Glowing Coral Proteins Aid Medical Research

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 12, 2005   View Article

Tiny proteins that give coral reefs a mysterious glow may be key to keeping coral species alive, according to scientists. Those same proteins, they say, may also help blaze trails to new health cures.

Known as fluorescent protein, the molecules absorb light of one color and emit light of a different color. Scientists are uncertain as to why the proteins do this. But researchers believe the proteins may either help in the production of food or serve as a sunscreen.

Bejeweled Beetle May Inspire Synthetic Gem

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 12, 2004   View Article

The study of a weevil with an opal-like shell from the dimly-lit tropical forests of northeastern Queensland, Australia, may enable humans to more easily manufacture synthetic versions of the gem.

Understanding how the beetle manufactures the tiny structures in its scales may benefit jewelers seeking a less expensive opal and the computer and telecommunications industries seeking to manufacture tiny electronics.

Frog Discovery is “Once in a Century”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 15, 2003   View Article

A frog species whose ancestors evolved in the shadow of dinosaurs has been discovered burrowing into the remote mountains of southern India, a pair of biologists report in the October 16 issue of Nature.

The blackish-purple living fossil looks like a bloated doughnut with stubby legs and a pointy snout. Its closest relatives hang out in the Seychelles, a group of islands 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) away.

Are Flashy Male Birds Threats to Their Own Species?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 8, 2003   View Article

For bird species whose males and females differ in color, guys with the brightest feathers tend to have the greatest lady luck. This natural mating game however puts entire local populations at risk of dying out, according to a new study.

The finding confirms the idea that the extraordinary lengths an animal will go to woo a mate, such as the peacock who spends time and energy to maintain his extravagant tail feathers, comes at a price in terms of survival.

Brittle Star Found Covered With Optically Advanced “Eyes”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 22, 2001   View Article

In a clever twist of nature, the sea has eyes in its stars.

Scientists have discovered a species of brittle star whose outer skeleton is covered with crystalline lenses that appear to work collectively as an all-seeing eye.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach