National Geographic : 2016 Feb
PHOTOS: ANAND VARMA, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE (TOP); REBECCA HALE, NGM STAFF Science EXPLORE BUBBLES TO THE RESCUE Walking with a filled-to-the-brim glass of water can be treacherous, but that same journey with a latte or beer is much easier. Scientists at Princeton University think they ’ve figured out why: Foam on the surface of a liquid hinders sloshing. To test the hypothesis, the researchers created bubble layers by injecting air into a water, glycerin, and dishwashing solution. When they moved containers full of the solution in ways that would normally cause spills—quickly side to side and steadily back and forth—the bubbles damped the sloshing. Because spilling is dangerous when transporting haz- ardous liquids such as oil, adding foam could make those trips safer. —LNS Vaccinations aren’t delivered only by doctors with syringes; they also can be passed from mother to young. This transfer was thought to be something only vertebrates could do, but scientists have discovered that some invertebrates, like honeybees, have the ability too. Dalial Freitak and Heli Salmela of the University of Helsinki and Gro Amdam of Arizona State University found that queen bees transfer pieces of disease- causing bacteria to offspring through vitellogenin, an egg yolk protein. The protein travels from the queen’s blood to a liverlike organ and then to her eggs. It’s consumed by the developing bees, imparting immunity against local illnesses. Knowing this could help scientists make a vaccine to protect bees against deadly diseases like American foulbrood, Freitak says. “It’s a cornerstone in discovering new functions of the immune system.” — Lindsay N. Smith Immunit y for Insects A honeybee pupa grows in its hive. In days it will emerge as an adult.