Crabs feel pain

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Crabs may feel and learn from painful experiences; Earth observation satellite Landsat 8 to be launched, continuing over 40 years of land use data; Looking for dark matter

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18 minutes

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Sat 19 Jan 2013 22:32 GMT

Crabs feel pain

Crabs feel pain
You cannot ask an animal if they feel pain.  Most people accept that higher animals, the vertebrates, feel pain in the same way as we do.  We all recognise when our cat or dog is hurt.  But what about invertebrates, like crustaceans, such as crabs, prawns or lobsters?  There has been a long belief that they only show a flinch reflex, or nociceptive response, to a painful stimulus.  But new research adds weight to the argument that crustaceans do feel pain like we do, because they can learn to avoid future painful experiences after being given an electric shock. (Photo: Professor Bob Elwood)

Landsat 8 Launch

Landsat 8 Launch

NASA's Earth Observation satellites have been monitoring land use changes on our home planet for over 40 years.  Beaming back images to a resolution of 30 metres, the Landsat satellites have shown the growth of cities, deforestation and even climate change effects over this time. The eighth satellite is about to be launched early next month and is eagerly awaited by scientists all over the world, not least because the incredibly useful information is free. (Photo: Mount Everest image taken from Landsat 7 / NASA/MCT via Getty Images)

Looking for dark matter

Looking for dark matter
Another Earth orbiting NASA satellite is in the news this week. This one looks out into space.  It houses the Fermi telescope, which has been scanning the whole cosmos since 2008, catching sight of the highest-energy light we know of - gamma rays.  These come from the most energetic and exotic corners of the Universe: supernova leftovers, the flashing neutron stars called pulsars, even the jets from black holes.  But this week, there's more hope that the Fermi telescope might be able to pin down one of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics: the mysterious stuff called dark matter. (Photo: Fermi 3-year all-sky map / NASA)
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