Spider dance (Discover)
This is the male peacock spider, earning his name by doing his display dance.
Australian cats (Science)
Australia is a test lab for ecological mistakes, most famously the plague of rabbits introduåced from Europe. But they aren't the only invasive animals. Foxes and feral cats are hard on native Australian wildlife. Now, it turns out they may not be all bad, because they also go after rats, another big problem species. Islands that have cats or foxes as well as rats lose fewer species than ones that only have rats. It's not that the cats and foxes are a good idea, but you should go after the rats first.
Plasticity pill (Discover)
It's widely known that babies and young children learn much faster than older people and recover faster and more thoroughly from brain injuries. Biologists at Stanford have now created a strain of mice that keep this youthful advantage into adulthood. The catch is that the advantage comes from eliminating a protein used both in the brain and in the immune system. In the brain, it reduces plasticity; in the rest of the body, it tags infected cells for destruction. The trick would be to develop a method for regulating it independently in brain and body.
Prenatal words (Science News)
They recently established that babies learn to recognize the voices of family members (particularly Mom, of course) before they are even born. Now, it turns out they can even pick out particular words.