Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Picture of the Day

Flies meet gruesome end under influence of puppeteer fungus

In their death throes, infected fruit flies -- like puppets on a string -- obligingly climb to a high point and spread their wings, exposing their abdomen and allowing a fungus to shoot its spores as widely as possible to infect new flies. When one scientist first saw dead fruit flies lying around a rotting organic watermelon in the summer of 2015, she suspected that she was seeing the effects of such a behavior-manipulating fungus. After days of early morning and late evening visits to the watermelon, she confirmed that a mind-control fungus was, in fact, infecting the flies; she quickly brought laboratory fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, home to get them infected as well. The fungus has been known for 160 years and is called Entomophthora muscae. The genus name means "destroyer of insects," and the behavior it induces is not unusual among fungi that infect insects. There are related fungi that invade ants, aphids, beetles and crickets and alter their behavior, including making them embark on a fatal climb to a high point from which fungal spores can be spread widely. The condition even has a name: summit disease.

Visit Website | Image credit: Carolyn Elya