Victor Huertas and David Bellwood

Scientists have figured out how one of the world's few coral-eating fish is able to withstand the venomous sting of sharp coral as it feeds: they lubricate their lips with mucous in order to quickly touch the coral and form a suction to remove the flesh. The finding helps ecologists to better understand how fish feeding can affect a reef.

How it works: Using scanning electron microscopy, researchers found the lips of the aptly-named tubelip wrasse are covered in thin mucous-producing membranes similar to the gills of a mushroom. In the fraction of a second the fish feeds, it doesn't latch on to the coral but seals its mouth over it and sucks up the coral's mucous.

"To our knowledge, this type of lip has never been recorded before," James Cook University marine biologist David Bellwood told Reuters.

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Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech CEOs

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The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to authorize subpoenas compelling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify before the panel.

Why it matters: The tech giants are yet again facing a potential grilling on Capitol Hill sometime before the end of the year, at a time when tech is being used as a punching bag from both the left and right.

Trump administration cuts refugee cap to new record low

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The Trump administration plans to only admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees this fiscal year, the State Department said in a release late Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: This is yet another record-low refugee cap. Before leaving office, President Obama set the refugee limit at 110,000 for fiscal year 2017 — a number Trump has continued to slash throughout his presidency.