We collect latest biology news in the world. The news is refreshed every hour.
- Singing sexy back: How sparrows adapted to COVID-19 shutdown on September 24, 2020 at 8:56 pm
As the streets of San Francisco emptied out in the first months of the pandemic, the city's male birds began singing more softly and improving their vocal range, making them "sexier" to females, according to a new study published Thursday.
- Scientists discover a natural food pigment that can distinguish between living and dead cells in cell cultures on September 24, 2020 at 8:48 pm
Conducting studies in vitro—a Latin term that literally means "in the glass"—is essential in the fields of medicine and biology. Working with in vitro cultures is a relatively cost-effective and easily repeatable way of gaining insight into the interactions between cells or microorganisms and specific chemical compounds, such as drugs, nutrients, and toxins. However, to properly assess the toxicity of a compound, a reliable and efficient way to distinguish live cells from cells killed due to toxicity is necessary.
- Tracking shape changes in Amazon fish after major river is dammed on September 24, 2020 at 8:48 pm
A team of biologists led by Craig Albertson and Ph.D. student Chaise Gilbert at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report this week on their comparison between museum collections of cichlid fishes collected before a dam was closed in 1984 on the Tocantins River in the Amazon and contemporary specimens taken from the Tucuruí Reservoir by fishermen 34 years later.
- New nemertean species found in Panama represents the first of its genus from the Caribbean on September 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm
As Natsumi Hookabe snorkeled around Panama's Bocas del Toro archipelago, during the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Training in Tropical Taxonomy program, she encountered an unusual ribbon worm or nemertean: large and dark colored, with numerous pale spots. It was her first field trip outside of Japan, so she wondered if it was a rare species or just one that she had never seen before.
- Researchers demonstrate how deep learning can advance study of neural degeneration on September 24, 2020 at 8:06 pm
Researchers from North Carolina State University have demonstrated the utility of artificial intelligence (AI) in identifying and categorizing neural degeneration in the model organism C. elegans. The tool uses deep learning, a form of AI, and should facilitate and expedite research into neural degeneration.
- Secondary variant of Photorhabdus luminescens interacts with plant roots on September 24, 2020 at 8:02 pm
One of the basic approaches in organic farming is to use organisms beneficial to the system to combat pests. The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens is one such beneficial organism. In the case of insect larvae infestation, the bacterium produces a variety of different toxins which quickly kill the larvae. Yet, it seems this is not the only ability of Photorhabdus that can be exploited for organic plant cultivation. A research team led by Professor Ralf Heermann at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has discovered additional properties that could significantly extend its range of uses. "We have identified a new form of the bacterium that was previously unknown," Heermann pointed out. This has a direct relationship with the roots of plants. The researchers think that here it promotes plant growth primarily by releasing substances which combat plant-damaging fungi.
- Finding the Achilles' heel of a killer parasite on September 24, 2020 at 7:58 pm
Two studies led by UT Southwestern researchers shed light on the biology and potential vulnerabilities of schistosomes—parasitic flatworms that cause the little-known tropical disease schistosomiasis. The findings, published online today in Science, could change the course of this disease that kills up to 250,000 people a year.
- Experts lead research into impact of climate change on rainforest elephants on September 24, 2020 at 7:55 pm
Experts from the University of Stirling, working closely with the Government of Gabon, have led an international study into the impact of climate change on Central Africa's rainforests and the threat posed to elephant populations in the region.
- Mystery of giant proton pump solved on September 24, 2020 at 7:54 pm
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, generating energy that supports life. A giant molecular proton pump, called complex I, is crucial: It sets in motion a chain of reactions, creating a proton gradient that powers the generation of ATP, the cell's fuel. Despite complex I's central role, the mechanism by which it transports protons across the membrane has so far been unknown. Now, Leonid Sazanov and his group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have solved the mystery of how complex I works: Conformational changes in the protein combined with electrostatic waves move protons into the mitochondrial matrix. This is the result of a study published today in Science.
- It's a boy: Tahlequah's baby orca is frolicking, healthy on September 24, 2020 at 4:50 pm
Tahlequah's new calf is a male, the Center for Whale Research has confirmed.
- We won't beat Covid by channelling Churchill | Letters by Letters on September 24, 2020 at 4:49 pm
Boris Johnson’s Churchillian language does not impress Richard Teverson, while Katherine Arnott dismisses the prime minister’s appeal to people’s common sense. Plus letters from Patrick Cosgrove and David Boyd HaycockI, like so many others, am slack-jawed at the incompetence of this government’s response to Covid. Our death rate is terrible and the continued mixed messages from “go to work as you are less likely to be sacked if you are in the office/don’t go to work” and “eat out to help out/don’t eat out, certainly not after 10pm” have exhausted the public and make compliance more unlikely.And now Boris Johnson insinuates that we have a worse death rate than many countries in Europe because we are “freedom loving” (Follow new Covid restrictions, or risk a second lockdown, Johnson warns, 22 September). I would be so grateful if he could stop this faux Churchillian tub-thumping with pernicious Brexit undertones, hinting that we are better than all of Europe because we love freedom more (the inference being that that is why we have voted to leave all those rule adherents behind). Let’s see how “freedom loving” the prime minister thinks we all are when there are queues of 7,000 trucks in Kent in January as Michael Gove now warns. Continue reading...
- Driven by climate, more frequent, severe wildfires in Cascade Range reshape forests on September 24, 2020 at 3:02 pm
In recent years—and 2020 is no exception—parts of the Pacific Northwest that are typically too wet to burn are experiencing more frequent, severe and larger wildfires due to changes in climate. New research from Portland State University found that while the increased wildfire activity is causing widespread changes in the structure and composition of these mid-to-high elevation forests, the new landscapes are also likely more resilient to projected upward trends in future fire activity and climate conditions.
- Scientists discover why tarantulas come in vivid blues and greens on September 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Why are some tarantulas so vividly colored? Scientists have puzzled over why these large, hairy spiders, active primarily during the evening and at night-time, would sport such vibrant blue and green colouration—especially as they were long thought to be unable to differentiate between colors, let alone possess true color vision.
- Penicillium camemberti: a history of domestication on cheese on September 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm
The white, fluffy layer that covers Camembert is made of a mold resulting from human selection, similar to the way dogs were domesticated from wolves. A collaboration involving French scientists from the CNRS has shown, through genomic analyses and laboratory experiments, that the mold Penicillium camemberti is the result of a domestication process that took place in several stages.
- Searching together: A lesson from rats on September 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm
The rat in a maze might be one of the most classic paradigms in the study of behavior, but an international team of scientists has put a twist on this experimental motif to push the leading edge of technology and research into search strategies of collectives.
- Camera traps show impact of recreational activity on wildlife on September 24, 2020 at 2:45 pm
The COVID-19 pandemic has fired up interest in outdoor activities in our parks and forests. Now a new UBC study highlights the need to be mindful of how these activities may affect wildlife living in protected areas.
- New international research has found 25% of carnivorous plant species may be at risk of extinction on September 24, 2020 at 2:40 pm
New international research led by Curtin University has found approximately a quarter of carnivorous plant species across the world may be at risk of extinction due to global climate change, illegal poaching, and the clearing of land for agriculture, mining and development.
- Scientists discover why tarantulas come in vivid blues and greens on September 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm
Researchers find support for new hypotheses: that tarantulas' vibrant blue colors may be used to communicate between potential mates, while green coloration confers the ability to conceal among foliage. Their research also suggests that tarantulas are not as color-blind as previously believed, and that these arachnids may be able to perceive the bright blue tones on their bodies.
- Shorebirds more likely to divorce after successful breeding on September 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm
An international team of scientists studying shorebirds, led by the University of Bath, has found that successful plover parents are more likely to divorce after nesting than those that did not successfully breed, in contrast to most other bird species which tend to split up after nest failure.
- Key genetic clue missing in fight against superbugs on September 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm
For the first time, researchers have discovered how antibiotic resistance genes are spreading, at a continental scale, via bacterial plasmids in the hospital superbug, Klebsiella pneumoniae.
- Landmark release sees bilbies return to Sturt National Park in NSW on September 24, 2020 at 1:20 pm
Bilbies are once again bounding in Sturt National Park more than a century after they were declared extinct in NSW.
- Fungal highways let bacteria travel in exchange for thiamine on September 24, 2020 at 1:20 pm
Tiny organisms head out on the highway, looking for adventure like they've ridden straight out of the 1960s rock hit, "Born to Be Wild." Researchers from Japan have discovered that while perhaps not as thrill-seeking, bacteria do indeed travel on fungal highways and pay a toll in return.
- Histone degradation after DNA damage enhances repair on September 24, 2020 at 1:19 pm
DNA damage can occur anywhere in the genome, but most DNA is wrapped around nucleosomes making it inaccessible to the repair machinery. Researchers from the Gasser group now show that DNA damage induces histone depletion, which increases the accessibility and flexibility of the DNA fiber and enhances the rate of homology search during repair by homologous recombination.
- Improving Asian buffalo breeds with genomics on September 24, 2020 at 1:15 pm
Selective breeding of water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and cattle with the help of genomics could help increase livestock productivity, thereby improving food security, nutrition and incomes for millions of smallholder farmers in Asia, says a new study.
- Despite frog-killing disease, researchers discover new frog species on September 24, 2020 at 1:12 pm
Scientists have discovered a new species of rare frog that is rapidly disappearing. At the same time, they've also discovered hope.