Planets and Animals

  • Zika vaccine protects both mom and fetus, but mom needs a higher dose when pregnant
    on December 12, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Researchers showed, for the first time, that a single, higher dose of vaccination to a pregnant mouse safely protects both her and her fetus from the Zika virus. The researchers found that a single, less potent dose was not enough to protect the fetus.

  • Bovine kobuvirus in US
    on December 12, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    A virus that afflicts cattle that was first discovered in Japan in 2003 has made its way to the US, researchers report.

  • Virus multiplication in 3D
    on December 12, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Vaccinia viruses serve as a vaccine against human smallpox and as the basis of new cancer therapies. Two studies now provide fascinating insights into their unusual propagation strategy at the atomic level.

  • Want to avoid the holiday blues? New report suggests skipping the sweet treats
    on December 12, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    A new study from a team of clinical psychologists suggests eating added sugars -- common in so many holiday foods -- can trigger metabolic, inflammatory and neurobiological processes tied to depressive illness.

  • How humans learned to dance: From the chimpanzee conga line
    on December 12, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Two chimpanzees housed in a zoo in the US have sparked the question about how human dance evolved after being observed performing a duo dance-like behavior, similar to a human conga line.

  • Herpes's Achilles heel
    on December 12, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Scientists have used the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to disrupt both latent reservoirs of the herpes simplex virus and actively replicating virus in human fibroblast cells. Experiments pinpoint weak spot that can make the virus susceptible to gene editing.

  • Paleontology: Experiments in evolution
    on December 11, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    A new find from Patagonia sheds light on the evolution of large predatory dinosaurs. Features of the 8-m long specimen from the Middle Jurassic suggest that it records a phase of rapid diversification and evolutionary experimentation.

  • Mountain goats' air conditioning is failing, study says
    on December 11, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    A new study says Glacier National Park's iconic mountain goats are in dire need of 'air conditioning.'

  • Teams of microbes are at work in our bodies. Here's how to figure out what they're doing
    on December 11, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    An algorithm akin to the annoyingly helpful one that attempts to auto-complete text messages and emails is now being harnessed for a better cause. A group of researchers are using its pattern-recognition ability to identify microbial communities in the body by sifting through volumes of genetic code. Their method could speed the development of medical treatments for microbiota-linked ailments like Crohn's disease.

  • Earth was stressed before dinosaur extinction
    on December 11, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    By measuring the chemistry of fossilized seashells collected in Antarctica, researchers discovered that Earth was already experiencing carbon cycle instability before the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.

  • A new early whale, Aegicetus gehennae, and the evolution of modern whale locomotion
    on December 11, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    A newly discovered fossil whale represents a new species and an important step in the evolution of whale locomotion.

  • Safer viruses for vaccine research and diagnosis
    on December 11, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    A new technology to produce safer 'hybrid' viruses at high volumes for use in vaccines and diagnostics for mosquito-borne diseases has been developed.

  • Tropical flower offers potential new route for treating pancreatic cancer
    on December 11, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    An international team of scientists have made drug-like molecules inspired by a chemical found in a tropical flower, that they hope could in the future help to treat deadly pancreatic cancer.

  • Deciphering the equations of life
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Research has resulted in a set of equations that describes and predicts commonalities across life despite its enormous diversity. The new theory allows predictions for organisms that might not be well understood by science.

  • Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, experts assert.

  • Study sheds light on 'overlooked' bee species
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    The UK's first citizen science project focusing on solitary, ground-nesting bees has revealed that they nest in a far broader range of habitats than previously thought.

  • Uncovering how endangered pangolins, or 'scaly anteaters,' digest food
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    The endangered Sunda pangolin, or 'scaly anteater,' is a widely trafficked mammal, prized in some cultures for its meat and scales. Little is known about these animals, and raising rescued pangolins is tricky. In the wild, they eat termites and ants, but diets provided in captivity often make them sick. Now, a study reports that pangolins lack some common digestive enzymes, which could explain why some diets don't work well for them.

  • Study of elephant, capybara, human hair finds that thicker hair isn't always stronger
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Despite being four times thicker than human hair, elephant hair is only half as strong -- that's just one finding from researchers studying the hair strength of many different mammals. Their work shows that thin hair tends to be stronger than thick hair because of the way that it breaks.

  • Scales offer insight into chronic stress of fish
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Aquatic researchers have long sought an easy way to determine when wild fish are under stress. Now, researchers have shown for the first time that cortisol, a key stress hormone, accumulates in fish scales slowly and remains there for weeks.

  • Illumination drives bats out of caves
    on December 11, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Researchers have investigated how the illumination of bat caves affects the animals' behavior and whether the color of light makes a difference on their flight. Although red light irritates the small mammals somewhat less than white light, from the researchers' point of view neither the entrance nor the interior of bat caves should be illuminated if bats are present.

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