Planets and Animals

  • Amazon's white bellbirds set new record for loudest bird call
    on October 21, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Biologists report that they have recorded the loudest bird calls ever documented, made by dove-sized male white bellbirds as part of their mating rituals in the mountains of the northern Amazon.

  • The secret of classic Belgian beers? Medieval super yeasts!
    on October 21, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    An international team of scientists has discovered that some of the most renowned classic Belgian beers, including Gueuze and Trappist ales, are fermented with a rare and unusual form of hybrid yeasts. These yeasts combine DNA of the traditional ale yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with that of more stress-resistant feral yeasts such as Saccharomyces kudriavzevii.

  • How rat-eating monkeys help keep palm oil plants alive
    on October 21, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Found as an ingredient in many processed and packaged foods, palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil. Now, researchers have discovered an unlikely ally for palm oil production: pig-tailed macaques.

  • New deep-water coral discovered
    on October 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    A new octocoral species was recently discovered in a biodiversity hotspot and World Heritage Site in Pacific Panama. It inhabits an unexplored and understudied marine ecosystem, under increasing need for protection: the mesophotic coral communities.

  • Humpback whale population on the rise after near miss with extinction
    on October 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    A new study finds that the western South Atlantic humpback population has grown to 25,000 whales. Researchers believe this new estimate is now close to pre-whaling numbers.

  • GenBank can be trusted, study shows
    on October 21, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Scientists working to identify coral reef organisms analyzed more than 4.7 million animal DNA sequences from GenBank, the most commonly used tool used to identify environmental DNA, and discovered that animal identification errors are surprisingly rare -- but sometimes very funny.

  • Song-learning neurons identified in songbirds
    on October 21, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    A group of neurons called the corticobasal ganglia projecting neurons are important for vocal learning in young birds, but not in adult birds, according to a new study.

  • Butterflies and plants evolved in sync, but moth 'ears' predated bats
    on October 21, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    A new study cross-examines classic hypotheses about the coevolution of butterflies with flowering plants and moths with bats, their key predators. The findings show flowering plants did drive much of these insects' diversity, but in a surprise twist, multiple moth lineages evolved 'ears' millions of years before the existence of bats, previously credited with triggering moths' development of hearing organs.

  • Animal study shows how stress and mother's abuse affects infant brain
    on October 21, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    A new study in rats shows the extent of brain damage in newborn rodents from even short-term abuse by their mother.

  • Training parents is key to helping children eat a variety of foods
    on October 21, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Families dealing with the stress and frustration of their child's overly picky eating habits may have a new addition to their parental toolbox. Pediatric researchers recently described a brief group cognitive-behavioral therapy program that provides parents with specific techniques to improve their child's mealtime behaviors and expand the range of foods their children will eat. Although the study size was small, the parents involved reported 'life-changing' improvements.

  • Uncovering the principles behind RNA folding
    on October 21, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Using high-throughput next-generation sequencing technology, a researcher found similarities in the folding tendencies among a family of RNA molecules called riboswitches, which play a pivotal role in gene expression.

  • Listening in to how proteins talk and learning their language
    on October 21, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    A research team has created a third approach to engineering proteins that uses deep learning to distill the fundamental features of proteins directly from their amino acid sequence without the need for additional information.

  • Resistance to last resort drug arose in patient over 3 weeks
    on October 21, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    French investigators have described development of resistance to one of the last resort therapies used to treat extremely drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. That resistance arose in a single patient over a scant 22 days. They subsequently identified the single nucleotide mutation in P. aeruginosa that caused the resistance.

  • Pinpointing biomolecules with nanometer accuracy
    on October 21, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Scientists demonstrate a new approach in fluorescence microscopy that can be used to locate individual biomolecules in 3D space with nanometer-scale precision.

  • Large-scale afforestation of African savannas will destroy valuable ecosystems
    on October 21, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Scientists from around the world argue that the suggested afforestation of large areas of Africa to mitigate climate change will destroy valuable ecological, agricultural, and tourist areas, while doing little to reduce global CO2 levels.

  • Plant physiology will be major contributor to future river flooding
    on October 21, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Researchers describe the emerging role of ecophysiology in riparian flooding. As an adaptation to an overabundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, trees, plants and grasses constrict their stomatal pores to regulate the amount of the gas they consume, a mechanism that limits the release of water from leaves through evaporation. This saturates soils and causes more efficient run off and river flooding.

  • New CRISPR genome editing system offers a wide range of versatility in human cells
    on October 21, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    A team has developed a new CRISPR genome-editing approach by combining two of the most important proteins in molecular biology -- CRISPR-Cas9 and a reverse transcriptase -- into a single machine.

  • How the mouse X and Y chromosomes compete with each other to control offspring
    on October 21, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    New research presents the first demonstration of a specific difference in sperm function associated with sex ratio skewing.

  • DNA-reeling bacteria yield new insight on how superbugs acquire drug-resistance
    on October 21, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    A study has revealed a protein's role in helping bacteria 'reel in' DNA from their environment to acquire new traits, such as antibiotic resistance.

  • Defining the centromere
    on October 21, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Centromeres are the chromosomal domains at which the kinetochore, a protein complex required for the correct separation of chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis, is assembled. The incorporation of the histone variant CenH3 into centromeric nucleosomes is a prerequisite for the proper assembly and function of the kinetochore. A new study describes the chaperone protein NASPSIM3 and how it affects the depositioning of CenH3.

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