Biology News -- ScienceDaily Biology news and videos from research institutes around the world. Updated daily.

  • Crowning the 'king of the crops': Sequencing the white guinea yam genome
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Scientists have, for the first time, provided a genome sequence for the white Guinea yam, a staple crop with huge economic and cultural significance on the African continent and a lifeline for millions of people. […]

  • Rainbow colors reveal cell history
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    A system called "Beta-bow", which allows the history of beta-cells to be traced by genetic bar-coding and multicolor imaging, has been developed by researchers. […]

  • Party discipline for jumping genes
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Jumping genes, transposons, are part of the genome of most organisms, aggregated into families and can damage the genome by jumping. How hosts suppress the jumping is well investigated. Why they still can jump has hardly been understood so far. Researchers investigated for the first time in all transposons of the host organism, which properties and host environments facilitate jumping. They showed that family affiliation is more important than position. […]

  • Scientists sequence asexual tiny worm whose lineage stretches back 18 million years
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    A team of scientists has sequenced, for the first time, a tiny worm that belongs to a group of exclusively asexual species that originated approximately 18 million years ago -- making it one of the oldest living lineages of asexual animals known. […]

  • Green algae could hold clues for engineering faster-growing crops
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Two new studies provide a detailed look at an essential part of algae's growth machinery, with the eventual goal of applying this knowledge to improving the growth of crops. […]

  • Jellyfish, with no brains, still seem to sleep
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    The discovery that primitive jellyfish sleep suggests that sleep is an ancient, evolutionarily conserved behavior. […]

  • Why poison frogs don't poison themselves
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Poison frogs harbor some of the most potent neurotoxins we know, yet scientists have long wondered -- how do these frogs keep from poisoning themselves? Scientists are now a step closer to resolving that head-scratcher. And the answer has potential consequences for the fight against pain and addiction. […]

  • Heat-loving Australian ants believe in diversity, hint 74 species new to science
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    A genus of Australian ants, many of whose members prefer to forage in blistering temperatures of up to 50°C (122°F), is revised to include 74 new species. The ants include seed-eaters, ant and termite raiders, 'honeypot ants' that store nectar and honeydew, and numerous others whose biology is not yet understood. Some are bizarre: one species has eyes like inverted ice-cream cones. […]

  • Early trilobites had stomachs, new fossil study finds
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Exceptionally preserved trilobite fossils from China, dating back to more than 500 million years ago, have revealed new insights into the extinct marine animal's digestive system. The new study shows that at least two trilobite species evolved a stomach structure 20 million years earlier than previously thought. […]

  • Dino-killing asteroid's impact on bird evolution
    on September 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Human activities could change the pace of evolution, similar to what occurred 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving modern birds as their only descendants. […]

  • Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
    on September 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    A new article suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life. […]

  • Big herbivorous dinosaurs ate crustaceans as a side dish
    on September 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Some big plant-eating dinosaurs roaming present-day Utah some 75 million years ago were slurping up crustaceans on the side, a behavior that may have been tied to reproductive activities, says a new study. […]

  • Recipe for forest restoration discovered
    on September 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    A new study has uncovered some valuable information on ways to maximize the success of replanting efforts, bringing new hope for restoring these threatened ecosystems. […]

  • Changing of the guard: Research sheds light on how plants breathe
    on September 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    New research is set to change the textbook understanding of how plants breathe. Researchers have developed the first full 3D model of a guard cell. […]

  • Scientists and farmers work together to wipe out African lovegrass
    on September 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    New research and collaboration could lead to the eventual eradication of the highly invasive African lovegrass threatening pastures and native grasslands Australia-wide. What they discovered is that local knowledge is the key to a successful management approach. […]

  • Lightning-fast trappers: Biomechanics of suction traps in carnivorous bladderworts
    on September 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    New findings have been gained on the biomechanics and evolution of suction traps in carnivorous bladderworts. […]

  • Researchers discover new cattle disease and prevent it from spreading
    on September 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Following genetic studies of deformed calves, research is able to uncover a previously unknown disease found among Holstein cattle. The breeding bull from which the mutation and thus the deformation originate has now been put down to prevent the disease from spreading further. […]

  • Tiny Brazilian frogs are deaf to their own calls
    on September 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Pumpkin toadlets, found on the leaf litter of Brazil's Atlantic forest, are among the smallest frogs in the world. Scientists have now discovered that two species of these tiny orange frogs cannot hear the sound of their own calls. […]

  • An extraordinary cave animal found in Eastern Turkmenistan
    on September 21, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    A remote cave in Eastern Turkmenistan was found to shelter a marvelous cave-adapted inhabitant that turned out to represent a species and genus new to science. This new troglodyte is the first of its order from Central Asia and the first strictly subterranean terrestrial creature recorded in the country. […]

  • Efforts to save sea turtles are a 'global conservation success story'
    on September 20, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    A new study of the world's seven sea turtle species provides evidence that their numbers are growing overall (unlike many endangered vertebrates), thanks to years of conservation efforts that have played a key role in sea turtle recovery -- even for small sea turtle populations. […]

  • 3-D analysis of dog fossils sheds light on domestication debate
    on September 20, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    In an effort to settle the debate about the origin of dog domestication, a technique that uses 3-D scans of fossils is helping researchers determine the difference between dogs and wolves. […]

  • Convergent evolution of mimetic butterflies confounds classification
    on September 20, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    A new paper on butterflies may revise the taxonomy of Asian palmflies in the genus Elymnias in light of a forthcoming study on the butterflies' evolutionary history. […]

  • Protected waters foster resurgence of West Coast rockfish
    on September 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    West Coast rockfish species in deep collapse only 20 years ago have multiplied rapidly in large marine protected areas off Southern California, likely seeding surrounding waters with enough offspring to offer promise of renewed fishing, a new study has found. […]

  • Immune system is critical to regeneration, study finds
    on September 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    The answer to the question of why some organisms can regenerate major body parts while others, such as humans, cannot may lie with the body's innate immune system, according to a new study of heart regeneration in the Mexican salamander. […]

  • Plants combine color and fragrance to procure pollinators
    on September 20, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Who knew that it's possible to predict the fragrance of a flower by looking at its color? This is true for many of the 41 insect-pollinated plant species growing in a Phrygana scrubland habitat on the Greek island of Lesbos. […]

  • Fly away home? Ice age may have clipped bird migration
    on September 20, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    The onset of the last ice age may have forced some bird species to abandon their northerly migrations for thousands of years, says new research led by an ornithologist. The study challenges a long-held presumption that birds merely shortened their migratory flights when glaciers advanced south to cover much of North America and northern Europe about 21,000 years ago. […]

  • Species abundance: Winter restricts innovation
    on September 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Why are there so many more species in the tropics? The 'storage effect' is stronger there than in temperate forests. […]

  • Dinosaur evolution: Lumbering giants had agile ancestors
    on September 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    The best known sauropod dinosaurs were huge herbivorous creatures, whose brain structures were markedly different from those of their evolutionary predecessors, for the earliest representatives of the group were small, lithe carnivores. […]

  • Millions of new genes in human microbiome
    on September 20, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    A new study of the human microbiome has uncovered millions of previously unknown genes from microbial communities in the human gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, allowing for new insights into the role these microbes play in human health and disease. […]

  • Unique property of critical methane-producing enzyme discovered
    on September 20, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    An unexpected discovery has given a group of scientists a greater understanding of an important methane-producing enzyme called methyl-coenzyme M reductase, or MCR. Their findings overturn what was previously believed to be true in the field: that a set of unique modifications present in MCR were essential to how the enzyme functions. […]