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

  • No-fishing zones help endangered penguins
    on January 17, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Small no-fishing zones around colonies of African penguins can help this struggling species, new research shows. […]

  • Are amoebae safe harbors for plague?
    on January 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Amoebae, single-celled organisms common in soil, water and grade-school science classrooms, may play a key role in the survival and spread of deadly plague bacteria. New research shows that plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, not only survive, but thrive and replicate once ingested by an amoeba. The discovery could help scientists understand why plague outbreaks can smolder, stay dormant for years, and re-emerge with a vengeance. […]

  • Memory loss from West Nile virus may be preventable
    on January 16, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    More than 10,000 people in the United States are living with memory loss and other persistent neurological problems that occur after West Nile virus infects the brain. Now, a new study in mice suggests that such ongoing neurological deficits may be due to unresolved inflammation that hinders the brain's ability to repair damaged neurons and grow new ones. When the inflammation was reduced by treatment with an arthritis drug, the animals' ability to learn and remember remained sharp after West Nile disease. […]

  • Great scat! Bears -- not birds -- are the chief seed dispersers in Alaska
    on January 16, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    In southeastern Alaska, brown and black bears are plentiful because of salmon. Their abundance also means they are the primary seed dispersers of berry-producing shrubs, according to a new study. […]

  • Genome architecture's surprising role in cell fate decisions
    on January 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    A new study shows unexpected and crucial role of genome architecture in determining cell fate. The work represents an important advance in our understanding of gene regulation and reveals a new layer of complexity that needs to be studied to properly interpret genomics and gene expression in the future. An example of how risky fundamental science with innovative approaches leads to surprising and important advances in knowledge. […]

  • Cellular seismology: Putting vibrations on the map
    on January 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Using a unique technology called 'cell quake elastography,' scientists can now map to the millisecond the elasticity of components vibrating inside a cell. This discovery opens up a whole new field of research in mechanobiology, opening the door to many practical applications in medicine. […]

  • Named after Stanley Kubrick, a new species of frog is a 'clockwork orange' of nature
    on January 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Two new frog species were discovered in the Amazon Basin. Both had been previously misidentified as another superficially identical species. One of them received a name translating to 'demon' or 'devil' in allusion to the horn-like projections visible on its eyelids. The second one was named in honor of famous American filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, because of his masterpiece A Clockwork Orange. […]

  • 'Rainbow' dinosaur had iridescent feathers like a hummingbird
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Scientists discovered a dinosaur fossil with feathers so well-preserved that they were able to see the feathers' microscopic color-bearing structures. By comparing the shapes of those feather structures with the structures in modern bird feathers, they're able to infer that the new dino, Caihong juji ('rainbow with the big crest') had iridescent rainbow feathers like a hummingbird. […]

  • Circadian clocks under the microscope
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Circadian clocks regulate the behavior of all living things. Scientists have now taken a closer look at the clock's anatomical structures and molecular processes in the honeybee. […]

  • Snapshot of DNA repair
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Scientists have described the crystal structure of RNF168 bound to ubiquitin chains, a crucial interaction for DNA repair, to find a unique interaction. […]

  • Confined movements: How cells form tubes in confined spaces
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    A team of scientists has described a novel 'microtube'-based platform to study how tubular organs, such as the heart and the kidneys, form under the various topographical restrictions commonly experienced inside the body. […]

  • New dynamic statistical model follows gene expressions over time
    on January 15, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    A new model now gives researchers a tool that extends past observing static networks at a single snapshot in time, which is hugely beneficial since network data are usually dynamic. […]

  • Key player in cell metabolism identified
    on January 15, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Researchers have identified a key role for EXD2 in protein production in the mitochondria, the cellular organelles responsible for the majority of energy generation. […]

  • Fast-tracking T-cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
    on January 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Researchers have developed a material-based T-cell-expansion method using APC-mimetic biomaterial scaffolds, which helps achieve greater expansion of primary mouse and human T cells than existing methods. […]

  • Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
    on January 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Roughly 10 percent of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms contain the genetic code for manufacturing a back-up enzyme, called iron iron-only nitrogenase, to do their job. New research reveals that this enzyme allows these microorganisms to convert nitrogen gas to ammonia and carbon dioxide into methane at the same time. This enzymatic pathway is a previously unknown route for the natural biological production of methane. […]

  • Possible cause of early colonial-era Mexican epidemic identified
    on January 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Researchers have used new methods in ancient DNA research to identify Salmonella enterica Paratyphi C, a pathogen that causes enteric fever, in the skeletons of victims of the 1545-1550 cocoliztli epidemic in Mexico, identifying a possible cause of this devastating colonial epidemic. […]

  • Genes that aid spinal cord healing in lamprey also present in humans, researchers discover
    on January 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Many of the genes involved in natural repair of the injured spinal cord of the lamprey are also active in the repair of the peripheral nervous system in mammals, according to a new study. […]

  • Microbial signal recognition stems from existing building blocks
    on January 13, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Scientists have characterized a protein that enables certain microorganisms to recognize and absorb ammonium in their environment. Ammonium is considered a toxin that pollutes ecosystems - but for these bacteria it represents an important nutrient and energy source. […]

  • Stingray soft robot could lead to bio-inspired robotics
    on January 13, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Bioengineers have developed a tissue-based soft robot that mimics the biomechanics of a stingray. The new technology could lead to advances in bio-inspired robotics, regenerative medicine and medical diagnostics. […]

  • New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs
    on January 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world -- creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines -- and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant to many antifungals, meaning once a person is infected, there are limited treatment options. But researchers have now confirmed a new drug compound kills drug-resistant C. auris, both in the laboratory and in a mouse model that mimics human infection. […]

  • Expert unlocks mechanics of how snakes move in a straight line
    on January 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Biologists are studying the mechanics of snake movement to understand exactly how they can propel themselves forward like a train through a tunnel. […]

  • Print a 200-million-year-old dinosaur 'fossil' in your own home
    on January 12, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    The digital reconstruction of the skull of a 200-million-year-old South African dinosaur, Massospondylus, has made it possible for researchers to make 3-D prints and in this way facilitate research on other dinosaurs all over the world. […]

  • Species identification in the water bottle
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Environmental DNA analysis makes it possible to detect water organisms without having to capture them first. For the first time, researchers systematically investigated the effect of various environmental factors on environmental DNA analyses. By doing so, the researchers have made an important step towards the standardized application of this method for the monitoring of water bodies. […]

  • New technology will create brain wiring diagrams
    on January 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Scientists have developed new technology that allows them to see which neurons are talking to which other neurons in live fruit flies. […]

  • New source of world’s deadliest toxin discovered
    on January 12, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Researchers have identified genes encoding a previously undiscovered version of the botulinum neurotoxin in bacteria from a cow’s gut. […]

  • Northern corn leaf blight genes identified in new study
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Midwestern corn growers know the symptoms of northern corn leaf blight all too well: greenish-gray lesions on the leaves that can add up to major yield losses if not detected and treated early. Corn resistance genes have been identified, but the fungal disease has found ways to sneak around corn's defenses. Now, researchers have discovered how the fungus is outsmarting corn, and they may be able to use this information to help corn fight back. […]

  • All in the family: Focused genomic comparisons
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:39 am

    Aspergillus fungi are pathogens, decomposers, and important sources of biotechnologically-important enzymes. Scientists now report the first outcome from the large-scale sequencing of 300+ Aspergillus species. These findings are a proof of concept of novel methods to functionally annotate genomes to more quickly identify genes of interest. […]

  • Estrogen-mimicking compounds in foods may reduce effectiveness of breast cancer treatment
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    A new study suggests breast cancer patients taking palbociclib/letrozole combination therapy should avoid foods rich in xenoestrogens. […]

  • Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Dengue virus slowly takes over the endoplasmic reticulum, the production site for a subset of host proteins, and steers clear of the cytosol, the fluid-filled space where the majority of host cellular proteins are synthesized. Its viral RNA template is translated into protein in such an inefficient, lackadaisical manner that it doesn't trip alarms. […]

  • Biologists peek into the past to see the future through tiny spider eyes
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Biologists look to the past for early genetic development of tiny spider and insect eyes to find potential for research into human visual challenges. […]