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

  • New innovations in cell-free biotechnology
    on March 23, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    A new platform to conduct cell-free protein synthesis could lead to improved quality of manufactured protein therapeutics and biomaterials. […]

  • Significant role for nitrate in the Arctic landscape
    on March 23, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Because of the very low nitrate levels found in arctic tundra soil, scientists had assumed that plants in this biome do not use nitrate. But a new study challenges this notion. The study has important implications for predicting which arctic plant species will dominate as the climate warms, as well as how much carbon tundra ecosystems can store. […]

  • Paleontologists put the bite on an ancient reptile from New England
    on March 23, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Scientists have identified a new species of reptile from prehistoric Connecticut and, boy, does it have a mouth on it. Named Colobops noviportensis, the creature lived 200 million years ago and had exceptionally large jaw muscles -- setting it apart from other reptiles at the time. Even compared to the wide diversity of reptile species today, Colobops noviportensis had quite the bite. […]

  • Jaguars and well-managed logging concessions can coexist, say conservationists
    on March 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Logging activities in biodiverse forests can have a huge negative impact on wildlife, particularly large species such as big cats, but a new study proves that the Western Hemisphere's largest cat species -- the jaguar (Panthera onca) -- can do well in logging concessions that are properly managed. […]

  • Growing and surviving: How proteins regulate the cell cycle
    on March 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Cell division is the basis of all life. Even the smallest errors in this complex process can lead to grave diseases like cancer. Certain proteins have to be switched on or off at certain times for everything to go according to plan. Biophysicists and medical biochemists have managed to describe the underlying mechanism of this process. […]

  • Staphylococcus aureus: A new mechanism involved in virulence and antibiotic resistance
    on March 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    A research team has characterized a Staphylococcus aureus gene involved in virulence, biofilm formation and resistance to certain antibiotics. These results open up new avenues for understanding the control of S. aureus virulence mechanisms. […]

  • Using light to turn yeast into biochemical factories
    on March 22, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Researchers have used a combination of light and genetic engineering to controlling the metabolism, or basic chemical process, of a living cell. Building on techniques that already have transformed the field of neuroscience, the researchers used light to control genetically-modified yeast and increase its output of commercially valuable chemicals. […]

  • Bacteria eat greenhouse gas with a side of protein
    on March 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    With the ability to leech heavy metals from the environment and digest a potent greenhouse gas, methanotrophic bacteria pull double duty when it comes to cleaning up the environment. But before researchers can explore potential conservation applications, they first must better understand the bacteria's basic physiological processes. New research has identified two never-before-studied proteins, called MbnB and MbnC, as partially responsible for the bacteria's inner workings. […]

  • Deep impact: Deep-sea wildlife more vulnerable to extinction than first thought
    on March 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    The existence of the unusual yeti crabs (Kiwaidae) -- a family of crab-like animals whose hairy claws and bodies are reminiscent of the abominable snowman -- since 2005, but already their future survival could be at risk. New Oxford University research suggests that past environmental changes may have profoundly impacted the geographic range and species diversity of this family. The findings indicate that such animals may be more vulnerable to the effects of human resource exploitation and climate change than initially thought. […]

  • Antimicrobial used in toiletries could become option against malaria
    on March 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Not only it inhibits enzymes essential to Plasmodium's survival in two key stages of its lifecycle in humans, but triclosan also performed well in tests against resistant parasites, an international study reveals. The efficiency of malaria treatment with mostly used drugs is undermined by resistant lineages and by the fact that patients present severe side effects in 10 percent of the cases. […]

  • The mouse brain can prioritize hunger by suppressing pain when survival is at stake
    on March 22, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Different behaviors are often studied in isolation, leaving unanswered questions about how the brain processes needs and prioritizes behaviors to ensure survival. Now, researchers have shown that pain and hunger interact in complex ways in mice: extreme hunger suppresses less-urgent inflammatory pain, but leaves them able to feel and react to more life-and-death kinds of pain. The study pinpoints a highly specific neural circuit that creates this analgesic effect. […]

  • Study suggests method to boost growth of blood vessels and muscle
    on March 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Researchers have reversed age-related endurance loss in mice by treating them with a compound that promotes new blood vessel growth. Their study found the compound, which reactivates longevity-linked sirutin proteins, promotes blood vessel and muscle growth, boosting endurance of elderly mice by up to 80 percent. […]

  • Breakthrough in photonic biosensors could lead to super-accurate diagnostic and detectors
    on March 22, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Scientists have found a way to determine the density of charges on an area of a whispering gallery mode micro-bead's surface, as well as the charge of an ensnared nanoparticle or virus, which could allow researchers and manufacturers not just to identify nanoparticles, but to manipulate them. […]

  • The circadian clock controls the cell cycle and tumor growth in plants
    on March 22, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Biological rhythms are ubiquitous in nature, from the beating of the heart to the rhythms of flowering plants. A research team has shown that the two main cellular oscillators -- the circadian clock and the cell cycle -- are closely connected. The study demonstrates that the circadian clock controls the speed of the cell cycle, regulating the cell division and growth in synchronization with the day and night cycles. […]

  • Scientists identify potential drug target in blood-feeding hookworms
    on March 22, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    In hookworms that infect and feed on the blood of mice, scientists have discovered a key step in blood digestion that can be targeted to disrupt the parasite's development and survival. […]

  • Breakthrough could aid development of bee-friendly pesticides
    on March 22, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Efforts to create pesticides that are not toxic to bees have been boosted by a scientific breakthrough. […]

  • The universal language of hormones
    on March 22, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Bioinformatics specialists have studied a specific class of hormones which is relevant for plants, bacteria and indirectly for humans, too. Their results challenge previous scientific assumptions. […]

  • Blackbirds in the city: Bad health, longer life
    on March 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Blackbirds live longer in cities than in forests. But their telomeres, the repetitive stretches of DNA at the ends of the chromosomes, show that these city birds have a much poorer health status than their rural cousins. […]

  • Gut bacteria determine speed of tumor growth in pancreatic cancer
    on March 22, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    The population of bacteria in the pancreas increases more than a thousand fold in patients with pancreatic cancer, and becomes dominated by species that prevent the immune system from attacking tumor cells. […]

  • Plants really do feed their friends
    on March 22, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Researchers have discovered that as plants develop they craft their root microbiome, favoring microbes that consume very specific metabolites. Their study could help scientists identify ways to enhance the soil microbiome for improved carbon storage and plant productivity. […]

  • Brewing hoppy beer without the hops
    on March 21, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Synthetic biology has created microbes that produce drugs, flavors, aromas and fuels. Now scientists have used the same tricks, with the help of CRISPR-Cas9, to get yeast to produce the flavor of hops. They added genes from mint and basil and used the yeast to brew a beer that tasters said had notes of 'fruit-loops' and 'orange blossom,' with no off flavors. The yeast helps brewers avoid expensive, highly variable and water-guzzling hops. […]

  • Drought-induced changes in forest composition amplify effects of climate change
    on March 21, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    The face of American forests is changing, due to climate change-induced shifts in rainfall and temperature that are causing shifts in the abundance of numerous tree species, according to a new article. The result means some forests in the eastern U.S. are already starting to look different, but more important, it means the ability of those forests to soak up carbon is being altered as well, which could in turn bring about further climate change. […]

  • US national parks increasingly important for bird conservation in face of climate change
    on March 21, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    US national parks could become even more important for the conservation of bird species in the face of climate change, according to a new study. […]

  • Predators learn to identify prey from other species
    on March 21, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Predatory bats learn both from other members of their own species and from other predatory bat species. […]

  • Despite high blood sugar, cavefish live long, healthy lives
    on March 21, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Mexican cavefish have insulin resistance, a hallmark of many human metabolic disorders and a precursor to type 2 diabetes that can lead to an overworked pancreas, excess fat storage and chronically elevated blood sugar. Despite dysregulated blood sugar, the fish don't suffer the same health consequences people do. Study offers a fresh opportunity to understand how animals thrive with traits that sicken humans and could point the way to new interventions for disease. […]

  • 'We're sleepwalking into a mass extinction' say scientists
    on March 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Species that live in symbiosis with others, which often occur in the most delicately balanced and threatened marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, are the slowest to recover their diversity if damaged, according to a team of scientists. […]

  • Insects could help us find new yeasts for big business
    on March 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Yeasts are tiny fungi -- but they play key roles in producing everything from beer and cheese to industrial chemicals and biofuels. And now scientists are proposing a new approach that could help these industries find new yeasts for use in their manufacturing processes. […]

  • The environment determines Caribbean hummingbirds' vulnerability
    on March 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Hummingbirds' specialization and vulnerability are often predicted based on their physical traits. Scientists now found that this is not the case for hummingbirds on the Caribbean islands. Instead, the bird's environment is the determining factor. […]

  • Potential drug target against large family of parasites is identified
    on March 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Researchers have identified a key enzyme for the synthesis of glycoconjugates (sugars linked to other molecules) in Plasmodium falciparum and other intracellular parasites belonging to the large phylum Apicomplexa. The study indicates that this enzyme could represent a selective therapeutic target against this broad group of parasites. […]

  • How trees coexist: Understanding biodiversity
    on March 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    One of the most fascinating topics in ecology is the exploration of interactions between plants, specifically in long-lived organisms, such as trees. In this context, it is generally assumed that tree-tree interactions are dominated by competition for resources such as light, water or nutrients. […]