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

  • Turtles and technology advance understanding of lung abnormality
    on November 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    A study of an unusual snapping turtle with one lung found shared characteristics with humans born with one lung who survive beyond infancy. New digital 3-D anatomical models made the detailed research possible. […]

  • Refining pesticides to kill pests, not bees
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Scientists have unlocked a key to maintain the insecticide's effectiveness in eliminating pests without killing beneficial bugs, such as bees. The study shows that molecular tweaks can make the difference. […]

  • Corn genetics research exposes mechanism behind traits becoming silent
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    For more than a century, plant geneticists have been studying maize as a model system to understand the rules governing the inheritance of traits, and a team of researchers recently unveiled a previously unknown mechanism that triggers gene silencing in corn. […]

  • Ancient barley took high road to China
    on November 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research. […]

  • New malaria parasites identified in wild bonobos
    on November 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Malaria parasites, although widespread among wild chimpanzees and gorillas, have not been detected in bonobos, a chimp cousin. Although the researchers saw evidence of a new malaria species in bonobos, it was limited to one small area of their range. This work helps the hunt for biological loopholes to potentially exploit the life history of ape pathogens to better understand how they cross over to humans. […]

  • Cinnamon turns up the heat on fat cells
    on November 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    New research has determined how a common holiday spice -- cinnamon -- might be enlisted in the fight against obesity. […]

  • Arctic shorebird decline noted by study
    on November 20, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    A new study addresses concerns over the many Arctic shorebird populations in precipitous decline. Evident from the study is that monitoring and protection of habitat where the birds breed, winter, and stopover is critical to their survival and to that of a global migration spectacle. […]

  • Genome sequencing reveals extensive inbreeding in Scandinavian wolves
    on November 20, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Researchers have for the first time determined the full genetic consequences of intense inbreeding in a threatened species. […]

  • Cell cycle proteins help immune cells trap microbes with nets made of DNA
    on November 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    In your bloodstream, there are immune cells called neutrophils that, when faced with a pathogenic threat, will expel their DNA like a net to contain it. These DNA snares are called neutrophil extracellular traps or NETs. Researchers describe an important step in how these NETs are released and how they stop a fungus from establishing an infection in mice and human cells. […]

  • What makes soil, soil? Researchers find hidden clues in DNA
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Ever wondered what makes a soil, soil? And could soil from the Amazon rainforest really be the same as soil from your garden? […]

  • Disposable optical test substrate for detecting harmful microbes
    on November 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Harmful microbes and toxic micromolecules in food and drinking water can cause serious health problems around the world. Now a researcher has developed a disposable optical test substrate for use in microbial detection. The aim is to enable cost-effective detection of harmful microbes and toxins. […]

  • Protein 'intentionally' terminates own synthesis by destabilizing synthesis machinery -- the...
    on November 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Cell biologists have discovered that a protein, during its synthesis, may destabilize the structure of the ribosome and end its own synthesis prematurely, and found that this phenomenon is used for adapting the cell to its environment. […]

  • Uncovering essential enzymes for plant growth during nitrogen starvation
    on November 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    A study has found that two key enzymes in plants called PAH1 and PAH2 are critical for survival and growth under nitrogen-depleted conditions. The study sheds new light on how plants could be modified in future to boost tolerance to nutrient-poor environments. […]

  • Jellyfish: Stinging cells pack a powerful pressure
    on November 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    The stinging cells of jellyfish, called nematocytes, have evolved to be one of the world's most efficient predation tools. The nematocysts consist of a capsule and folded tubule, and use high pressure and acceleration for defense and locomotion and, more importantly, to capture prey. Inconsistencies in a previous conceptual explanation of the stinging cell mechanism were identified using a microfluidic system and mathematical models. […]

  • Apple allergens as an effective option for treating apple allergy
    on November 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    An apple allergy, which is related to birch pollen, is a very common phenomenon associated with birch pollen allergy – around 70% of those with a birch pollen allergy are also allergic to apples. In those affected, eating apples leads to swelling and rashes or itching in the mouth and gullet, as well as in the ear area, and even to blistering. Now researchers have shown in a Phase II trial that the apple allergen "Mal d 1" significantly reduces the symptoms of apple allergy and is therefore an effective and safe treatment option. […]

  • Tiger bones? Lion bones? An almost extinct cycad? On-the-spot DNA checks at ports of entry
    on November 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Wildlife species are going extinct faster than humankind can reliably keep track of. Meanwhile, wildlife crime evolves quickly, with new tricks fueling a lucrative illegal global trade. As a result, customs and other port-of-entry officials confronted with unidentifiable bits of animals and plants need to make rapid decisions based on reliable information. LifeScanner LAB-IN-A-BOX, a portable DNA barcoding lab can serve as a new tool for rapid on-site species identification, adding to law enforcement's arsenal. […]

  • What's in your wheat? Scientists piece together genome of most common bread wheat
    on November 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Scientists have successfully used two separate gene technologies to assemble the most complete genome sequence to date of Triticum aestivum, the most common cultivated species of wheat used to make bread. […]

  • A photosynthetic organism's 'Water World'
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Following the path of radicals and being able to identify many damaged residues because of incredibly accurate, expeditious and sensitive mass spectrometry, three scientists studied the great granddaddy of all photosynthetic organisms -- a strain of cyanobacteria -- to develop the first experimental map of that organism's water world. […]

  • Biological timing: Biologists investigate the mechanism of an auxiliary clock
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    This year's Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology recognizes the identification of genes that control the biological clock. In newly published research, scientists have found that not only the biological clock, but also a protein acting as an "auxiliary clock" ensures that recurring routines take place in the cells. […]

  • eDNA tool detects invasive clams before they become a nuisance
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    When seeking a cure for a disease, early detection is often the key. The same is true for eliminating invasive species. Identifying their presence in a lake before they are abundant is vital. A recent study successfully used environmental DNA to detect invasive clams in California and Nevada lakes. Researchers believe this tool can help identify pests before they become a problem. […]

  • Mathematician's study of 'swarmalators' could direct future science
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    How does the Japanese tree frog figure into the latest work of a noted mathematician? As it turns out, quite prominently. Researchers used the curious mating ritual of male Japanese tree frogs as inspiration for their exploration of 'swarmalators' -- their term for systems in which both synchronization and swarming occur together. […]

  • When to fish: Timing matters for fish that migrate to reproduce
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    A new study points to yet another human factor that is hampering the ability of fish to reproduce: the timing of our fishing seasons. The study considers how the timing of fishing efforts might disproportionately target certain fish and change the life history patterns of entire populations. […]

  • Seagrass is a key fishing ground globally
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    New research demonstrates that seagrass meadows are important fishing grounds all around the globe. The work highlights that there is an urgent need to start appreciating and understanding this role to be able to build more sustainable fisheries. A study examines the global extent to which these underwater meadows support fishing activity. […]

  • What grosses out a chimpanzee? The origins of disgust
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Chimps show increased latencies to feed, and tendencies to maintain greater distances from possible contaminants and/or outright refusals to consume food in test conditions, hinting at the origins of disgust in humans. […]

  • No more deer in the headlights: Study finds large mammals do use road crossing structures
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    A pilot study finds that large mammals are more likely to use wildlife crossing structures than move past a random location in the surrounding habitat. Animal movement also varied between crossing structures in different locations, suggesting that location might be more important than design. These findings are a first step towards a better understanding of the effectiveness of wildlife crossing structures. […]

  • Plant respiration could become a bigger feedback on climate than expected
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    New research suggests that plant respiration is a larger source of carbon emissions than previously thought, and warns that as the world warms, this may reduce the ability of Earth's land surface to absorb emissions due to fossil fuel burning. […]

  • Using eDNA to identify the breeding habitat of endangered species
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Using wide-ranging eDNA analysis combined with traditional collection survey methods, researchers have identified the breeding site of critically endangered fish species Acheilognathus typus in the mainstream of Omono River in Akita Prefecture, Japan. […]

  • The future of cell culture: A new continuous bioprocess developed
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    A revolutionary technique to allow the continuous production and collection of cells has been developed by scientists. […]

  • European forests might not be realizing their full potential
    on November 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    European forest managers can have their cake and eat it, because according to a new study maximizing timber production in a forest does not necessarily have to come at a cost of reduced species diversity or the capacity to regulate climate change by the same forest. However most European forests fall well below their possible maximum levels of these three capacities. […]

  • When male voles drink alcohol, but their partner doesn't, their relationship suffers
    on November 17, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Researchers find that the relationship between prairie vole couples suffers when the male has access to alcohol, but his female partner doesn't - similar to what has been observed in human couples. The researchers also found changes in a specific brain region in the male voles. The results could help researchers find strategies to overcome the negative effects of alcohol on human relationships. […]