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

  • Enzymes 'partner up' to accelerate cancer, aging diseases
    on September 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Researchers have identified cellular processes that appear to supercharge both the growth and shrinkage of the chemical 'caps' on chromosomes associated with aging, called telomeres. […]

  • The grim, final days of a mother octopus
    on September 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    A new study uses modern genetic sequencing tools to describe several distinct molecular signals produced by the optic gland after a female octopus reproduces. The research also details four separate phases of maternal behavior and links them to these signals, suggesting how the optic gland controls a mother octopus' demise. […]

  • Bacteria's 'password' for sporulation hasn't changed in 2.7 billion years
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    When it comes to changing their passwords, bacteria are just as bad as you and me -- maybe even worse. A research team has found that despite 2.7 billion years of evolution, bacteria are still using the same 'password' to initiate the process for making spores. […]

  • Termites: Advanced animal society can thrive without males
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Termite colonies have been found to thrive and reproduce without males, new research reveals. The findings provide new evidence that males aren't required to maintain some advanced animal populations. They add momentum to questions about the impact and function of males in animal societies. […]

  • New species of dazzling, neon-colored fish
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Named for Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, a new species of dazzling, neon-colored fish from the twilight zone enchants scientists. It's only known home is the remote Brazilian archipelago of St. Paul's Rocks. […]

  • Infectious bacteria hibernate to evade antibiotics
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Researchers have discovered a surprising tactic of pathogenic bacteria when being attacked by antibiotics: hibernation. […]

  • How leaves talk to roots
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    New findings show that a micro RNA from the shoot keeps legume roots susceptible to symbiotic infection by downregulating a gene that would otherwise hinder root responses to symbiotic bacteria. These findings help us understand what it takes to make nitrogen-fixing symbiosis efficient, and what we need to do to exploit it agronomically. […]

  • Built-in sound amplifier helps male mosquitoes find females
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    The ears of male mosquitoes amplify the sound of an approaching female using a self-generated phantom tone that mimics the female's wingbeats, which increases the ear's acoustic input by a factor of up to 45,000, finds a new study. […]

  • Genome duplication drives evolution of species
    on September 25, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Polyploid plants have a duplicate set of chromosomes. As a result, large-scale genetic changes are therefore possible in the new species, making it more adaptable in comparison with the parental species, as has now been demonstrated by researchers using rockcress. […]

  • Birds' voiceboxes are odd ducks
    on September 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Birds' voiceboxes are in their chests instead of their throats like mammals and reptiles. Scientists aren't sure how or why birds evolved these unique voiceboxes, but a new study sheds some light on how they came about. Similarities in the windpipes of birds, crocodiles, cats, mice, and salamanders suggest that birds' weird voiceboxes might have arisen from a windpipe reinforcement. From this, scientists can learn about the sounds bird ancestors -- dinosaurs -- made. […]

  • Common weed killer linked to bee deaths
    on September 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Honey bees exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts and are more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria. Scientists believe this is evidence that glyphosate might be contributing to the decline of honey bees and native bees around the world. […]

  • Evidence that addictive behaviors have strong links with ancient retroviral infection
    on September 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    New research shows that an ancient retrovirus -- HK2 -- is more frequently found in drug addicts and thus is significantly associated with addiction. […]

  • How fruits got their eye-catching colors
    on September 24, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    New evidence supports the idea that plants owe their rainbow of fruit colors to the different animals that eat them. Researchers first had to get past the fact that most animals don't see colors quite the way humans do. […]

  • Breakthrough in designing a better Salmonella vaccine
    on September 24, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding which cells afford optimal protection against Salmonella infection -- a critical step in developing a more effective and safe vaccine against a bacterium that annually kills an estimated one million people worldwide. […]

  • Sex in plants requires thrust
    on September 24, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    In plants, to fertilize the egg, the pollen tube (which is between 1/20 and 1/5 of the width of a human hair) has to navigate through a maze of tissue, no matter what obstacles it encounters. Thanks to the lab-on-a chip technology scientists were able to actually see and measure exactly what was going on within the pollen tube as it grew. […]

  • Desert ants have an amazing odor memory
    on September 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Desert ants can quickly learn many different food odors and remember them for the rest of their lives. Their memory for nest odors seems to differ from their food odor memory: Whereas food odors are learned and kept after a single contact, ants need several trials to memorize nest odors and forget a nest-associated odor quickly after it has been removed from the nest. Hence, ants process food and nest odors differently in their brains. […]

  • Parasite makes quick exit when researchers remove the handbrake
    on September 24, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    Researchers have discovered a way to halt the invasion of the toxoplasmosis-causing parasite into cells, depriving the parasite of a key factor necessary for its growth. The findings are a key step in getting closer to a vaccine to protect pregnant women from the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which carries a serious risk of miscarriage or birth defects. […]

  • How a molecular signal helps plant cells decide when to make oil
    on September 24, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Scientists identify new details of how a sugar-signaling molecule helps regulate oil production in plant cells. The work could point to new ways to engineer plants to produce substantial amounts of oil for use as biofuels or in the production of other oil-based products. […]

  • DNA islands effective as 'anti-bacterial drones'
    on September 24, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Genomic 'islands' that evolved from viruses can be converted into 'drones' that disable Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria that are often resistant to antibiotics, a new study finds. […]

  • Eradicating Helicobacter pylori infections may be a key treatment for Parkinson's disease
    on September 24, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    While human genetic mutations are involved in a small number of Parkinson's disease (PD) cases, the vast majority of cases are of unknown environmental causes, prompting enormous interest in identifying environmental risk factors involved. […]

  • Know someone sick? Your own smell might give it away
    on September 24, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Odors surround us, providing cues about many aspects of personal identity, including health status. Now, research extends the scope and significance of personal odors as a source of information about an individual's health. A new paper reports that the bodily odors of otherwise healthy animals sharing an environment with sick animals become like the odors of the sick animals. […]

  • Researchers explore how changes in diet alter microbiome in artificial intestine
    on September 21, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Using an artificial intestine they created, researchers have shown that the microbiome can quickly adapt from the bacterial equivalent of a typical western diet to one composed exclusively of dietary fats. […]

  • Possible molecular pathway for neurodegeneration in prion diseases
    on September 21, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    A new study has shed light on the mechanisms underlying the progression of prion diseases and identified a potential target for treatment. […]

  • Light pollution makes fish more courageous
    on September 21, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Artificial light at night also makes guppies more courageous during the day, according to a new behavioral study. […]

  • Scientists discover 20 new gnat species in Brazil
    on September 21, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Scientists from Estonia, Finland and Brazil have found 20 new species of gnat in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. […]

  • Land-based bird populations are at risk of local extinction
    on September 21, 2018 at 12:32 am

    A new report finds that land-based bird populations are becoming confined to nature reserves in some parts of the world -- raising the risk of global extinction -- due to the loss of suitable habitat. […]

  • Octopuses given mood drug 'ecstasy' reveal genetic link to evolution of social behaviors in humans
    on September 20, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or 'ecstasy,' scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolutionary link between the social behaviors of the sea creature and humans, species separated by 500 million years on the evolutionary tree. […]

  • Synthetic organelle shows how tiny puddle-organs in our cells work
    on September 20, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Imagine your liver being just a big puddle. Some organelles in your cells are exactly that including prominent ones like the nucleolus. Now a synthetic organelle engineered in a lab shows how such puddle organs can carry out complex life-sustaining reaction chains. […]

  • Kiwifruit duplicated its vitamin C genes twice, 50 million and 20 million years ago
    on September 20, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Today's kiwifruit contains about as much vitamin C as an orange -- the result of the kiwifruit's ancestors' spontaneously duplicating their DNA in two separate evolutionary events approximately 50-57 million and 18-20 million years ago. […]

  • We are bombarded by thousands of diverse species and chemicals
    on September 20, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Scientists have measured the human 'exposome,' or the particulates, chemicals and microbes that individually swaddle us all, in unprecedented detail. […]