Biology

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

  • New research on avian response to wildfires
    on June 22, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied. […]

  • Tiny jumping roundworm undergoes unusual sexual development
    on June 22, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Biologists have shown that gonad development varies in other nematodes relative to C. elegans. Specifically, they focused on Steinernema carpocapsae, a nematode used in insect biocontrol applications in lawns and gardens. […]

  • Dynamic modeling helps predict the behaviors of gut microbes
    on June 22, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    A new study provides a platform for predicting how microbial gut communities work and represents a first step toward understanding how to manipulate the properties of the gut ecosystem. This could allow scientists to, for example, design a probiotic that persists in the gut or tailor a diet to positively influence human health. […]

  • Scientists discover how antiviral gene works
    on June 22, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    It's been known for years that humans and other mammals possess an antiviral gene called RSAD2 that prevents a remarkable range of viruses from multiplying. Now, researchers have discovered the secret to the gene's success: The enzyme it codes for generates a compound that stops viruses from replicating. The newly discovered compound offers a novel approach for attacking many disease-causing viruses. […]

  • Our intestinal microbiome influences metabolism -- through the immune system
    on June 21, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    The innate immune system, our first line of defense against bacterial infection, has a side job that's equally important: fine-tuning our metabolism. […]

  • How snowshoe hares evolved to stay seasonally camouflaged
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Many animals have evolved fur or feather colors to blend in with the environment and hide from predators. But how do animals stay camouflaged when their environment changes with each new season? For snowshoe hares, hybridization plays an important role in their ability to match their environment, new research shows. […]

  • Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    A zebrafish view of the world has been forensically analyzed by researchers to reveal that how they see their surroundings changes hugely depending on what direction they are looking. […]

  • Fish's use of electricity might shed light on human illnesses
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    African weakly electric fish, commonly called baby whales, use incredibly brief electrical pulses to sense the world around them and communicate with other members of their species. Part of that electrical mechanism exists in humans -- and by studying these fish, scientists may unlock clues about conditions like epilepsy. […]

  • First ancient syphilis genomes decoded
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    An international research team has recovered the first historic genomes from the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis. It was previously not thought possible to recover DNA of this bacterium from ancient samples. In the study, the researchers were able to distinguish genetically between the subspecies of the disease that cause syphilis and that cause yaws, which are not readily distinguishable in skeletal remains. […]

  • Not junk: 'Jumping gene' is critical for early embryo
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    A so-called 'jumping gene' that researchers long considered either genetic junk or a pernicious parasite is actually a critical regulator of the first stages of embryonic development, according to a new study. […]

  • A mechanism behind choosing alcohol over healthy rewards is found
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Changes in a brain signalling system contribute to the development of alcohol addiction-like behaviors in rats, according to a new study. The findings indicate a similar mechanism in humans. […]

  • California Aedes mosquitoes capable of spreading Zika
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Over the last five years, Zika virus has emerged as a significant global human health threat following outbreaks in South and Central America. Now, researchers have shown that invasive mosquitoes in California -- where cases of Zika in travelers have been a regular occurrence in recent years -- are capable of transmitting Zika. […]

  • Cross-species prion adaptation depends on prion replication environment
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    A hamster prion that replicated under conditions of low RNA levels in mouse brain material resulted in altered disease features when readapted and transmitted back to hamsters, according to new research. […]

  • How competition and cooperation between bacteria shape antibiotic resistance
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    New computational simulations suggest that the effects of antibiotics on a bacterial community depend on whether neighboring species have competitive or cooperative relationships, as well as their spatial arrangement. […]

  • Six new species of goblin spiders named after famous goblins and brownies
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    A remarkably high diversity of goblin spiders is reported from the Sri Lankan forests. Nine new species are described in a recent paper, where six are named after goblins and brownies from Enid Blyton's children's books. There are now 45 goblin spider species belonging to 13 genera known to inhabit the island country. […]

  • Caffeine from four cups of coffee protects the heart with the help of mitochondria
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    A new study shows that a caffeine concentration equivalent to four cups of coffee promotes the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria, enhancing their function and protecting cardiovascular cells from damage. […]

  • Engineering bacteria to exhibit stochastic Turing patterns
    on June 21, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    A new study has brought science one step closer to a molecular-level understanding of how patterns form in living tissue. The researchers engineered bacteria that, when incubated and grown, exhibited stochastic Turing patterns: a 'lawn' of synthesized bacteria in a petri dish fluoresced an irregular pattern of red polka dots on a field of green. […]

  • DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpart
    on June 21, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    A new synthetic enzyme, crafted from DNA rather than protein, flips lipid molecules within the cell membrane, triggering a signal pathway that could be harnessed to induce cell death in cancer cells. This is the first such synthetic enzyme to outperform its natural counterpart -- and it does so by three orders of magnitude. […]

  • Your brain anatomy may play a role in determining your food choices
    on June 21, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Our ability to exercise self-control is linked to our neurobiology. […]

  • Garden seed diet for threatened turtle doves has negative impact
    on June 21, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    New research into Britain's fastest declining bird species has found that young turtle doves raised on a diet of seeds foraged from non-cultivated arable plants rather than food provided in people's gardens are more likely to survive after fledging. Ecologists investigated the dietary habits of European turtle doves using DNA analysis of faecal samples and found significant associations between the body condition and the source of the bird's diet. […]

  • Rhesus macaque model offers route to study Zika brain pathology
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Rhesus macaque monkeys infected in utero with Zika virus develop similar brain pathology to human infants. The findings may open up new ways to study the infection in an animal model. […]

  • The world's tiniest first responders
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Amid the rise of CRISPR and genome editing, scientists are still learning more about DNA repair and its significance in aging and diseases such as cancer. […]

  • DNA barcodes that reliably work: A game-changer for biomedical research
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Researchers have developed a new method for correcting the errors that creep into DNA barcodes -- labels used in a wide range of biological experiments -- yielding far more accurate results and paving the way for more ambitious medical research in the future. […]

  • Rewiring plant defense genes to reduce crop waste
    on June 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Plants could be genetically rewired to better resist disease, helping safeguard crop yields worldwide according to new research. Defensive feedback control system developed enables plants to strengthen their defenses to withstand attack by re-wiring existing gene connections. The system uses same approach as aircraft autopilots use to counteract turbulence. […]

  • Scientists find evidence of 27 new viruses in bees
    on June 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    An international team of researchers has discovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees. The finding could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators. […]

  • The sounds of climate change
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Researchers describe a way to quickly sift through thousands of hours of field recordings to estimate when songbirds arrive at their Arctic breeding grounds. Their research could be applied to any dataset of animal vocalizations to understand how migratory animals are responding to climate change. […]

  • Zero proof probiotics can ease your anxiety
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    A study found evidence that probiotics can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not in humans. […]

  • Compound made inside human body stops viruses from replicating
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    A team of researchers has identified the mode of action of viperin, a naturally occurring enzyme in humans and other mammals that is known to have antiviral effects on viruses such as West Nile, hepatitis C, rabies, and HIV. This discovery could allow researchers to develop a drug that could act as a broad-spectrum therapy for a range of viruses, including Zika. […]

  • Gene-edited pigs are resistant to billion-dollar virus
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Scientists have produced pigs that can resist one of the world's most costly animal diseases, by changing their genetic code. Tests with the virus -- called Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, or PRRS -- found the pigs do not become infected at all. The animals show no signs that the change in their DNA has had any other impact on their health or wellbeing. […]

  • The cells that control the formation of fat
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    A study has revealed a new cell type that resides in the body's fat depots where it can actively suppress fat cell formation. This discovery was made using single-cell transcriptomics and opens entirely new avenues to combat obesity and related diseases such as diabetes. […]