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

  • Sea pickles are adapting to the Pacific Northwest
    on July 20, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Tubular colonial jellies known as pyrosomes that arrived in 2014 along North America's Pacific Northwest Coast appear to be adapting to cooler water and may become permanent residents. […]

  • New findings on intercellular communication
    on July 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    This is a nice example of a rather unexpected discovery: by studying the development of the blood vessels of the brain, researchers have just shed light on a question that was pending for 10 years! They provide a molecular mechanism conferring ligand specificity to Wnt signaling, an ancestral communication pathway present in all vertebrates. […]

  • Genome damage from CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing higher than thought
    on July 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Scientists have discovered that CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing can cause greater genetic damage in cells than was previously thought. This has safety implications for future gene therapies using CRISPR/Cas9 as the unexpected damage could lead to dangerous changes in some cells. The study revealed that standard DNA tests miss finding this genetic damage, and that caution and specific testing will be required for any potential gene therapies. […]

  • Mixed mRNA tails act like a shield that delays its shortening
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Biologists have identified how mixed tails -- made of different nucleotides -- protect mRNA from degradation for longer. This study could bring new insights to our understanding of gene regulation in healthy and diseased states. […]

  • Yeast species used in food industry can cause disease in humans, study finds
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    A major cause of drug-resistant clinical yeast infections is the same species previously regarded as non-pathogenic and commonly used in the biotechnology and food industries. […]

  • Learning from 'little monsters'
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    By studying deep and shallow water zones of streams and their resident invertebrates, researcher reveals mysteries of fresh water life. […]

  • Chemists characterize the fatal fungus among us
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Life-threatening fungal infections affect more than two million people worldwide. Effective antifungal medications are limited. A major challenge is that the fungal cell wall is poorly understood, which has impeded drug development. However, chemist have identified for the first time the cell wall structure of one of the most prevalent and deadly fungi, which could usher in a new era of antifungal drug development to help save lives. […]

  • Phages work together to suppress CRISPR bacterial immunity
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    CRISPR are an essential part of bacterial immunity designed to defend against foreign DNA. In bacteria, CRISPR acts just like it does in human cells as a pair of scissors, in their case with the goal of cutting strands of infecting DNA. While researchers have known that CRISPR is found in roughly half of all bacteria in the wild, they did not know much about the molecular battle between CRISPRs and invading viruses or phages. […]

  • How plant breeding technologies could make fruits and vegetables more exciting to eat
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Forget vegetables with dull colors and fuzzy skin or fruits that lack of flavor -- the produce aisle of the future could offer plant products that are designed for creative cooks and fussy eaters. In a new article, food researchers describe how new breeding technologies have the potential to enhance the shape, size, color, and health benefits of produce, as well as to inform conventional breeding programs. […]

  • Complete fly brain imaged at nanoscale resolution
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Scientists have taken detailed pictures of the entire brain of an adult female fruit fly using transmission electron microscopy. […]

  • New insights into plants' conquest of land
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    The ancestors of land plants were string-like (2D), aquatic green algae that looked very different from the three-dimensional (3D), upright stems and leaves of plants we are familiar with today. Now, researchers have revealed exciting insights into how land plants evolved these 3D forms that were crucial for their advancement onto land. […]

  • From cradle to grave: Factors that shaped evolution
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    This study brings us closer to knowing the complex interactions between topography and climate change, and how these factors influence the evolutionary histories and biodiversity of species in natural ecosystems. […]

  • Paralyzed mice with spinal cord injury made to walk again
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Most people with spinal cord injury are paralyzed from the injury site down, even when the cord isn't completely severed. Why don't the spared portions of the spinal cord keep working? Researchers now provide insight into why these nerve pathways remain quiet. They also show that a small-molecule compound, given systemically, can revive these circuits in paralyzed mice, restoring their ability to walk. […]

  • Fruit fly species can learn each other's dialects
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Fruit flies from different species can warn each other when parasitic wasps are near. But according to a new study, they are more likely to get the message across if the fly species have previously cohabited and learned each other's dialects. […]

  • Why does making new egg cells require so much cell death?
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    A highly detailed study of how the roundworm C. elegans forms oocytes suggests that the egg-making process leads to the formation and subsequent destruction of cells with an extra nucleus, but that some cellular materials are recycled into new eggs. […]

  • Newly discovered armored dinosaur from Utah reveals intriguing family history
    on July 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Fossils of a new genus and species of an ankylosaurid dinosaur -- Akainacephalus johnsoni -- have been unearthed in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, USA, and are revealing new details about the diversity and evolution of this group of armored dinosaurs. The research indicates that the defining features of Akainacephalus -- the spiky bony armor covering the skull and snout -- align more closely with Asian ankylosaurids than other North American Late Cretaceous ankylosaurid dinosaurs. […]

  • Evidence of Salmonella Paratyphi C found for the first time in medieval northern Europe
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Genome research suggests that enteric fever, a potentially lethal disease more commonly found in hot countries, was present in medieval Europe. Salmonella Paratyphi C causes enteric fever, a life-threatening infection, and has been detected in a 800 year old human skeleton discovered in Trondheim, Norway. […]

  • Determining the bioaccumulation of 9 metals in aquatic invertebrates in mining areas
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    A new study has proposed an ecological threshold concentration of 9 metals for 10 taxa of aquatic macroinvertebrates from clean sites in the Nalón river basin (Asturias). This is the first step towards incorporating into river management plans quality criteria relating to the bioaccumulation of hazardous substances, as required by the EU. […]

  • Scientists develop proteins that self-assemble into supramolecular complexes
    on July 19, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Scientists have designed new proteins that can self-assemble into the complex structures underlying biological organisms, laying the groundwork for leading-edge applications in biotechnology. The researchers created and developed the proteins with a specific function and their method reveals a possibility that certain protein functions can be created on demand. It is expected to contribute to the development of nanobiomaterials, which could be used as a drug delivery system or an artificial vaccine. […]

  • Does biodiversity loss leads to an increased disease risk?
    on July 18, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate as infectious diseases increasingly spill over from wildlife to humans. Disease ecologists fervently debate whether biodiversity loss leads to an increased disease risk. Now, a new study offers some answers. […]

  • For one tropical tree, effective seed dispersal relies especially on elephants
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Deer, bears, gibbons, but especially elephants, play an important role in seed dispersal for a large-fruited tree in the forests of Thailand, according to a new study. The data illustrate the complexity of forest ecology and hint that, at least for this one species, changes have occurred that have diminished its overall reproductive success. […]

  • Scientists uncover DNA 'shield' w/crucial roles in normal cell division
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    New fundamental complex in cells drives 'messy' form of DNA repair. In immune cells, this is crucial to make antibodies. In cancer, mutations in complex could lead to resistance to BRCA-targeting PARP inhibitor drugs or platinum chemotherapies. […]

  • Glowing bacteria on deep-sea fish shed light on evolution, 'third type' of symbiosis
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    For the first time, scientists have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of bacteria that live in anglerfish bulbs. The bacteria were taken from fish specimens collected in the Gulf of Mexico. […]

  • Origami-inspired device helps marine biologists study octopuses and jellyfish
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Scientists have tried to find the safest and most effective ways to explore marine life in the oceanic water, the largest and least explored environment on Earth, for years. Each time, they were faced with the same challenge: How to capture delicate or gelatinous pelagic animals -- like jellyfish, squid, and octopuses -- without harming them? An origami-inspired device may change that. […]

  • Bacterial armor could be a new target for antibiotics
    on July 18, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Boosting efforts to fight antibiotic resistance, researchers have found that a thin membrane, thought to be just a shrink wrap around some bacterial cell walls, has structural properties critical for survival. Drugs that destroy the membrane could be a new approach to treating infection. […]

  • Health of mom's gut a key contributor to autism risk, study suggests
    on July 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    The mother's microbiome, the collection of microscopic organisms that live inside us, is a key contributor to the risk of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in her offspring, new research suggests. The work raises the possibility that we could help prevent autism by altering expectant moms' diets. […]

  • Feeding plants to this algae could fuel your car
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    The research shows that a freshwater production strain of microalgae, Auxenochlorella protothecoides, is capable of directly degrading and utilizing non-food plant substrates, such as switchgrass, for improved cell growth and lipid productivity, useful for boosting the algae's potential value as a biofuel. […]

  • Biological signalling processes in intelligent materials
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Researchers are developing innovative biohybrid systems with information processing functionality. […]

  • Lateral gene transfer enables chemical protection of beetles against antagonistic fungi
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Researchers have discovered that bacteria associated to Lagria villosa beetles can produce an antifungal substance very similar to one found in tunicates living in the marine environment. The researchers revealed that this commonality is likely explained by the transfer of genes between unrelated microorganisms. […]

  • New retinal ganglion cell subtypes emerge from single-cell RNA sequencing
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Single-cell sequencing technologies are filling in fine details in the catalog of life. Researchers have now identified 40 subtypes of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) along with the genetic markers and transcription factors that differentiate them. […]