Biology articlesSugars in liver found to clear fats from the bloodstream
Maybe you ate a big, juicy steak for dinner last night, adding a large amount of fat – scientifically known as triglycerides – to your system. For one in ten of us, that could be a big problem.
Plants point the way to coping with climate change
Roses flowering at Christmas and snow-free ski resorts this winter suggest that climate change is already with us and our farmers and growers will need ways of adapting. Scientists studying how plants have naturally evolved to cope with the changing seasons of temperate climates have made a discovery that could help us to breed new varieties of crops, able to thrive in a changing climate.
Baby fish smell their way home
Marine scientists working on Australia's Great Barrier Reef have uncovered evidence that baby fish, only millimetres long, manage to find their way to their home coral reef across miles of open sea by using their sense of smell.
Researchers study interplay between environment, evolution
Claudia Acquisti, a postdoctoral researcher who recently joined the Center for Evolutionary Functional Genomics at the Biodesign Institute at ASU, is providing new perspectives on environmental nutrient availability and the evolution of life.
How does one sex grow larger than the other?
Why are males larger than females in some animal species (such as most mammals), females larger than males in others (such as most insects), and why are the sexes alike in yet other species (such as several birds)? Further, how is such sexual size dimorphism achieved when it exists? If males and females grow at the same rate, then the larger sex has to extend its growth period. Alternatively, the larger sex can grow faster.
Research cracks puzzle of why the bumble bee can fly so well
New research has cracked the old puzzle of why bees and other insects are so good at flying, paving the way for aircraft just a few centimetres wide to be built.
Non-venomous asian snakes 'borrow' defensive poison from toxic toads
Most snakes are born with poisonous bites they use for defense. But what can non-poisonous snakes do to ward off predators?
Does evolution select for faster evolvers?
It's a mystery why the speed and complexity of evolution appear to increase with time. For example, the fossil record indicates that single-celled life first appeared about 3.5 billion years ago, and it then took about 2.5 billion more years for multi-cellular life to evolve. That leaves just a billion years or so for the evolution of the diverse menagerie of plants, mammals, insects, birds and other species that populate the earth.
Lost dogs found more often than lost cats, study suggests
A lost dog is more likely to be reunited with its owner than a lost cat, according to two new studies.
Smell may outlast other senses
About 1000 Australian males and females of all ages were tested for their ability to detect or identify a range of different odours at different concentrations, and then given an overall score for their sense of smell, or olfactory function.
The temperature hovers around freezing, but the sun is up for 24 hours each day. How do animals living in the continuous light of the Arctic summer know when to sleep and when to be active? Do they maintain a 24-hour cycle of rest and activity, or does living in continuous light alter their circadian rhythm?
'Electric' fish shed light on ways the brain directs movement
Scientists have long struggled to figure out how the brain guides the complex movement of our limbs, from the graceful leaps of ballerinas to the simple, everyday act of picking up a cup of coffee. Using tools from robotics and neuroscience, two Johns Hopkins University researchers have found some tantalizing clues in an unlikely mode of motion: the undulations of tropical fish.
Cold climate produced by algae contributed to onset of multicellular life
The rise of multicellular animals about 540 million years ago was a turning point in the history of life. A group of Finnish scientists suggests a new climate-biosphere interaction mechanism for the underlying processes in a new study, published on February 14, 2007 in PLoS ONE, the international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication from the Public Library of Science (PLoS).
Scientists clone mice from adult skin stem cells
The potential of stem cells has so far gone largely untapped, despite the great promise that stem cells hold. But new research from Rockefeller University now shows that adult stem cells taken from skin can be used to clone mice using a procedure called nuclear transfer.
The chimpanzee stone age
Researchers have found evidence that chimpanzees from West Africa were cracking nuts with stone tools before the advent of agriculture, thousands of years ago. The result suggests chimpanzees developed this behaviour on their own, or even that stone tool use was a trait inherited from our common ancestor.
New mechanism for nutrient uptake discovered
Biologists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology have discovered a new way that plant cells govern nutrient regulation—neighboring pore-like structures at the cell's surface physically interact to control the uptake of a vital nutrient, nitrogen. It is the first time scientists have found that the interaction of neighboring molecules is essential to this regulation.
Yale biologists trick viruses into extinction
While human changes to the environment cause conservation biologists to worry about species extinction, Yale biologists are reversing the logic by trying to trap viruses in habitats that force their extinction, according to a report in Ecology Letters.
Male fish turn to cannibalism when uncertain of paternity
A study from the February issue of the American Naturalist is the first to demonstrate that male fish are more likely to eat their offspring when they have been cuckolded during the act of spawning. Moreover, the more males that are present during spawning, the more likely it is that a male will try to eat the eggs when they are laid, as it is less likely that he fertilized them.
Dna gets new twist: scientists develop unique dna nanotags
Carnegie Mellon University scientists have married bright fluorescent dye molecules with DNA nanostructure templates to make nanosized fluorescent labels that hold considerable promise for studying fundamental chemical and biochemical reactions in single molecules or cells. The work, published Jan. 26 in "The Journal of the American Chemical Society," improves the sensitivity for fluorescence-based imaging and medical diagnostics.
New evidence -- clovis people not first to populate north america
The belief that the Clovis People were the first to populate North America some 11,500 years ago has been widely challenged in recent years, and a Texas A&M University anthropologist has found evidence he says could be the final nail in the coffin for the Clovis first model.