Biology articlesMenstrual blood -- a valuable source of multipotential stem cells?
Researchers seeking new and more abundant sources of stem cells for use in regenerative medicine have identified a potentially unlimited, noncontroversial, easily collectable, and inexpensive source – menstrual blood.
Female mice can identify inbred males by their scent
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that female mice avoid mating with inbred males by 'sensing' the diversity of a protein type in their urine.
Foraging sheds light on evolution of biomechanics
The technique lizards use to grab their grub influences how they move, according to researchers at Ohio University.
First draft of transgenic papaya genome yields many fruits
A broad collaboration of research institutions in the U.S. and China has produced a first draft of the papaya genome. This draft, which spells out more than 90 percent of the plant's gene coding sequence, sheds new light on the evolution of flowering plants. And because it involves a genetically modified plant, the newly sequenced papaya genome offers the most detailed picture yet of the genetic changes that make the plant resistant to the papaya ringspot virus.
Insects evolved a radically different strategy to smell
Darwin's tree of life represents the path and estimates the time evolution took to get to the current diversity of life. Now, new findings suggest that this tree, an icon of evolution, may need to be redrawn.
Ancient ecosystems organized much like our own
It was an Anomalocaris-eat-trilobite world, filled with species like nothing on today's Earth. But the ecology of Cambrian communities was remarkably modern, say researchers behind the first study to reconstruct detailed food webs for ancient ecosystems. Their paper, published in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, suggests that networks of feeding relationships among marine species that lived hundreds of millions of years ago are remarkably similar to those of today.
Ancient sunflower fuels debate about agriculture in the americas
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Florida State University have confirmed evidence of domesticated sunflower in Mexico — 4,000 years before what had been previously believed.
Female jumping spiders find ultraviolet B rays 'sexy'
A report publishing online on May 1st in the journal Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press, provides the first evidence of an animal using ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to communicate with other members of its species.
Dwarf cloud rat rediscovered after 112 years
A team of Filipino and American scientists have rediscovered a highly distinctive mammal - a greater dwarf cloud rat - that was last seen 112 years ago. Furthermore, it has never before been discovered in its natural habitat and was thought by some to be extinct.
Different processes govern sight, light detection
A Johns Hopkins University biologist, in research with implications for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder and insomnia, has determined that the eye uses light to reset the biological clock through a mechanism separate from the ability to see.
Pathway found that lets mosquitoes fatten up, slow down for winter
Two genes that help insulin regulate mosquitoes' growth have been identified as key contributors to how the insects enter a dormant state to survive winter's cold.
Birds can tell if you are watching them because they are watching you
In humans, the eyes are said to be the 'window to the soul', conveying much about a person's emotions and intentions. New research demonstrates for the first time that starlings also respond to a human's gaze.
Fungi have a hand in depleted uranium's environmental fate
Fungi may have an important role to play in the fate of potentially dangerous depleted uranium left in the environment after recent war campaigns, according to a new report in the May 6th issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press.
What's bugging locusts? It could be they're hungry -- for each other
Since ancient times, locust plagues have been viewed as one of the most spectacular events in nature. In seemingly spontaneous fashion, as many as 10 billion critters can suddenly swarm the air and carpet the ground, blazing destructive paths that bring starvation and economic ruin.
Bread mold may hold secret to eliminating disease-causing genes
When most people discover mold on their bread, they immediately throw it out. Others see a world of possibilities in the tiny fungus. A University of Missouri scientist, along with a collaborative research team, has examined a new mechanism in the reproductive cycle of a certain species of mold.
Turning fungus into fuel
A spidery fungus with a voracious appetite for military uniforms and canvas tents could hold the key to improvements in the production of biofuels, a team of government, academic and industry researchers has announced.
New technique determines that the number of fat cells remains constant in all body types
The radioactive carbon-14 produced by above-ground nuclear testing in the 1950s and '60s has helped researchers determine that the number of fat cells in a human's body, whether lean or obese, is established during the teenage years. Changes in fat mass in adulthood can be attributed mainly to changes in fat cell volume, not an increase in the actual number of fat cells.
Unraveling the genomic code for development
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have produced the first complete description of the complex network of genes that create a particular type of cell in an organism.
Cornell researchers study bacterium big enough to see -- the shaquille o'neal of bacteria
Well, perhaps not quite Shaquille O'Neal. But it is Shaq-teria. The secret to an unusual bacterium's massive size -- it's the size of a grain of salt, or a million times bigger than E. coli bacteria, and big enough to see with the naked eye -- may be found in its ability to copy its genome tens of thousands of times.
Deep sea methane scavengers captured
Scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena succeeded in capturing syntrophic (means "feeding together") microorganisms that are known to dramatically reduce the oceanic emission of methane into the atmosphere.