Biology articlesBody clock regulates metabolism
UC Irvine researchers have discovered that circadian rhythms - our own body clocks - regulate energy levels in cells. The findings have far-reaching implications, from providing greater insights into the bond between the body's day-night patterns and metabolism to creating new treatments for cancer, diabetes, obesity and related diseases.
Astrocytes help separate man from mouse
A type of brain cell that was long overlooked by researchers embodies one of very few ways in which the human brain differs fundamentally from that of a mouse or rat, according to researchers who published their findings as the cover story in the March 11 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
Deep sea corals may be oldest living marine organism
Deep-sea corals from about 400 meters off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands are much older than once believed and some may be the oldest living marine organisms known to man.
Atlantic snails are increasing dramatically in size
A Queen's University biologist has discovered that the shell lengths of northwest Atlantic Ocean snails - an important member of the Atlantic food chain - have increased by 22.6 per cent over the past century. Until now, this significant change in the marine ecosystem has gone unnoticed.
Incest can lead to more disease in offspring
Crows that are the product of incest are more susceptible to diseases, according to a new Cornell study published online this month in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The secret to chimp strength
February's brutal chimpanzee attack, during which a pet chimp inflicted devastating injuries on a Connecticut woman, was a stark reminder that chimps are much stronger than humans-as much as four-times stronger, some researchers believe. But what is it that makes our closest primate cousins so much stronger than we are? One possible explanation is that great apes simply have more powerful muscles. Indeed, biologists have uncovered differences in muscle architecture between chimpanzees and humans. But evolutionary biologist Alan Walker, a professor at Penn State University, thinks muscles may only be part of the story.
Sexy or repulsive? Butterfly wings can be both to mates and predators
Butterflies seem able to both attract mates and ward off predators using different sides of their wings, according to new research by Yale University biologists.
Distinguishing single cells with nothing but light
Researchers at the University of Rochester have developed a novel optical technique that permits rapid analysis of single human immune cells using only light.
UBC study first to show evolution's impact on ecosystems
Scientists have come to agree that different environments impact the evolution of new species. Now experiments conducted at the University of British Columbia are showing for the first time that the reverse is also true.
New way to produce critical proteins for medicine and industry sidesteps use of live cells
A new method developed by Cornell biological engineers offers an efficient way to make proteins for use in medicine or industry without the use of live cells. The proteins made in this way include many that cannot be produced by current biotechnology.
New possibilities for hydrogen-producing algae
Photosynthesis produces the food that we eat and the oxygen that we breathe ? could it also help satisfy our future energy needs by producing clean-burning hydrogen? Researchers studying a hydrogen-producing, single-celled green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, have unmasked a previously unknown fermentation pathway that may open up possibilities for increasing hydrogen production.
MIT: cooperative behavior meshes with evolutionary theory
One of the perplexing questions raised by evolutionary theory is how cooperative behavior, which benefits other members of a species at a cost to the individual, came to exist.
A woman's nose knows body odor
It may be wise to trust the female nose when it comes to body odor. According to new research from the Monell Center, it is more difficult to mask underarm odor when women are doing the smelling.
Poison: it's what's for dinner
As the U.S. Southwest grew warmer from 18,700 to 10,000 years ago, juniper trees vanished from what is now the Mojave Desert, robbing packrats of their favorite food. Now, University of Utah biologists have narrowed the hunt for detoxification genes that let the rodents eat toxic creosote bushes that replaced juniper.
UIC biologists use DNA to study migration of threatened whale sharks
Whale sharks -- giants of the fish world that strike terror only among tiny creatures like the plankton and krill they eat -- are imperiled by over-fishing of the species in parts of its ocean range.
Mechanism identified that directs stem cells to destination
Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have for the first time identified in mice a cellular mechanism that directs stem cells to their ultimate destination in the body.
New technique analyzes seaweed chemical defenses
A new analytical technique is helping scientists learn how organisms as simple as seaweed can mount complex chemical defenses to protect themselves from microbial threats such as fungus. Known as desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS), the technique for the first time allows researchers to study unique chemical activity taking place on the surfaces of these organisms.
Survival mode that protects cells when oxygen is low also slows aging
A biochemical pathway that helps keep cells alive when oxygen is low also plays a role in longevity and resistance against some diseases of old age, according to a report published April 16 in the journal Science.
A secret to night vision found in DNA's unconventional 'architecture'
Researchers have discovered an important element for making night vision possible in nocturnal mammals: the DNA within the photoreceptor rod cells responsible for low light vision is packaged in a very unconventional way, according to a report in the April 17th issue of Cell, a Cell Press publication. That special DNA architecture turns the rod cell nuclei themselves into tiny light-collecting lenses, with millions of them in every nocturnal eye.
Alligators hint at what life may have been like for dinosaurs
During the last 540 million years, the earth's oxygen levels have fluctuated wildly. Knowing that the dinosaurs appeared around the time when oxygen levels were at their lowest at 12%, Tomasz Owerkowicz, Ruth Elsey and James Hicks wondered how these monsters coped at such low oxygen levels. But without a ready supply of dinosaurs to test their ideas on, Owerkowicz and Hicks turned to a modern relative: the alligator.