Biology articlesScientists 'rebuild' giant moa using ancient DNA
Scientists have performed the first DNA-based reconstruction of the giant extinct moa bird, using prehistoric feathers recovered from caves and rock shelters in New Zealand.
Straighten up and fly right: moths benefit more from flexible wings than rigid
Most scientists who create models trying to understand the mechanics and aerodynamics of insect flight have assumed that insect wings are relatively rigid as they flap.
Scientists: salamanders, regenerative wonders, heal like mammals, people
The salamander is a superhero of regeneration, able to replace lost limbs, damaged lungs, sliced spinal cord - even bits of lopped-off brain.
Study of flower color shows evolution in action
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have zeroed in on the genes responsible for changing flower color, an area of research that began with Gregor Mendel's studies of the garden pea in the 1850's.
Super-sleepers could help super-sizers!
Many species of animals go through a period of torpor to conserve energy when resources are scarce. But when it comes to switching to energy-saving mode, the champion by far among vertebrates is the burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata), which can survive for several years buried in the mud in the absence of any food or water. How do they accomplish this feat?
Desert rhubarb, a self-irrigating plant
Researchers from the Department of Science Education-Biology at the University of Haifa-Oranim have managed to make out the "self-irrigating" mechanism of the desert rhubarb, which enables it to harvest 16 times the amount of water than otherwise expected for a plant in this region based on the quantities of rain in the desert. This is the first example of a self-irrigating plant worldwide.
A good wine needs to ripen. But it's a long way to the barrel. Even before the harvest, the grapevines have to overcome all kinds of obstacles. Extremely hot or rainy periods can destroy entire crops, not to mention the wide variety of pests that can appear on the scene. Bugs such as the vine louse or the rust mite, fungi such as mildew, or viruses such as the "Grapevine fanleaf virus" (GFLV for short) can give the vines a hard time. The GFLV infects the grapevine and causes fanleaf disease, resulting in deformed and very yellowed leaves, smaller grapes and crop loss.
Analysis of Copernicus putative remains support identity
Swedish and polish researchers now publish results from the analysis of the putative remains of Copernicus. A DNA-analysis of shed of hairs found in a book from Museum Gustavianum, Uppsala University, was one interesting piece in the project.
Freshwater fish a staple in early human diet
Freshwater fish was a staple diet for humans as early as 40,000 years ago, according to a new study led by UBC anthropologist Michael Richards.
Scientists are learning more about big birds from feathers
Catching adult eagles for research purposes is no easy task, but a Purdue University researcher has found a way around the problem, and, in the process, gathered even more information about the birds without ever laying a hand on one.
Study catches 2 bird populations as they split into separate species
A new study finds that a change in a single gene has sent two closely related bird populations on their way to becoming two distinct species. The study, published in the August issue of the American Naturalist, is one of only a few to investigate the specific genetic changes that drive two populations toward speciation.
Why winning athletes are getting bigger
While watching swimmers line up during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, former Olympic swimmer and NBC Sports commentator Rowdy Gaines quipped that swimmers keep getting bigger, with the shortest one in the current race towering over the average spectator.
Study reveals major genetic differences between blood and tissue cells
Research by a group of Montreal scientists calls into question one of the most basic assumptions of human genetics: that when it comes to DNA, every cell in the body is essentially identical to every other cell. Their results appear in the July issue of the journal Human Mutation.
New theory on why male, female lemurs same size
When it comes to investigating mysteries, Sherlock Holmes has nothing on Rice University biologist Amy Dunham. In a newly published paper, Dunham offers a new theory for one of primatology's long-standing mysteries: Why are male and female lemurs the same size?
Human sperm created from embryonic stem cells
Human sperm have been created using embryonic stem cells for the first time in a scientific development which will lead researchers to a better understanding of the causes of infertility.
Smaller plants punch above their weight in the forest
New findings from Queen's University biologists show that in the plant world, bigger isn't necessarily better.
Chimps, like humans, focus on faces
A chimp's attention is captured by faces more effectively than by bananas. A series of experiments described in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology suggests that the apes are wired to respond to faces in a similar manner to humans.
New discovery suggests trees evolved camouflage defense against long extinct predator
Many animal species such as snakes, insects and fish have evolved camouflage defences to deter attack from their predators. However research published in New Phytologist has discovered that trees in New Zealand have evolved a similar defence to protect themselves from extinct giant birds, providing the first evidence of this strategy in plant life.
Synchronized swimming of algae
Using high-speed cinematography, scientists at Cambridge University have discovered that individual algal cells can regulate the beating of their flagella in and out of synchrony in a manner that controls their swimming trajectories. Their research was published on the 24th July in the journal Science.
Sea lampreys jettison one-fifth of their genome
Researchers have discovered that the sea lamprey, which emerged from jawless fish first appearing 500 million years ago, dramatically remodels its genome. Shortly after a fertilized lamprey egg divides into several cells, the growing embryo discards millions of units of its DNA.