Biology articlesScientists decipher the 3-D structure of the human genome
Scientists have deciphered the three-dimensional structure of the human genome, paving the way for new insights into genomic function and expanding our understanding of how cellular DNA folds at scales that dwarf the double helix.
Climate change triggered dwarfism in soil-dwelling creatures of the past
Ancient soil-inhabiting creatures decreased in body size by nearly half in response to a period of boosted carbon dioxide levels and higher temperatures, scientists have discovered.
Chance to usurp reproductive power of royal throne keeps worker termites home
A new study by researchers at the University of Maryland suggests termite offspring stay in their birth colony to help their queen and king parents rather than leave to try and start their own family because their chance of inheriting the 'reproductive throne' is higher than their chance of successfully dispersing, finding a mate, and surviving to produce fertile offspring on their own.
Chimpanzees help each other on request but not voluntarily
The evolution of altruism has long puzzled researchers and has mainly been explained previously from ultimate perspectives-I will help you now because I expect there to be some long-term benefit to me. However, a new study by researchers at the Primate Research Institute (PRI) and the Wildlife Research Center (WRC) of Kyoto University shows that chimpanzees altruistically help conspecifics, even in the absence of direct personal gain or immediate reciprocation, although the chimpanzees were much more likely to help each other upon request than voluntarily.
A 200,000-year-old cut of meat
Contestants on TV shows like Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen know that their meat-cutting skills will be scrutinized by a panel of unforgiving judges. Now, new archaeological evidence is getting the same scrutiny by scientists at Tel Aviv University and the University of Arizona.
Herbivory discovered in a spider
A jumping spider from Central America eats mostly plants, according to new research.
Self-sacrifice among strangers has more to do with nurture than nature
Socially learned behavior and belief are much better candidates than genetics to explain the self-sacrificing behavior we see among strangers in societies, from soldiers to blood donors to those who contribute to food banks. This is the conclusion of a study by Adrian V. Bell and colleagues from the University of California Davis in the Oct. 12 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Are humans still evolving? Absolutely, says a new analysis of a long-term survey of human health
Although advances in medical care have improved standards of living over time, humans aren't entirely sheltered from the forces of natural selection, a new study shows.
MU research team establishes family tree for cattle, other ruminants
Pairing a new approach to prepare ancient DNA with a new scientific technique developed specifically to genotype a cow, an MU animal scientist, along with a team of international researchers, created a very accurate and widespread "family tree" for cows and other ruminants, going back as far as 29 million years.
New evidence of culture in wild chimpanzees
A new study of chimpanzees living in the wild adds to evidence that our closest primate relatives have cultural differences, too. The study, reported online on October 22nd in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, shows that neighboring chimpanzee populations in Uganda use different tools to solve a novel problem: extracting honey trapped within a fallen log.
The lotus's clever way of staying dry
An ancient Confucian philosopher once said, "I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained."
'Feel-good' hormone serotonin regulates blood sugar concentration
Diabetes is the most prevalent metabolic disease in developed countries and one that engenders - in addition to its high fatality - enormous health care costs. The physiological meaning of the 'feel-good' hormone serotonin in insulin-producing cells of the pancreas was not understood for more than 40 years but has finally been resolved by scientists of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics in Berlin.
New clues to why stem cells stop dividing
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have pieced together a mechanism that causes a type of human adult stem cell to permanently stop dividing after being exposed to ionizing radiation.
Scientists turn stem cells into precursors for sperm, eggs
Human embryonic stem cells derived from excess IVF embryos may help scientists unlock the mysteries of infertility for other couples struggling to conceive, according to new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine. Researchers at the school have devised a way to efficiently coax the cells to become human germ cells - the precursors of egg and sperm cells - in the laboratory. Unlike previous research, which yielded primarily immature germ cells, the cells in this most-recent study functioned well enough to generate sperm cells.
First evidence for a second breeding season among migratory songbirds
Biologists for the first time have documented a second breeding season during the annual cycle of five songbird species that spend summers in temperate North America and winters in tropical Central and South America.
Scientists reveal how induced pluripotent stem cells differ from embryonic stem cells
The same genes that are chemically altered during normal cell differentiation, as well as when normal cells become cancer cells, are also changed in stem cells that scientists derive from adult cells, according to new research from Johns Hopkins and Harvard.
Babies' language learning starts from the womb
From their very first days, newborns' cries already bear the mark of the language their parents speak, reveals a new study published online on November 5th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. The findings suggest that infants begin picking up elements of what will be their first language in the womb, and certainly long before their first babble or coo.
Scientists produce first draft of pig genome
A global collaboration, supported in the UK in part by BBSRC, has produced a first draft of the genome of a domesticated pig, an achievement that will lead to insights in agriculture, medicine, conservation and evolution.
Male sabertoothed cats were pussycats compared to macho lions
Despite their fearsome fangs, male sabertoothed cats may have been less aggressive than many of their feline cousins, says a new study of male-female size differences in extinct big cats.
Telling an old book by its smell: aroma hints at ways of preserving treasured documents
Scientists may not be able to tell a good book by its cover, but they now can tell the condition of an old book by its odor. In a report published in the American Chemical Society's Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal, they describe development of a new test that can measure the degradation of old books and precious historical documents on the basis of their aroma. The non-destructive "sniff" test could help libraries and museums preserve a range of prized paper-based objects, some of which are degrading rapidly due to advancing age, the scientists say.