New research on avian response to wildfires
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 19:08:58 EDT
New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied.
Tiny jumping roundworm undergoes unusual sexual development
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 17:48:10 EDT
Biologists have shown that gonad development varies in other nematodes relative to C. elegans. Specifically, they focused on Steinernema carpocapsae, a nematode used in insect biocontrol applications in lawns and gardens.
Dynamic modeling helps predict the behaviors of gut microbes
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 17:47:54 EDT
A new study provides a platform for predicting how microbial gut communities work and represents a first step toward understanding how to manipulate the properties of the gut ecosystem. This could allow scientists to, for example, design a probiotic that persists in the gut or tailor a diet to positively influence human health.
Scientists discover how antiviral gene works
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 17:45:13 EDT
It's been known for years that humans and other mammals possess an antiviral gene called RSAD2 that prevents a remarkable range of viruses from multiplying. Now, researchers have discovered the secret to the gene's success: The enzyme it codes for generates a compound that stops viruses from replicating. The newly discovered compound offers a novel approach for attacking many disease-causing viruses.
Mosquito-borne diseases in Europe: Containment strategy depends on when the alarm sets off
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:47:18 EDT
New research based on the Italian experience with outbreaks of Chikungunya, a disease borne by the tiger mosquito, in 2007 and 2017, shows that different vector control strategies are needed, depending on the time when the first cases are notified, 'thus providing useful indications supporting urgent decision-making of public health authorities in response to emerging mosquito-borne epidemics', one of the researchers says.
Starving fungi could save millions of lives each year
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:46:06 EDT
Researchers have identified a potentially new approach to treating lethal fungal infections that claim more than 1.6 million lives each year: starving the fungi of key nutrients, preventing their growth and spread.
Wolf reintroduction: Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' not so scary after all
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:45:44 EDT
After wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s, some scientists thought the large predator reestablished a 'landscape of fear' that caused elk, the wolf's main prey, to avoid risky places where wolves killed them. But according to recent findings, Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' is not as scary as first thought.
Accurate measurements of sodium intake confirm relationship with mortality
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 01:21:01 EDT
Eating foods high in salt is known to contribute to high blood pressure, but does that linear relationship extend to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death? Recent cohort studies have contested that relationship, but a new study using multiple measurements confirms it.
Our intestinal microbiome influences metabolism -- through the immune system
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 17:24:37 EDT
The innate immune system, our first line of defense against bacterial infection, has a side job that's equally important: fine-tuning our metabolism.
Researchers create matchmaking service, for peptides and antibiotics
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:11:22 EDT
Researchers have matched small proteins, called peptides, with antibiotics so they can work together to combat hard-to-treat infections that don't respond well to drugs on their own.
How snowshoe hares evolved to stay seasonally camouflaged
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:11:20 EDT
Many animals have evolved fur or feather colors to blend in with the environment and hide from predators. But how do animals stay camouflaged when their environment changes with each new season? For snowshoe hares, hybridization plays an important role in their ability to match their environment, new research shows.
Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:11:06 EDT
A zebrafish view of the world has been forensically analyzed by researchers to reveal that how they see their surroundings changes hugely depending on what direction they are looking.
Fish's use of electricity might shed light on human illnesses
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:10:54 EDT
African weakly electric fish, commonly called baby whales, use incredibly brief electrical pulses to sense the world around them and communicate with other members of their species. Part of that electrical mechanism exists in humans -- and by studying these fish, scientists may unlock clues about conditions like epilepsy.
Mice not only experience regret, but also learn to avoid it in the future
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:10:51 EDT
New research has discovered that mice are capable of learning to plan ahead in order to avoid regret down the road even if there is no additional gain in rewards.
First ancient syphilis genomes decoded
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:10:45 EDT
An international research team has recovered the first historic genomes from the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis. It was previously not thought possible to recover DNA of this bacterium from ancient samples. In the study, the researchers were able to distinguish genetically between the subspecies of the disease that cause syphilis and that cause yaws, which are not readily distinguishable in skeletal remains.
Not junk: 'Jumping gene' is critical for early embryo
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:10:38 EDT
A so-called 'jumping gene' that researchers long considered either genetic junk or a pernicious parasite is actually a critical regulator of the first stages of embryonic development, according to a new study.
A mechanism behind choosing alcohol over healthy rewards is found
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:10:32 EDT
Changes in a brain signalling system contribute to the development of alcohol addiction-like behaviors in rats, according to a new study. The findings indicate a similar mechanism in humans.
California Aedes mosquitoes capable of spreading Zika
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:10:22 EDT
Over the last five years, Zika virus has emerged as a significant global human health threat following outbreaks in South and Central America. Now, researchers have shown that invasive mosquitoes in California -- where cases of Zika in travelers have been a regular occurrence in recent years -- are capable of transmitting Zika.
Cross-species prion adaptation depends on prion replication environment
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:10:17 EDT
A hamster prion that replicated under conditions of low RNA levels in mouse brain material resulted in altered disease features when readapted and transmitted back to hamsters, according to new research.
How competition and cooperation between bacteria shape antibiotic resistance
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:10:14 EDT
New computational simulations suggest that the effects of antibiotics on a bacterial community depend on whether neighboring species have competitive or cooperative relationships, as well as their spatial arrangement.