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News Headlines
#116187
2018-03-06

Without 46 million year-old bacteria, turtle ants would need more bite and less armor

You've probably heard about poop pills, the latest way for humans to get benevolent bacteria into their guts. But it seems that a group of ants may have been the original poop pill pioneers—46 million years ago.

News Headlines
#116148
2018-03-01

Disappearing act

The Asian tiger mosquito -- carrier of such diseases as dengue, yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, Chikungunya and Zika -- appears to have vanished from Palmyra. Not native to the small atoll 1,000 miles south of Hawaii, Aedes albopict likely came to Palmyra during World War II, when the United St ...

News Headlines
#116149
2018-03-01

Conservation goals may fall short without protection of intact forests: study

The few remaining intact forests that are free from damaging human activities need special protection to meet conservation and climate goals, scientists said in a new study.

News Headlines
#116155
2018-03-01

Researchers study flower that catapults pollen

Flowers are just about the last thing in nature you'd list as fast, but the mountain laurels' filaments are an exception.The defining characteristic of the flowers, which are native to the eastern United States, is a series of 10 arms or filaments that act like catapults, flinging pollen into th ...

News Headlines
#116127
2018-02-28

New research illustrates how birds help to produce rare wild chili peppers

f you've enjoyed some spicy food lately, you might have a bird to thank.A new study involving Iowa State University researchers explores how a mutualistic, or mutually beneficial, relationship between birds and chili peppers in the Mariana Islands helps chili peppers grow in the wild. The study, ...

News Headlines
#116135
2018-02-28

Study suggests active restoration of damaged ecosystems not always better than nature

An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests human efforts to restore damaged ecosystems are not always better than simply letting nature take its course. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes analyzing over 400 studies docum ...

News Headlines
#116136
2018-02-28

How algae change their internal solar panels to stay alive

A collaboration between the Benning and Kramer labs is revealing how nature's solar panels, found inside algae, constantly grow and shrink in size to adjust to changes in their environments, a crucial system that ensures their hosts stay healthy and alive.

News Headlines
#116118
2018-02-27

5.5 million-year-old fossil turtle species sheds light on invasive modern relatives

A University of Pennsylvania paleontologist has described a 5.5 million-year-old fossil species of turtle from eastern Tennessee. It represents a new species of the genus Trachemys, commonly known as sliders, which are frequently kept as pets today.

News Headlines
#116097
2018-02-26

More precise measurements show West Antarctica ice melt accelerating

A team of researchers from NASA and several other institutions in the U.S. and Europe has found evidence of ice melt accelerating in some western parts of Antarctica. In their paper published in the journal Cryosphere, the group describes the new technology they used to study ice melt in Antarct ...

News Headlines
#116085
2018-02-22

Researchers optimise broad beans for bees

Scientists from Royal Holloway, University of London and the University of Cambridge have been taking part in an experiment to optimise broad beans to increase bee visitation rates; and their findings could benefit both the beans and the bees.

News Headlines
#116086
2018-02-22

Asian elephants have different personality traits just like humans

Researchers of the University of Turku, Finland, have studied a timber elephant population in Myanmar and discovered that Asian elephant personality manifests through three factors. The personality factors identified by the researchers are attentiveness, sociability and aggressiveness.

News Headlines
#116055
2018-02-21

Conflicts between male and female can take place in the development of new species

Male and female of same species can develop to be different to the point that they keep different species from advancing or colonizing living spaces. The study also challenges long-held hypotheses in transit normal choice drives the advancement of biodiversity.

News Headlines
#116058
2018-02-21

Green toads with multiple genomes have ancestors that are only distantly related

Diploid vertebrates have two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent. In contrast, polyploidy, meaning to possess three or more sets of chromosomes, is very rare in animals. To find out how new vertebrate species have evolved, and, more generally, how the current biodiversity emerged, evolutio ...

News Headlines
#116059
2018-02-21

Dispersal of fish eggs by water birds—just a myth?

How do fish end up in isolated bodies of water? For centuries, researchers have assumed that water birds transfer fish eggs into these waters—however, a systematic literature review by researchers at the University of Basel has shown that there is no evidence of this to date.

News Headlines
#116068
2018-02-21

Tasmanian tiger 'joeys' revealed in 3D

It is a fascinating insight into the biology of an extinct animal. Scientists have scanned all known preserved Tasmanian tiger "joeys" to better understand the marsupial's key early development phases.

News Headlines
#116071
2018-02-21

A global view of species diversity in high elevations, via mountain birds

A new look at mountain birds is helping Yale University researchers test long-held assumptions about species richness in high elevations.

News Headlines
#116031
2018-02-20

Scientists Complete Butterfly Evolutionary Tree

An international team of lepidopterists has compiled the most comprehensive evolutionary tree for butterflies to date. The results appear in the journal Current Biology.

News Headlines
#116040
2018-02-20

Origins of land plants pushed back in time

A seminal event in the Earth's history - when plants appeared on land - may have happened 100 million years earlier than previously thought. Land plants evolved from "pond scum" about 500 million years ago, according to new research.

News Headlines
#116042
2018-02-20

Cracking the genetic code for complex traits in cattle

A massive global study involving 58,000 cattle has pinpointed the genes that influence the complex genetic trait of height in cattle, opening the door for researchers to use the same approach to map high-value traits including those important for beef and milk production.

News Headlines
#116049
2018-02-20

Research finds evolutionary ‘secret sauce’ against climate change

Research suggests hares and jackrabbits hopping along in the Rocky Mountains demonstrate the “secret sauce” for how animals can adapt to a new climate. (Wikimedia commons)

News Headlines
#116022
2018-02-19

A switch to plant-based protein could help tackle climate change and hunger

Agriculture – both victim and cause of climate change. New research shows moving away from animal protein towards legumes makes sense nutritionally and environmentally.

News Headlines
#116026
2018-02-19

The 11th species of an endemic Australian wasp genus

As well as an interest in all insects, Flinders biological sciences Ph.D. Ben Parslow has a fascination for wasps.The focus of his doctorate research on the wasp genus Gasteruption has accidently has put him on the trail of describing the 11th species of an endemic Australian wasp genus.

News Headlines
#116029
2018-02-19

Biodiversity loss raises risk of 'extinction cascades'

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of "extinction cascades," where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

News Headlines
#116006
2018-02-16

Plants are given a new family tree

A new genealogy of plant evolution, led by researchers at the University of Bristol, shows that the first plants to conquer land were a complex species, challenging long-held assumptions about plant evolution.

News Headlines
#116007
2018-02-16

Starfish can see in the dark (among other amazing abilities)

If you go down to the shore today, you're sure of a big surprise. Many will have witnessed the presence of a starfish or two when visiting the seashore or a public aquarium. Starfish come in an exciting range of colours and sizes, but have you ever given a thought to how this multi-armed wonder ...

News Headlines
#116008
2018-02-16

Birds and beans: Study shows best coffee for bird diversity

It's an age-old debate for coffee lovers. Which is better: Arabica beans with their sweeter, softer taste, or the bold, deep flavor of Robusta beans? A new study by WCS, Princeton University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison appearing in the journal Scientific Reports has taken the questi ...

News Headlines
#115978
2018-02-15

Rapid evolution of a calcareous microalgae

When simulating future environmental conditions, researchers confront a problem: Laboratory experiments are easy to control and to reproduce, but are insufficient to mimic the complexity of natural ecosystems. In contrast, experiments under real conditions in nature are much more complicated and ...

News Headlines
#115983
2018-02-15

White nose syndrome is killing millions of bats via a contagious fungus – here's how to stop it

A dangerous fungus has been sweeping across North America with devastating consequences. In the past decade, between 5m and 7m bats in the US and Canada have been wiped out as a result of the fungal disease known as white nose syndrome, which alters their behaviour in potentially deadly ways. Bu ...

News Headlines
#115984
2018-02-15

Small lakes and temporary ponds release CO2 even when dry

Temporary lakes and ponds emit CO₂ even when they are dry, and dry areas emit a larger amount of carbon into the atmosphere. This phenomenon, described now for the first time, could have an impact on the global carbon cycle that controls Earth's climate, according to a study led by Biel Obrador ...

News Headlines
#115952
2018-02-14

Carefully managed fire can promote rare savanna species

Carefully managed fires generate the maximum diversity of birds and mammals in savannas, new research from the University of York suggests.

News Headlines
#115954
2018-02-14

A potentially powerful new antibiotic is discovered in dirt

The modern medical era began when an absent-minded British scientist named Alexander Fleming returned from vacation to find that one of the petri dishes he forgot to put away was covered in a bacteria-killing mold. He had discovered penicillin, the world's first antibiotic.

News Headlines
#115963
2018-02-14

Middle Earth preserved in giant bird dung

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today, the study, by the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) and Landcare Research NZ, reconstructed the prehuman New Zealand ecosystem using coprolites ranging from 120 to 1500 years old. The ancient ...

News Headlines
#115967
2018-02-14

Silent singing crickets still going through the motions

A team of researchers with the University of St Andrews and the University of Cambridge, both in the U.K., has found that singing crickets in Hawaii have evolved to silence their singing apparatus but continue to sing inaudibly. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the group ...

News Headlines
#115968
2018-02-14

Ants nurse wounded warriors back to health: study

African Matabele ants dress the wounds of comrades injured during hunting raids and nurse them back to health, according to an "astonishing" discovery reported Wednesday.

News Headlines
#115933
2018-02-09

When it comes to genes, lichens embrace sharing economy

Researchers have discovered the first known molecular evidence of obligate symbiosis in lichens, a distinctive co-evolutionary relationship that could shed new light on how and why some multicellular organisms consolidate their genomes in order to co-exist.

News Headlines
#115939
2018-02-09

High-speed cameras reveal how hummingbirds can turn on a dime

Hummingbirds are the fighter pilots of the avian world, diving and weaving at speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour—then turning on a dime to hover midair, wings frantically beating, as they refuel on nectar. Now, through herculean efforts, researchers are one step closer to figuring out what m ...

News Headlines
#115927
2018-02-08

First report in decades of a forgotten crop pathogen calls for critical close monitoring

Scientists, breeders, farmers and conservation groups must continue to work in close collaboration to prepare for the potential re-emergence of a forgotten crop pathogen, a new study advises today.

News Headlines
#115915
2018-02-07

Hairy tongues help bats drink up

Animals have evolved all manner of adaptations to get the nutrients they need. For nectar-feeding bats, long snouts and tongues let them dip in and out of flowers while hovering in mid-air. To help the cause, their tongues are covered in tiny hairs that serve as miniature spoons to scoop and dra ...

News Headlines
#115916
2018-02-07

'Beetlejuice'—it works for real beetles too

In Tim Burton's classic comedy "Beetlejuice", the toxic title character can escape from his inferno only if someone pronounces his name three times in a row.The real-world bombardier beetle escapes from its purgatory—the belly of a predator—by squirting the real thing: boiling-hot pulses of noxi ...

News Headlines
#115917
2018-02-07

Sea ice algae blooms in the dark

Researchers from Aarhus University have measured a new world record: Small ice algae on the underside of the Arctic sea ice live and grow at a light level corresponding to only 0.02 percent of the light at the surface of the ice. Algae are the primary component of the Arctic food web and produce ...

News Headlines
#115898
2018-02-06

Ozone at lower latitudes is not recovering, despite Antarctic ozone hole healing

The ozone layer - which protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation - is recovering at the poles, but unexpected decreases in part of the atmosphere may be preventing recovery at lower latitudes.

News Headlines
#115899
2018-02-06

Viruses—lots of them—are falling from the sky

An astonishing number of viruses are circulating around the Earth's atmosphere – and falling from it – according to new research from scientists in Canada, Spain and the U.S.

News Headlines
#115900
2018-02-06

How solitary cockroaches gave rise to social termites—tales from two genomes

Termites are "social cockroaches." They evolved from ancestral solitary cockroaches some 150 million years ago, at least 50 million years before bees, ants and wasps evolved similar intricate societies independently of termites. Termites live in complex societies characterized by division of lab ...

News Headlines
#115901
2018-02-06

Dinosaurs ‘too successful for their own good’

A study mapping how dinosaurs spread across the world shows they may have been a victim of their own success. UK researchers believe they were already in decline before the killer asteroid hit because they had occupied every habitat on Earth.

News Headlines
#115903
2018-02-06

Alberta’s ecosystems shrinking faster than Amazon rain forest: report

Alberta’s ecosystems and the natural beauty they create are still largely intact but parts are disappearing at rates that exceed deforestation in the Amazon rain forest. “We continue to lose ecosystems,” said researcher Jahan Kariyeva. “That we can definitely see.”

News Headlines
#115879
2018-02-02

To understand the sea, focus on the seabed

A new review, led by Plymouth Marine Laboratory scientists, sets priorities for the benefit of future benthic research.The benthic environment is critical to marine ecosystems. It harbours a wealth of life on, in, and above the seabed, and is vital to ocean systems, marine biodiversity, and clim ...

News Headlines
#115885
2018-02-02

Highly localised and current DNA information on river animals

New research proves that environmental DNA survives for less than two days in small fast-flowing rivers and so provides highly localised and current information on species composition. This is crucial new evidence as biologists turn increasingly to new DNA sampling techniques to assess aquatic e ...

News Headlines
#115886
2018-02-02

Ants—master manipulators for biodiversity, or sweet treats

Symbiotic ants manipulate aphid reproduction rates to achieve a specific mix of green and red aphids, maintaining the inferior green aphids which produce the ants' favorite snack.

News Headlines
#115859
2018-02-01

Slow but steady: New study sheds light on the brain evolution of turtles

A new study led by the University of Birmingham shows that the brain of turtles has evolved slowly, but constantly over the last 210 million years, eventually reaching a variety in form and complexity, which rivals that of other animal groups.

News Headlines
#115860
2018-02-01

Genetic secret of English salmon

The salmon from the chalk streams of southern England appear to be genetically distinct from others. Evidence published in the Journal of Fish Biology suggests they may be a separate sub-species of Atlantic salmon.

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