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  • Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

    24 April 2014, 3:00 pm

    Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.
  • Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

    24 April 2014, 3:00 pm

    The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain…
  • Engineered E. coli produces high levels of D-ribose

    24 April 2014, 2:10 pm

    D-ribose is a commercially important sugar used as a sweetener, a nutritional supplement, and as a starting compound for synthesizing riboflavin and several antiviral drugs. Genetic engineering of Escherichia coli to increase the bacteria's ability to produce…
  • Cell resiliency surprises scientists

    24 April 2014, 1:12 pm

    New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative way.
  • To mark territory or not to mark territory: Breaking the pheromone code

    24 April 2014, 1:00 pm

    A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has deciphered the surprisingly versatile code by which chemical cues help trigger some of the most basic behaviors in mice.
  • Three-banded panther worm debuts as a new model in the study of regeneration

    24 April 2014, 1:00 pm

    Closely resembling plump grains of wild rice set in motion, the three-banded panther worms swimming in disposable containers in Whitehead Institute Member Peter Reddien's lab hardly seem like the next big thing in regeneration. And yet, these little-studied…
  • The blood preserved in the pumpkin did not belong to Louis XVI

    24 April 2014, 12:22 pm

    The results of an international study, which counted on the participation of the Spanish National Research Council, indicate that the DNA recovered from the inside of a pumpkin, attributed so far to the French King Louis XVI, does not actually belong to the…
  • Cheetahs found to use spatial avoidance techniques to allow for surviving among lions

    24 April 2014, 11:00 am

    ( —A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota, along with assistance from several African wildlife agencies, has found that contrary to popular belief, cheetahs are able to maintain population levels when sharing space with lions. In their…
  • Research splits alligator snapping turtle, 'dinosaur of the turtle world,' into three species

    24 April 2014, 10:39 am

    The alligator snapping turtle is the largest river turtle in North America, weighing in at up to 200 pounds and living almost a century. Now researchers from Florida and the University of Vermont have discovered that it is not one species—but three.
  • How a plant beckons the bacteria that will do it harm

    24 April 2014, 10:37 am

    A common plant puts out a welcome mat to bacteria seeking to invade, and scientists have discovered the mat's molecular mix.
  • Invasive vines swallow up New York's natural areas

    24 April 2014, 8:40 am

    ( —When Antonio DiTommaso, a Cornell weed ecologist, first spotted pale swallow-wort in 2001, he was puzzled by it. Soon he noticed many Cornell old-field edges were overrun with the weedy vines. At Grenadier Island near Watertown, N.Y., pale…
  • Nest-building in finches is a learning process developed through experience

    24 April 2014, 7:36 am

    ( —Nest-building is not just an innate skill but a learning process that birds develop through experience, research suggests.
  • Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks

    23 April 2014, 6:00 pm

    Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools, according to results published April 23, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Gabriel Vianna from The University of Western Australia and colleagues.
  • Microbes provide insights into evolution of human language

    23 April 2014, 6:00 pm

    Big brains do not explain why only humans use sophisticated language, according to researchers who have discovered that even a species of pond life communicates by similar methods.
  • First sex determining genes appeared in mammals 180 million years ago

    23 April 2014, 4:07 pm

    The Y chromosome, which distinguishes males from females at the genetic level, appeared some 180 million years ago. It originated twice independently in all mammals. The team of professor Henrik Kaessmann at the Center for Integrative Genomics and the SIB…
  • Too many chefs: Smaller groups exhibit more accurate decision-making

    23 April 2014, 2:30 pm

    The trope that the likelihood of an accurate group decision increases with the abundance of brains involved might not hold up when a collective faces a variety of factors—as often happens in life and nature. Instead, Princeton University researchers report…
  • Picky male black widow spiders prefer well-fed virgins

    23 April 2014, 2:21 pm

    New University of Toronto Scarborough research shows that male black widow spiders prefer their female mates to be well-fed virgins – a rare example of mate preference by male spiders.
  • From liability to viability: Genes on the Y chromosome prove essential for male survival

    23 April 2014, 2:00 pm

    Despite a well-documented history of dramatic genetic decay, the human Y chromosome has over the course of millions of years of evolution managed to preserve a small set of genes that has ensured not only its own survival but also the survival of men.…
  • Researchers find fish 'yells' to be heard over human made noise

    23 April 2014, 11:50 am

    ( —A pair of researchers in the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures at Auburn University in Alabama has found that one type of fish responds to environmental noise by increasing the volume of its own calls. In their paper published in…
  • Researchers annotate genome of the smallest known fungal plant pathogen

    23 April 2014, 11:40 am

    Researchers sequenced and analyzed the genome of Mixia osmundea, the smallest fungal plant pathogen (13.6 million bases) to date, to provide insight into its mode of pathogenicity and reproductive biology.
  • Study suggests mysterious bio-duck sounds in southern ocean come from minke whales

    23 April 2014, 11:30 am

    ( —A diverse group of researchers from several countries conducting research in the oceans around Antarctica and near Australia, has concluded that the mystery noises heard in the area for decades, are emitted by minke whales. In their paper…
  • Field study shows how sailfish use their bill to catch fish

    23 April 2014, 11:00 am

    ( —A large team of European researchers has finally revealed the purpose of the long, thin, needle-like bill sported by the famous sailfish. It's used, they report in their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,…
  • Researchers detail newly discovered deer migration

    23 April 2014, 11:00 am

    A team of researchers including University of Wyoming scientists has documented the longest migration of mule deer ever recorded, the latest development in an initiative to understand and conserve ungulate migration in Wyoming.
  • Explainer: How do homing pigeons navigate?

    23 April 2014, 10:50 am

    Pigeons have extraordinary navigational abilities. Take a pigeon from its loft and let it go somewhere it has never been before and it will, after circling in the sky for while, head home. This remarkable capacity extends to places tens even hundreds of…
  • Cell division speed influences gene architecture

    23 April 2014, 10:29 am

    Speed-reading is a technique used to read quickly. It involves visual searching for clues to meaning and skipping non-essential words and/ or sentences. Similarly to humans, biological systems are sometimes under selective pressure to quickly "read" genetic…
  • Ravens understand the relations among others

    23 April 2014, 10:28 am

    Like many social mammals, ravens form different types of social relationships – they may be friends, kin, or partners and they also form strict dominance relations. From a cognitive perspective, understanding one's own relationships to others is a key…
  • How Australia got the hump with one million feral camels

    23 April 2014, 10:24 am

    A new study by a University of Exeter researcher has shed light on how an estimated one million-strong population of wild camels thriving in Australia's remote outback have become reviled as pests and culled on a large scale.
  • Study to examine welfare aspects of cat containment

    23 April 2014, 10:12 am

    The first study of its kind will assess the impact that electronic containment systems may have on cat welfare.
  • Personality determines whether tarantulas copulate with males or cannibalize them

    23 April 2014, 9:58 am

    Sexual cannibalism in spiders – the attack and consumption of males by females before or after copulation – is very widespread. A new investigation analyses the reason behind such extreme behaviour, at times even before the females have ensured the sperm's…
  • Spying on plant communication with tiny bugs

    23 April 2014, 9:40 am

    Internal communications in plants share striking similarities with those in animals, new research reveals. With the help of tiny insects, scientists were able to tap into this communication system. Their results reveal the importance of these communications in…

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