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No super-Drosophila: Vinegar fly species have a good vision or olfaction,...

A comparison of 62 different genera of Drosophila flies revealed that vinegar flies have either developed a more sensitive odor perception at the cost of poor vision or vice versa. Credit: Anna Schroll The authors such as Ian Keesey, Markus Knaden and Bill Hansson had observed different behavior in earlier studies on the black-bellied vinegar…

Measuring the success of East African protected areas

East Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) contains 1,776 protected areas (including 186 "strict" protected areas) covering more than 27 percent of its terrestrial area. Researchers at UC Davis have now documented the extent to which this East African protected area network really protects wildlife and habitats. Credit: Jason Riggio, UC Davis East Africa…

Tunas, sharks and ships at sea

A Pacific bluefin tuna is released with an archival tag from the eastern Pacific Ocean off the F/V Shogun in the California Current. Credit: Stanford University/B. Block Maps that show where sharks and tunas roam in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and where fishing vessels travel in this vast expanse, could help ocean managers to identify…

Eating mushrooms may reduce the risk of cognitive decline

A six-year study, led by Assistant Professor Lei Feng (left) from the National University of Singapore, found that seniors who ate more than 300 grams of cooked mushrooms a week were half as likely to have mild cognitive impairment. Dr. Irwin Cheah (right) is a member of the research team. Credit: National University of Singapore…

From Stone Age chips to microchips: How tiny tools may have...

The iconic, tear-drop shaped hand axe, which filled a human palm, required a large toolkit to produce (left), in contrast to a toolkit for tiny flakes. Credit: Emory University Anthropologists have long made the case that tool-making is one of the key behaviors that separated our human ancestors from other primates. A new paper, however,…

Speedy ‘slingshot’ cell movement observed for the first time

Human fibroblast cells (pink) in the process of slingshotting themselves forward in a 3D scaffold designed to mimic the conditions of the body (blue). Fibroblasts are the most common cells found in connective tissue. Biomedical engineering researchers at the University of Michigan documented this “slingshot migration,” which is five times faster than any other previously…

New understanding of sophistication of microbial warfare

Montana State University researcher Blake Wiedenheft holds a model of a CRISPR bacterial immune defense molecule in his office in this 2017 file photo. Credit: MSU photo by Kelly Gorham It could be the plot of an espionage-filled, war-time thriller, or the blow-by-blow of sparring judo masters. But instead it's a true story of molecular…

Common beetle’s gut microbiome benefits forests, holds promise for bioenergy

Passalid beetles work together in family units to defend their log tunnel homes and care for their young into adulthood. New Berkeley Lab research has now shown that the beetle's distinct gut microbiome also helps its young survive. Credit: Javier Ceja-Navarro/Berkeley Lab Insects are critical contributors to ecosystem functioning, and like most living organisms their…

Ancient records prompt rethink of animal evolution timeline

Researchers conducting fieldwork in Namibia as part of a previous study. Credit: Rachel Wood Scientists are rethinking a major milestone in animal evolution, after gaining fresh insights into how life on Earth diversified millions of years ago. Bursts of evolutionary activity that increased the number and variety of animals began earlier, occurred over a longer…

Winning the arms race: Analysis reveals key gene for bacterial infection

A. Random genetic drift induces synonymous and nonsynonymous mutations with equal probability. However, nonsynonymous mutations in essential regions are subjected to selective pressures. B. As a result of natural selection, synonymous substitutions are concentrated in important genes. Phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary analyses can detect significant accumulation of synonymous substitutions in codons of host proteins. Codon-based…

Palaeolithic art featuring birds and humans discovered

Image of the findings with a tracing of the engraved figures on the piece. Credit: University of Barcelona It is not very common to find representations of scenes instead of individual figures in Palaeolithic art, but it is even harder for these figures to be birds instead of mammals such as goats, deer or horses.…

Mystery solved — biologists explain the genetic origins of the saffron...

Flower of the saffron crocus with three orange carpels. Credit: TUD/Sarah Breitenbach and FISH chromosome analysis With a price tag of up to 30,000 euro per kilogram, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Sometimes it even exceeds the price of gold. Its typical aroma is produced by the apocarotenoid Safranal. Saffron is…

Teenage T. rex was already chomping on prey

Joseph Peterson, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, demonstrates how a T. rex takes a bite. Credit: Patrick Flood, UW Oshkosh New research from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh indicates that even as a teenager the Tyrannosaurus rex showed signs that it would grow up to be a ferocious predator. In a…

Mechanism through which bacteria attack white blood cells

Researchers from Freiburg and Ulm discover mechanism through which bacteria attack white blood cells. Credit: Ella Levit-Zerdoun A research team led by Prof. Dr. Winfried Römer and Dr. Elias Hobeika from the University of Freiburg and the University Medical Center in Ulm has discovered a mechanism with which bacteria activate white blood cells and attack…

Chemical added to consumer products impairs response to antibiotic treatment

This is E. coli from the strain used in this study. The cell wall is shown in red and DNA is shown in blue. Credit: Petra Levin laboratory, Washington University in St. Louis Grocery store aisles are stocked with products that promise to kill bacteria. People snap up those items to protect themselves from the…

Vast record of past climate fluctuations now available thanks to laser...

Agia Fotini, Crete, Greece, where some of the fieldwork was carried out. Credit: Niklas Hausmann Shellfish played a significant role in the diet of prehistoric coastal populations, providing valuable nutrients. They are a common find in archaeological sites all over the world, usually in huge numbers, and researchers have long explored how they could be…

Transcription factor network gets to heart of wood formation

A composite showing the transcriptional regulatory network for wood formation and a scanning electron micrograph of a poplar stem cross-section. Credit: Illustration by Jack P. Wang and Ilona Peszlen. North Carolina State University researchers have uncovered how a complex network of transcription factors switch wood formation genes on and off. Understanding this transcriptional regulatory network…

Renaissance for artisanal mortar

Shrinkage crack. Credit: Jonny Eriksson To adapt mortar to new building materials and industrial methods, the content in walls and plaster changed during the 20th century. The change meant that knowledge of historical materials and methods for producing mortar were lost. New research at the University of Gothenburg reveals that historical binding agents and mortar…

Biologists experimentally trigger adaptive radiation

The changes in color are as light as the lightest species and as dark as the darkest species in the entire genus -- and this genus has been evolving for millions of years. Credit: Adapted from Bush et. al. 2019. Evo Letters When naturalist Charles Darwin stepped onto the Galapagos Islands in 1835, he encountered…

Proofs of parallel evolution between cognition, tool development, and social complexity

Main ceramics analyzed in the experiments and heatmap of the visual fixations in each one of them. The images are organized, from left to right, in chronological order from oldest to most recent. Following time, the fixations direction changes from horizontal to vertical. Credit: CSIC Researchers examined the visual response of 113 individuals when observing…

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