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Threatened beetles benefit from forest thinning

Rufous-shouldered longhorn beetle, Anaglyptus mysticus (stock image). Credit: © Gucio_55 / Adobe Stock Wood-living beetles that use oak trees are a species-rich and threatened animal group in modern forestry and agriculture in southern Sweden. New research from the University of Gothenburg shows that management with conservation thinning can be an effective way to promote these…

Early humans deliberately recycled flint to create tiny, sharp tools

Flint (stock image). Credit: © yauhenka / Adobe Stock A new Tel Aviv University study finds that prehistoric humans "recycled" discarded or broken flint tools 400,000 years ago to create small, sharp utensils with specific functions. These recycled tools were then used with great precision and accuracy to perform specific tasks involved in the processing…

Research reveals the link between primate knuckles and hand use

Orangutan (stock image). Credit: © Glenda Powers / Adobe Stock Research carried out by the University of Kent has found differences between the knuckle joints of primates that will enable a better understanding of ancient human hand use. Using samples from the Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington-on-Sea (UK), as well as samples from Germany, Belgium and…

New snake species in Europe named after a long-forgotten Iron Age...

Blotched snake, Elaphe sauromates (stock image). Credit: © Ivan Kuzmin / Adobe Stock An international team of scientists identified the snake and its range, which includes Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, and Russia including a small region extending into the corner of Europe. Based on the genetic and morphological data, the researchers were able…

Domino effect of species extinctions also damages biodiversity

Bee pollinating (stock image). Credit: © Savo Ilic / Adobe Stock The mutual dependencies of many plant species and their pollinators mean that the negative effects of climate change are exacerbated. As UZH researchers show, the total number of species threatened with extinction is therefore considerably higher than predicted in previous models. Global climate change…

Scientists create new standard genome for heavily studied worm

Caenorhabditis elegans. Credit: © heitipaves / Adobe Stock A new Cornell University-led study finds that the genome for a widely researched worm, on which countless studies are based, was flawed. Now, a fresh genome sequence will set the record straight and improve the accuracy of future research. When scientists study the genetics of an organism,…

New compound which kills antibiotic-resistant superbugs discovered

Bacterial culture (stock image). Credit: © motorolka / Adobe Stock A new compound which visualises and kills antibiotic resistant superbugs has been discovered by scientists at the University of Sheffield and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). The team, led by Professor Jim Thomas, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Chemistry, is testing new compounds developed…

Exploring the origins of the apple

Apple varieties. Credit: © posinote / Adobe Stock Recent archaeological finds of ancient preserved apple seeds across Europe and West Asia combined with historical, paleontological, and recently published genetic data are presenting a fascinating new narrative for one of our most familiar fruits. In this study, Robert Spengler of the Max Planck Institute for the…

Scientists uncover a trove of genes that could hold key to...

DNA sequence illustration (stock image). Credit: © catalin / Adobe Stock Researchers at the Donnelly Centre in Toronto have found that dozens of genes, previously thought to have similar roles across different organisms, are in fact unique to humans and could help explain how our species came to exist. These genes code for a class…

How corn’s ancient ancestor rejects crossbreeding

Corn varieties (stock image). Credit: © cpnjuansanchez / Adobe Stock Determining how one species becomes distinct from another has been a subject of fascination dating back to Charles Darwin. New research led by Carnegie's Matthew Evans and published in Nature Communications elucidates the mechanism that keeps maize distinct from its ancient ancestor grass, teosinte. Speciation…

Temperature alters developing nervous system in frogs, study shows

African clawed frog (stock image). Credit: © Brandy McKnight / Adobe Stock Can the environment affect how the spinal cord develops specialized circuitry, or is that process hardwired, following prescribed genetic instructions turned on early in the embryo? A UC Davis study that compared the effects of cold and warm temperatures on the development of…

The extraordinary powers of bacteria visualized in real time

Bacterial cell culture (stock image). Credit: © sinhyu / Adobe Stock The global spread of antibiotic resistance is a major public health issue and a priority for international microbiology research. In his paper to be published in the journal Science, Christian Lesterlin, Inserm researcher at Lyon's "Molecular Microbiology and Structural Biochemistry" laboratory (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard…

Researchers examine the age of groundwater in Egyptian aquifers

Bedouin girl with donkey working a water wheel. Credit: © Paul Vinten / Adobe Stock Most of the water used by people in Egypt comes from the Nile River, which originates from precipitation over mountainous areas in the Ethiopian highlands. In areas far from the Nile River Valley, however, where water is scarce and the…

The extraordinary powers of bacteria visualized in real time

Bacterial cell culture (stock image). Credit: © sinhyu / Adobe Stock The global spread of antibiotic resistance is a major public health issue and a priority for international microbiology research. In his paper to be published in the journal Science, Christian Lesterlin, Inserm researcher at Lyon's "Molecular Microbiology and Structural Biochemistry" laboratory (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard…

Mites and ticks are close relatives, new research shows

Mite illustration. Credit: © peterschreiber.media / Adobe Stock Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Natural History Museum in London have reconstructed the evolutionary history of the chelicerates, the mega-diverse group of 110,000 arthropods that includes spiders, scorpions, mites and ticks. They found, for the first time, genomic evidence that mites and ticks do…

Mites and ticks are close relatives, new research shows

Mite illustration. Credit: © peterschreiber.media / Adobe Stock Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Natural History Museum in London have reconstructed the evolutionary history of the chelicerates, the mega-diverse group of 110,000 arthropods that includes spiders, scorpions, mites and ticks. They found, for the first time, genomic evidence that mites and ticks do…

Civil War plant medicines blast drug-resistant bacteria in lab tests

Flower of tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). Credit: © kazakovmaksim / Adobe Stock During the height of the Civil War, the Confederate Surgeon General commissioned a guide to traditional plant remedies of the South, as battlefield physicians faced high rates of infections among the wounded and shortages of conventional medicines. A new study of three of…

Plant stem cells require low oxygen levels

Arabidopsis (stock image). Credit: © Vasiliy Koval / Adobe Stock Plants function as the green lungs of our planet. Rightfully so, due to the capacity of a large single tree releasing more than 120 kg of oxygen into the Earth's atmosphere every year through a series of sunlight-fuelled reactions in photosynthesis. However during flood events,…

Cocktails with Cleopatra?

Beer bubbles (stock image). Credit: © tonovavania / Adobe Stock What kind of beer did the Pharaohs drink? In ancient times, beer was an important ingredient in people's daily diet. Great powers were attributed to beer in the ancient world, particularly for religious worship and healing properties. The pottery used to produce beer in antiquity…

Penguins and their chicks’ responses to local fish numbers informs marine...

African penguins. Credit: © Nico Smit / Adobe Stock How adult penguins fish and the body condition of their chicks are directly linked to local fish abundance, and could potentially inform fishery management, a new study has found. The researchers studied an endangered African penguin colony during a rare three-year closure of commercial fisheries around…

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