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EurekAlert! - Biology



The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:12:01 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Mouse study suggests how hearing a warning sound turns into fearing it over time

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Emory Health Sciences) An adult mouse model reveals that changes in lattice-like structures in the brain known as perineuronal nets are necessary to 'capture' an auditory fear association and 'haul' it in as a longer-term memory.



A rising star

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Santa Barbara) It's a tiny marine invertebrate, no more than 3 millimeters in size. But closely related to humans, Botryllus schlosseri might hold the key to new treatments for cancer and a host of vascular diseases.



How do genes get new jobs? Wasp venom offers new insights

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Rochester) In a study published in Current Biology on June 22, the lab of Professor John Werren at the University of Rochester describes how four closely related species of parasitic wasps change their venoms rapidly in order to adapt to new hosts, and proposes that co-option of single copy genes may be a common but relatively understudied mechanism of evolution for new gene functions, particularly under conditions of rapid evolutionary change.



Geology rocks the Pacific Northwest: GSA Meeting returns to Seattle

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Geological Society of America) Registration is open for The Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting & Exposition, to be held Oct. 22-25 2017 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington, USA.



UM research points to previously unknown pine marten diversity

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(The University of Montana) The elusive American pine marten, a little-studied member of the weasel family, might be more diverse than originally thought, according to new research published by a University of Montana professor.



Worm studies investigate how grandparents' experiences can affect our genes

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Santa Cruz) Studies of human populations suggest that our health and longevity could be affected by the diets and experiences of our grandparents. But the exact nature of these effects and how they are transmitted across generations remain unclear. In Susan Strome's lab at UC Santa Cruz, research on a tiny roundworm called C. elegans is helping to solve this puzzle.



UTEP Scientists awarded patent for Chagas disease vaccine

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(The University of Texas at El Paso) A pair of scientists at The University of Texas at El Paso is one step closer to developing the first ever clinical Chagas disease vaccine.Researchers Rosa Maldonado, Ph.D., and Igor Almeida, Ph.D., both faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences, recently were granted a patent for "Mucin-Associated Surface Protein As Vaccine Against Chagas Disease."



Tiny nanoparticles offer significant potential in detecting/treating disease new review of work on exosomes

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Swansea University) Exosomes - tiny biological nanoparticles which transfer information between cells - offer significant potential in detecting and treating disease, the most comprehensive overview so far of research in the field has concluded. Areas which could benefit include cancer treatment and regenerative medicine.



How pythons regenerate their organs and other secrets of the snake genome

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center) Snakes exhibit incredible evolutionary adaptations, including the ability to rapidly regenerate their organs and produce venom. The Castoe group at the University of Texas at Arlington studied these adaptations using genetic sequencing and advanced computing. Supercomputers of the Texas Advanced Computing Center helped the team identify a number of genes associated with organ growth in Burmese pythons, study secondary contact in related rattlesnake species, and develop tools to recognize evolutionary changes caused by natural selection.



Veteran scientist shares wisdom, experiences, crop management tactics in new book

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Phytopathological Society) Dr. R. James Cook, one of the world's leading plant pathologists, built a storied 40-year career that profoundly impacted scientists and growers alike. His exceptional new book, Untold Stories: Forty Years of Field Research on Root Diseases of Wheat, is part autobiographical collection of first-person stories, experiences, and philosophies for scientists--and part practical management guide for growers and consultants working in the field today.



Sea sponges stay put with anchors that bend but don't break

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Brown University) The anchors that hold Venus' flower basket sea sponges to the ocean floor have an internal architecture that increases their ability to bend, according to a new study. Understanding that natural architecture could inform future human-made materials.



How eggs got their shapes

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) The evolution of the amniotic egg -- complete with membrane and shell -- was key to vertebrates leaving the oceans and colonizing the land and air but how bird eggs evolved into so many different shapes and sizes has long been a mystery. Now, an international team of scientists took a quantitative approach to that question and found that adaptations for flight may have been critical drivers of egg-shape variation in birds.



On polygamous females and single-parent males

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Bielefeld University) On polygamous females and single-parent males Behavioral researchers at Bielefeld University are studying ploversMale plovers survive more successfully in the wild than females. Behavioral researchers at Bielefeld University have studied how sex biases develop across the life span of the plover. They report on the consequences of the surplus of males for rearing chicks in the research journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'.



Bug spray accumulation in the home

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) A newly published article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry reports that pyrethroids, a common household pesticide known to cause skin irritation, headache, dizziness and nausea, persists in the home for up over one year.



The two faces of rot fungi

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) Yogurt, beer, bread and specialties such as tasty blue cheeses or good wine -- special microorganisms and refining processes first produce the pleasant flavors and enticing aromas of many foodstuffs. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now investigated the formation of rot in grapes and have shown that when this is caused by certain kinds of mold fungi, the resultant wine can have not only moldy but also floral aromas.



How pheromones trigger female sexual behavior

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Tokyo) A study by a group of Japanese scientists showed how a male pheromone in mice enhances sexual behaviors in females -- and how it may enhance a different behavior, aggression, in males -- by identifying distinct neural circuits and neurons that generate a particular behavioral response to specific chemical signals. The findings point to a model for further investigating how sex-specific innate behaviors in living things are controlled.



Custom built molecule shows promise as anti-cancer therapy

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Bath) Scientists at the University of Bath funded by Cancer Research UK have custom-built a molecule which stops breast cancer cells from multiplying in laboratory trials, and hope it will eventually lead to a treatment for the disease.



Don't lose sleep over sharing your bed with your pet or kids

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Springer) About half of all pet owners share their beds or bedrooms with their pets. Studies about co-sleeping are limited to the bedtime arrangements of adults, or parents and their children. In an article in Springer's journal Human Nature, the authors argue that society regards both human-animal and adult-child co-sleeping with apprehension. These concerns should be set aside because both practices have their benefits, says lead author Bradley Smith of Central Queensland University in Australia.



MIT Portugal international industry roundtable on new technologies for old industries

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(MIT Portugal Program) Entrepreneurial success and cutting-edge innovation in the life sciences are often associated with health and medical technologies. However there is a range of other industries where new biotechnologies have been making a very significant impact. To discuss challenges and opportunities related to those areas, MIT Portugal in collaboration with Mira Municipality and Universidade de Aveiro, organized an International Industry Roundtable on New Technologies for Old Industries that gathered more than 70 people at the Mira Center, near Aveiro.



The 'Star dust' wasp is a new extinct species named after David Bowie's alter ego

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Pensoft Publishers) During her study on fossil insects at China's Capitol Normal University, student Longfeng Li visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, USA, carrying two unidentified wasp specimens that were exceptionally well-preserved and 100 million years old. Close examination revealed that both were species new to science. Furthermore, one of them was found to belong to a genus of modern wasps. The study is published in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research.



New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Aarhus University) New research results from Aarhus University and New York University show how active transport of potassium can be achieved by a membrane protein complex that has roots in both ion pump and ion channel super-families. The results, which have just been published in Nature, shed new light on what define channels and pumps.



News from the pathogen that causes sleeping sickness

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Würzburg) A team of researchers from the University of Würzburg has discovered an interesting enzyme in the pathogens responsible for African sleeping sickness: It could be a promising target for drugs.



FAU launches new approach to preventing dementia

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Florida Atlantic University) Is it possible to prevent dementia from happening in the first place? That's what a leading FAU neuroscientist plans to prove using an innovative approach that defies the idea that 'one-size-fits-all' when it comes to battling Alzheimer's disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson's disease and other related disorders. Using a personalized approach and precision medicine to reduce risk, this center is one of only a handful of centers in the world that focuses on dementia prevention.



Australian origin likely for iconic New Zealand tree

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Adelaide) Ancestors of the iconic New Zealand Christmas Tree, P?hutukawa, may have originated in Australia, new fossil research from the University of Adelaide suggests.



NRL issued patent for solar microbial fuel cell

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Naval Research Laboratory) NRL's Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering has received a US patent for a microbial photoelectrochemical solar cell driven entirely by sunlight and microorganisms.