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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Endangered Animals News

Endangered Animals Current Events and Endangered Animals News from Brightsurf

Endangered Animals Current Events and Endangered Animals News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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Sumatran rhinos never recovered from losses during the Pleistocene, genome evidence shows

Thu, 14 Dec 17 00:14:10 -0800

An international team of researchers has sequenced and analyzed the first Sumatran rhino genome from a sample belonging to a male made famous at the Cincinnati Zoo. This study reported in Current Biology on Dec. 14 shows that the trouble for Sumatran rhinoceros populations began a long time ago, around the middle of the Pleistocene, about one million years ago.

Tracking planned experiments online could spot ways to improve animal testing

Thu, 14 Dec 17 00:01:40 -0800

An online database of study summaries could be systematically evaluated to uncover new information about animal testing, including potential targets for efforts to minimize harm to lab animals. A demonstration of this approach is publishing Dec. 14 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology.

Conserving the forests

Thu, 14 Dec 17 00:05:20 -0800

UCSB economist Robert Heilmayr and colleagues evaluate certification programs as options for sustaining tropical forests.

Hope for one of the world's rarest primates: First census of Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey

Thu, 14 Dec 17 00:07:00 -0800

A team of WCS scientists recently completed the first-ever range-wide population census of the Zanzibar red colobus monkey (Piliocolobus kirkii) an endangered primate found only on the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of East Africa.

Cellular self-digestion process triggers autoimmune disease

Wed, 13 Dec 17 00:04:40 -0800

Autophagy allows cells to degrade and recycle their cellular components. Researchers at UZH have now demonstrated that the autophagy machinery in certain immune cells leads to the immune system attacking the central nervous system. The researchers are using these findings as a basis to look into new approaches to treating autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Monkey study shows a path to monitoring endangered species

Wed, 13 Dec 17 00:03:10 -0800

A Brazilian-American research group has just published an unusual study outlining data needs for monitoring the survival of monkeys called muriquis that live in patches of forest in Brazil.

Monkeys infected by mosquito bites further Zika virus research

Wed, 13 Dec 17 00:04:30 -0800

Monkeys who catch Zika virus through bites from infected mosquitoes develop infections that look like human Zika cases, and may help researchers understand the many ways Zika can be transmitted.

The toxic sugar tree: Mapping the evolutionary history of a cancerous sugar gene

Wed, 13 Dec 17 00:05:00 -0800

The gene CMAH, that allows for the synthesis of a sugar called Neu5Gc, is missing from humans. This sugar is present in red meats, some fish and dairy products. When humans consume an animal with that gene, the body has an immune reaction to the foreign sugar, which can cause inflammation, arthritis, and cancer. University of Nevada, Reno researchers, have analyzed 322 animal genome sequences looking for animals with the presence of active CMAH genes.

Scientists call for improved technologies to save imperiled California salmon

Wed, 13 Dec 17 00:05:20 -0800

Scientists working to protect California's most endangered salmon say in a new report that key improvements in tracking Sacramento River winter-run Chinook through California's complex water delivery system would help recover the species while the water continues to flow.

Lizards of Oz take toll on turtle eggs

Wed, 13 Dec 17 00:09:00 -0800

Goannas have overtaken foxes as the number one predator of the endangered loggerhead turtle at its second largest Queensland nesting beach. A University of Queensland study has found that since feral red foxes were controlled in the 1980s, there has been an increase in the number goanna raids on loggerhead turtle nests at Wreck Rock beach, south of Agnes Waters.

Fold formation of the cerebral cortex requires FGF signaling in the mammalian brain

Tue, 12 Dec 17 00:03:30 -0800

Although the folded surface (the gyrus) of the cerebral cortex is believed to be important for higher brain functions, research on the gyrus has been much retarded since the mouse, a widely used model animal, has a brain without gyri. With a technique developed for the ferret brain, FGF signaling was now identified as being important for gyrus formation. Also, inhibition of FGF signaling was found to reduce the number of neurons in gyri.

Southern Africa's cheetah population much smaller than believed

Tue, 12 Dec 17 00:09:30 -0800

Populations of cheetahs in southern Africa have declined as farming and other human activities push deeper into the big cats' range, a study led by researchers at Duke University and the Claws Conservancy finds. Fewer than 3,600 adult cheetahs - 11 percent fewer than estimated in 2015 - remain in the region, which is home to the largest population of free-roaming cheetahs left on Earth. Farmer-cheetah conflicts and other human-related pressures are contributing to the decline.

New maps show shrinking wilderness being ignored at our peril

Tue, 12 Dec 17 00:11:20 -0800

Maps of the world's most important wilderness areas are now freely available online following a University of Queensland and Wildlife Conservation Society-led study published today.

Study: Suburban ponds are a septic buffet

Tue, 12 Dec 17 00:14:00 -0800

A new study shows that human waste accounts for a high percentage of nutrients consumed by some animals and plants in suburban ponds. Researchers at Yale University and Portland State University found that residential, suburban land use is altering the dynamics of the food chain, as well as where nutrients originate and how they move through pond ecosystems.

Fossil orphans reunited with their parents after half a billion years

Tue, 12 Dec 17 00:01:40 -0800

Everyone wants to be with their family for Christmas, but spare a thought for a group of orphan fossils that have been separated from their parents since the dawn of animal evolution, over half a billion years ago.

Borrowing a leaf from biology to preserve threatened languages

Tue, 12 Dec 17 00:01:30 -0800

One of the world's 7,000 languages vanishes every other week, and half might not survive the 21st century, experts say. To preserve as much linguistic diversity as possible in the face of this threat, McGill University scientists are proposing to borrow a leaf from conservation biology by using language trees to help guide efforts to preserve linguistic diversity.

Anesthetics have the same effects on plants as they have on animals and humans

Mon, 11 Dec 17 00:08:10 -0800

A new study published in Annals of Botany has shown that plants react to anesthetics similarly to the way animals and humans do, suggesting plants are ideal objects for testing anesthetics actions in future.

Radar tracking reveals how bees develop a route between flowers

Mon, 11 Dec 17 00:09:40 -0800

As bees gain foraging experience they continually refine both the order in which they visit flowers and the flight paths they take between flowers to generate better and better routes, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London.

Scientists urge endangered listing for cheetahs

Mon, 11 Dec 17 00:15:20 -0800

A comprehensive assessment of cheetah populations in southern Africa supported by the National Geographic Society reveals the dire state of one of the planet's most iconic big cats. In a study published today in the open-access journal PeerJ, researchers present evidence that low cheetah population estimates in southern Africa and population decline support a call to list the cheetah as 'Endangered' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

The direct route from A to C

Mon, 11 Dec 17 00:00:40 -0800

We use specialized nerve cells for spatial orientation. The place cells fire whenever we stay in a particular place. The grid cells, on the other hand, measure distances and play a crucial role in path integration. So much for the theory. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University Hospital Heidelberg have now, for the first time, provided experimental proof of this.

How much can 252-million-year-old ecosystems tell us about modern Earth? A lot.

Mon, 11 Dec 17 00:04:00 -0800

New paleontological research shows that during the late Permian, the equator was dry and desert-like, yet surprisingly a hotspot for biodiversity. Similarly to modern rainforests, equator ecosystems were home a unique diversity of species, including those both anciently and newly evolved. After the late Permian extinction, this diversity was decimated, and the climate change event that triggered an extinction back then is informative as we move forward with protecting our planet's species diversity.

How do you track a secretive hawk? Follow the isotopes

Mon, 11 Dec 17 00:14:00 -0800

A study by the University of Cincinnati found that the rare Henst's goshawk of Madagascar hunts lemurs in low-lying areas that are most at risk to deforestation. Researchers could use this isotope analysis to study the habitat and prey needs of other threatened species that are difficult to track.

Marine turtles dying after becoming entangled in plastic rubbish

Mon, 11 Dec 17 00:15:30 -0800

Hundreds of marine turtles die every year after becoming entangled in rubbish in the oceans and on beaches, including plastic 'six pack' holders and disgarded fishing gear.

Unique pattern of brain inflammation may explain neurocognitive impairment in HIV patients on antiretroviral drugs

Fri, 08 Dec 17 00:12:00 -0800

Almost half of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART)-treated HIV patients experience some degree of neurocognitive impairment (neuroHIV). To search for underlying pathology, scientists analyzed the brains of monkeys infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) then treated with cART. As reported in a new study in The American Journal of Pathology, the majority of the SIV-infected macaque brains showed signs of unusual lymphocyte-dominant inflammation, suggesting that persistent neuroinflammation may underlie cognitive problems in cART-treated HIV patients.

530-million-year-old fossil has look of world's oldest eye, study suggests

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:10:30 -0800

A 530-million-year-old fossil contains what could be the oldest eye ever discovered, a study reveals.

It's all in the ears: Inner ears of extinct sea monsters mirror those of today's animals

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:00:30 -0800

A new study led by Oxford University Museum of Natural History has revealed that an extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals. The research is published in Current Biology today.

Evolution: It's all in the ears

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:00:20 -0800

A new study by a team of international experts, led by Dr James Neenan, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University in South Africa, has revealed that a completely extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals.

Electrical stimulation in brain bypasses senses, instructs movement

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:00:10 -0800

The brain's complex network of neurons enables us to interpret and effortlessly navigate and interact with the world around us. But when these links are damaged due to injury or stroke, critical tasks like perception and movement can be disrupted. New research is helping scientists figure out how to harness the brain's plasticity to rewire these lost connections, an advance that could accelerate the development of neuro-prosthetics.

Freeze and flee: The costly 'escape' response of narwhals

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:05:20 -0800

East Greenland narwhals exhibit both 'freeze' and 'flee' responses when escaping from threats, researchers report.

New study funded by Morris Animal Foundation demonstrates loss of drug potency

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:08:00 -0800

Drugs work best when their potency remains stable or consistent, but a new study funded by Morris Animal Foundation shows a commonly compounded antimicrobial drug used in veterinary medicine may be losing potency over time. The study recently was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Separated since the dinosaurs, bamboo-eating lemurs, pandas share common gut microbes

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:10:30 -0800

A new study finds that bamboo lemurs, giant pandas and red pandas share 48 gut microbes in common -- despite the fact that they are separated by millions of years of evolution.

Unique field survey yields first big-picture view of deep-sea food webs

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:00:20 -0800

A new paper by MBARI researchers Anela Choy, Steve Haddock, and Bruce Robison documents the first comprehensive study of deep-sea food webs, using hundreds of video observations of animals caught in the act of feeding off the Central California coast. The study shows that deep-sea jellies are key predators, and provides new information on how deep-sea animals interact with life near the ocean surface.

Combination strategy could hold promise for ovarian cancer

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:03:30 -0800

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers demonstrated that mice with ovarian cancer that received drugs to reactivate dormant genes along with other drugs that activate the immune system had a greater reduction of tumor burden and significantly longer survival than those that received any of the drugs alone.

Tigers cling to survival in Sumatra's increasingly fragmented forests

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:07:50 -0800

A research expedition tracked endangered tigers through the Sumatran jungles for a year and found tigers are clinging to survival in low density populations. The study found that well-protected forests are disappearing and are increasingly fragmented: Of the habitat tigers rely on in Sumatra, 17 percent was deforested between 2000 to 2012 alone. Their findings have renewed fears about the possible extinction of the elusive predators.

NTU's Sumatran tiger study sounds warning bells over long-term deforestation

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:07:30 -0800

A new joint study led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has warned about the extinction of Sumatran tigers in Sumatra, Indonesia, due to destroyed habitats.

Obesity prevented in mice fed high-fat diet

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:05:40 -0800

Washington University researchers activated the Hedgehog protein pathway in the fat cells of mice. After eight weeks of eating a high-fat diet, mice that had been engineered with genes to activate the pathway didn't gain weight, but control animals whose Hedgehog pathways were not activated became obese.

Seeing isn't believing: Penn biologists show how to shut off hunger 'alarm system'

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:11:00 -0800

According to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania, ingesting calorie-containing food is the primary way to calm the activity of a group of neurons responsible for driving an animal to eat. Targeting these neurons could provide a strategy to treat obesity.

Dahl's toad-headed turtle threatened by fragmented habitat, shrinking populations

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:14:10 -0800

A recent study published in Conservation Genetics by researchers from the Universidad de los Andes, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), and the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) shows that the Dahl's Toad-headed Turtle (Mesoclemmys dahli), a rare reptile found only in Colombia, is threatened with extinction due to alarmingly small and fragmented populations and high levels of inbreeding.

It's good to be rare, for some species

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:05:20 -0800

For many species, rarity is not a guarantee of impending extinction. Instead, the traits that enable some species to be rare may hold the ticket to their survival. A paper from UC Davis predicts what these traits might be and how having them could place chronically rare species at an advantage during crises.

Worm genomes reveal a link between ourselves and our distant relatives

Mon, 04 Dec 17 00:02:00 -0800

Researchers from the Marine Genomics Unit at OIST, in collaboration with Okayama University, have decoded two worm genomes and found that they have several genetic similarities with the vertebrates.

Evolution: In the beginning there was the sponge

Fri, 01 Dec 17 00:04:20 -0800

Which group of animals evolved first? This problem has become a bone of contention among biologists. An international research team is now confident that the definitive answer is at hand: Sponges appeared before comb jellies.

When Listeria monocytogenes goes to sleep....

Fri, 01 Dec 17 00:04:00 -0800

A serious infection of dietary origin that is caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, listeriosis is associated with severe clinical symptoms and a high mortality rate in individuals whose immune system is weakened. INRA scientists, working in collaboration with their colleagues at the Institut Pasteur, have demonstrated the novel capacity of L. monocytogenes to generate dormant intracellular forms that could be harboured, unsuspected, by their host. These findings are published on Nov. 30, 2017 in PLoS Pathogens.

How blood-sucking insects find dark-coated cattle in the dark

Thu, 30 Nov 17 00:15:30 -0800

Last year, biologist Susanne Åkesson at Lund University in Sweden, together with researchers in Hungary, received the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics. The prize was awarded to them for their research showing that dark-coated horses suffer more from blood-sucking horseflies compared to their white counterparts. Now, the researchers know why animals with a dark, smooth coat are particularly vulnerable -- even in a dark environment.

Despite forest loss, African protected area can support 10s of thousands of elephants

Thu, 30 Nov 17 00:03:50 -0800

Despite some forest loss, Mozambique's sprawling Niassa National Reserve has the potential to support tens of thousands of elephants and 1,000 lions according to a new land-use study published in the journal Parks.

Scallop eyes mirror reflecting telescopes, with sophisticated optical properties

Thu, 30 Nov 17 00:08:10 -0800

Researchers have obtained a detailed view of a scallop's visual system -- a sophisticated arrangement of up to 200 eyes they say is strikingly similar to a reflecting telescope.

Caught in the act: Papillomaviruses promote non-melanoma skin cancer

Thu, 30 Nov 17 00:06:50 -0800

UV radiation has been known for a long time to be a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Simultaneous infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) has also been suspected to promote skin cancer, particularly in organ transplant recipients. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now been able to show for the first time in a natural system that papillomaviruses associated with UV light promote the development of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Getting a better handle on methane emissions from livestock
Cattle, swine and poultry contribute a hefty portion to the average American's diet, but raising all this livestock comes at a cost to the environment: The industry produces a lot of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Just how much gas the animals release, however, is the subject of debate. Now, one group reports in ACS' journal Environmental Science