ScienceDaily: Plants & Animals News

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ScienceDaily: Plants & Animals News

Sniffing out error in detection dog data Viruses under the microscope The walking dead: Fossils on the move can distort patterns of mass extinctions Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging Gut microbes' role in mammals' evolution starts to become clearer We have more than enough calories, but what about other nutrients? Probiotic use may reduce antibiotic prescriptions Trees reveal the evolution of environmental pollution Leptospirosis strains identified in Uruguay cattle Conservation dairy farming could help Pa. meet Chesapeake target BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice Open insulin, 'DIY bio' and the future of pharma New means to fight 'un-killable' bacteria in healthcare settings Appetite for shark fin soup serious risk to threatened sharks The world needs death and decomposition Halting biodiversity loss: Political actions are required, not additional scientific knowledge Carrier status matters in foot-and-mouth disease New plant species discovered in museum is probably extinct Fluorescence-activating beta-barrel protein made from scratch for first time Gut bacteria's shocking secret: They produce electricity Researchers explain how viral protein promotes deadly infection by Nipah and Hendra viruses

Sniffing out error in detection dog data

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:04 AM PDT

New research finds three alternative answers beyond errors in handler or dog training that can explain why dogs trained to identify scat for conservation purposes sometimes collect non-target scats.

Viruses under the microscope

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:04 AM PDT

Human herpesviruses such as HHV-6 can remain dormant in cells for many years without being noticed. When reactivated, they can cause serious clinical conditions. Researchers have now found a way of differentiating between active and inactive viruses.

The walking dead: Fossils on the move can distort patterns of mass extinctions

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:03 AM PDT

Using the fossil record to accurately estimate the timing and pace of past mass extinctions is no easy task, and a new study highlights how fossil evidence can produce a misleading picture if not interpreted with care.

Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT

As mammals age, immune cells in the brain known as microglia become chronically inflamed. In this state, they produce chemicals known to impair cognitive and motor function. That's one explanation for why memory fades and other brain functions decline during old age. But, according to a new study, there may be a remedy to delay the inevitable: dietary fiber.

Gut microbes' role in mammals' evolution starts to become clearer

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT

Scientists have made a key advance toward understanding which of the trillions of gut microbes may play important roles in how humans and other mammals evolve.

We have more than enough calories, but what about other nutrients?

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT

A new study is the first to quantitatively map the flow of energy, protein, fat, essential amino acids and micronutrients from 'field-to-fork' at a global level and identify hotspots where nutrients are lost. The study shows that while we produce far more nutrients than is required for the global population, inefficiencies in the supply chain leave many people nutrient deficient.

Probiotic use may reduce antibiotic prescriptions

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 05:48 AM PDT

The use of probiotics is linked to reduced need for antibiotic treatment in infants and children, according to a review of studies that probed the benefits of probiotics, co-led by a Georgetown investigator.

Trees reveal the evolution of environmental pollution

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 11:20 AM PDT

Chemical analysis of tipuana tree rings and bark by Brazilian researchers shows falling levels of heavy metal pollution in the air of São Paulo City, Southern Hemisphere's largest metropolis.

Leptospirosis strains identified in Uruguay cattle

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 11:20 AM PDT

Leptospirosis infections, caused by Leptospira bacteria, occur in people and animals around the world, but different strains of the bacteria may vary in their ability to cause disease and to jump between species. Now, researchers have for the first time described the characteristics of the Leptospira variants that infect cattle in Uruguay.

Conservation dairy farming could help Pa. meet Chesapeake target

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 10:45 AM PDT

If the majority of dairy farms in Pennsylvania fully adopt conservation best-management practices, the state may be able to achieve its total maximum daily load water-quality target for the Chesapeake Bay, according to researchers.

BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:39 AM PDT

Twenty years ago, researchers made the accidental discovery that BPA had leached out of plastic cages used to house female mice in the lab, causing an increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs. Now, the same team is back to report that the array of alternative bisphenols now used to replace BPA in BPA-free bottles, cups, cages, and other items appear to come with similar problems for their mice.

Open insulin, 'DIY bio' and the future of pharma

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:39 AM PDT

A growing community of do-it-yourself 'biohackers' are disrupting business-as-usual for pharmaceutical discovery, development and distribution. A new article looks at how the pharmaceutical industry, and the U.S. regulatory environment, will need to change in response.

New means to fight 'un-killable' bacteria in healthcare settings

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:38 AM PDT

Scientists have identified new means of fighting drug-tolerant bacteria, a growing global threat as menacing as drug-resistant microbes. Little is known about the mechanisms leading to tolerance, a strategy that makes bacteria 'indifferent' to antibiotics and almost 'un-killable,' which results in chronic infections extremely difficult to treat and cure.

Appetite for shark fin soup serious risk to threatened sharks

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:38 AM PDT

Fishing pressure on threatened shark populations has increased dramatically in recent years and it is urgent that consumers reject shark fin products altogether, new study asserts.

The world needs death and decomposition

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:35 AM PDT

Thanks to a new study, scientists now have a better way to investigate decomposing plants' and animals' contributions to the ecosystem.

Halting biodiversity loss: Political actions are required, not additional scientific knowledge

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:35 AM PDT

Over 15 years, almost 13,000 scientific papers have been published in the leading conservation science journals. Yet biodiversity remains threatened at a global scale. Researchers have now focused on this worrisome paradox by taking a deeper look at this large volume of literature. One of the major problems is that decisions are usually more favorable to human activities than to nature protection.

Carrier status matters in foot-and-mouth disease

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:35 AM PDT

Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is believed to be one of the most contagious pathogens of animals in its acute form; however, there is still controversy over whether it is transmissible from asymptomatic, long-term carriers. Despite the lack of evidence for transmission by direct contact with FMDV carrier cattle, there is demonstrable contagion associated with these animals, according to a new study.

New plant species discovered in museum is probably extinct

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:34 AM PDT

A single non-photosynthetic plant specimen preserved in a Japanese natural history museum has been identified as a new species. However, it is highly possible that this species is already extinct.

Fluorescence-activating beta-barrel protein made from scratch for first time

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:34 AM PDT

For the first time, scientists have created, entirely from scratch, a protein capable of binding to a small target molecule. They designed a cylindrical protein called a beta barrel, which has a cavity to bind the target. The designed protein was able to bind and activate a compound similar to that housed inside green fluorescent protein.

Gut bacteria's shocking secret: They produce electricity

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 10:34 AM PDT

To date, most electricity-generating bacteria have come from weird environments, but researchers have found more than 100 in the human microbiome, both pathogenic and probiotic. They were unsuspected because they employ a different and simpler extracellular electron transfer system, which may prove useful in creating bacterial batteries. Their electrogenic ability may be important in infectivity, or in how they ferment cheese and yogurt.

Researchers explain how viral protein promotes deadly infection by Nipah and Hendra viruses

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 05:12 AM PDT

Researchers have identified how a viral protein, which plays a major role in causing deadly Nipah and Hendra virus infections, targets a critical function in human cells to suppress immune responses and promote fatal disease.

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