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ScienceDaily: Plants & Animals News


Natural selection and spatial memory link shown in mountain chickadee research
Uncovering the evolution of the brain
Moving artificial leaves out of the lab and into the air
Why too much DNA repair can injure tissue
New frog species found on remote Ethiopian mountain
Diets consisting of fewer calories improve cell performance
Infection biology: What makes Helicobacter so adaptable?
Once seen as nerve cells' foot soldier, the axon emerges as decision-maker
New AI toolkit is the 'scientist that never sleeps'
Cancer comparison across species highlights new drug targets
Mom's reward: Female Galápagos seabird has a shorter lifespan than males
New tarantula species from Angola distinct with a one-of-a-kind 'horn' on its back
Investing in antibiotics critical to saving lives during pandemic influenza outbreaks
Gory, freaky, cool: Marine snail venom could improve insulin for diabetic patients
The physical forces of cells in action
Investigating cell stress for better health -- and better beer
Tracking HIV's ever-evolving genome in effort to prioritize public health resources
New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican waters
Almost 2,000 unknown bacteria discovered in the human gut
Engineered miniature kidneys come of age
Discovery of the oldest evidence of mobility on Earth


Natural selection and spatial memory link shown in mountain chickadee research



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 04:08 PM PST


Chickadees with better learning and memory skills, needed to find numerous food caches, are more likely to survive their first winter, a long-term study of mountain chickadees has found.


Uncovering the evolution of the brain



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 04:08 PM PST


What makes us human, and where does this mysterious property of 'humanness' come from? Humans are genetically similar to chimpanzees and bonobos, yet there exist obvious behavioral and cognitive differences. Now, researchers have developed a strategy to more easily study the early development of human neurons compared with the neurons of nonhuman primates.


Moving artificial leaves out of the lab and into the air



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 01:00 PM PST


Researchers have proposed a design solution that could bring artificial leaves out of the lab and into the environment. Their improved leaf, which would use carbon dioxide -- a potent greenhouse gas -- from the air, would be at least 10 times more efficient than natural leaves at converting carbon dioxide to fuel.


Why too much DNA repair can injure tissue



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 11:14 AM PST


Researchers have discovered how overactive DNA repair systems can lead to retinal damage and blindness in mice. A DNA repair enzyme called Aag glycosylase becomes hyperactive, provoking an inflammatory response that produces necrosis, leading to severe tissue damage.


New frog species found on remote Ethiopian mountain



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 11:14 AM PST


A new species of puddle frog (order: Anura, family: Phynobatrachidae, genus: Phrynobatrachus), has just been discovered at the unexplored and isolated Bibita Mountain in southwestern Ethiopia. The research team named the new species Phrynobatrachus bibita sp. nov., or Bibita Mountain dwarf puddle frog, inspired by its home.


Diets consisting of fewer calories improve cell performance



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 09:01 AM PST


Animal experiments have shown that caloric restriction causes cellular changes that can prevent diseases.


Infection biology: What makes Helicobacter so adaptable?



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 09:00 AM PST


The bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori owes its worldwide distribution to its genetic adaptability. Microbiologists have identified an enzyme that plays a vital role in the flexible control of global gene expression in the species.


Once seen as nerve cells' foot soldier, the axon emerges as decision-maker



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 07:48 AM PST


New research reveals that parts of the neuron are far more complex than once thought.


New AI toolkit is the 'scientist that never sleeps'



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 07:47 AM PST


Researchers have developed a new AI-driven platform that can analyze how pathogens infect our cells with the precision of a trained biologist.


Cancer comparison across species highlights new drug targets



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 07:47 AM PST


Cancer genes in mucosal melanoma, a rare and poorly understood subtype of melanoma, have been compared in humans, dogs and horses for the first time. Researchers sequenced the genomes of the same cancer across different species to pinpoint key cancer genes. The results give insights into how cancer evolves across the tree of life and could guide the development of new therapies.


Mom's reward: Female Galápagos seabird has a shorter lifespan than males



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 07:47 AM PST


The male Nazca booby, a large seabird of the Galápagos Islands, often outlives the domineering female of the species, according to new research. Why? It's a story of rotating sex partners, the cost of being a parent and how the body falls apart in old age.


New tarantula species from Angola distinct with a one-of-a-kind 'horn' on its back



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 07:46 AM PST


A new to science species of tarantula with a peculiar horn-like protuberance sticking out of its back was recently identified in central Angola, a largely underexplored country located at the intersection of several Afrotropical ecoregions.


Investing in antibiotics critical to saving lives during pandemic influenza outbreaks



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 06:48 AM PST


Researchers have developed a mathematical framework to estimate the value of investing in developing and conserving an antibiotic to mitigate the burden of bacterial infections caused by resistant Staphylococcus aureus during a pandemic influenza outbreak.


Gory, freaky, cool: Marine snail venom could improve insulin for diabetic patients



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 05:15 AM PST


Researchers detailed the function of cone snail insulins, bringing them one step closer to developing a faster-acting insulin to treat diabetes.


The physical forces of cells in action



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 05:15 AM PST


The detection of physical forces is one of the most complex challenges facing science. Considered to play a decisive role in many biological processes, the chemical tools to visualize the physical forces in action do not exist. But today, researchers have developed probes inspired by lobster cooking, they enable to enter into cells. For the first time, physical forces can be imaged live inside the cells.


Investigating cell stress for better health -- and better beer



Posted: 12 Feb 2019 05:15 AM PST


Human beings are not the only ones who suffer from stress -- even microorganisms can be affected. Now, researchers have devised a new method to study how single biological cells react to stressful situations. Understanding these responses could help develop more effective drugs for serious diseases. As well as that, the research could even help to brew better beer.


Tracking HIV's ever-evolving genome in effort to prioritize public health resources



Posted: 11 Feb 2019 04:22 PM PST


Using HIV genetic data, researchers discovered that transgender women in Los Angeles are at higher risk of being in an HIV transmission network than men who have sex with men. In addition, cisgender men in these clusters should be considered at higher risk for HIV than previously thought.


New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican waters



Posted: 11 Feb 2019 03:29 PM PST


Scientists surveyed deep-sea seamounts outside Isla del Coco UNESCO World Heritage site revealing coral communities with surprising diversity.


Almost 2,000 unknown bacteria discovered in the human gut



Posted: 11 Feb 2019 03:28 PM PST


Researchers have used computational methods to identify nearly 2,000 uncultured gut bacterial species. Study authors call for more data from South America, Africa and Asia, in order to achieve a more comprehensive blueprint of the human gut. Access to thousands of new gut bacterial genomes allows researchers to characterize the gut microbiota more accurately.


Engineered miniature kidneys come of age



Posted: 11 Feb 2019 03:28 PM PST


A research team has now removed a major barrier for the use of kidney organoids as a tool to model kidney diseases, test drug toxicities and eventually for the creation of organ replacements, the lack of a pervasive blood vessel system (vasculature). The team solved this problem with a powerful new approach that exposes stem cell-derived kidney organoids to fluidic shear stress and thus enables them to vascularize and mature further than they could before.


Discovery of the oldest evidence of mobility on Earth



Posted: 11 Feb 2019 01:40 PM PST


Scientists have uncovered the oldest fossilized traces of motility. Whereas previous remnants were dated to 570 million years ago, this new evidence is 2.1 billion years old. They were discovered in a fossil deposit in Gabon, where the oldest multicellular organisms have already been found.
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