ScienceDaily: Plants & Animals News

Salmonella resistant to antibiotics of last resort found in US

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:43 AM PDT

Researchers have found a gene that gives Salmonella resistance to antibiotics of last resort in a sample taken from a human patient in the US The find is the first evidence that the gene mcr-3.1 has made its way into the US from Asia.

Gut microbes eat our medication

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:36 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered one of the first concrete examples of how the microbiome can interfere with a drug's intended path through the body. Focusing on levodopa (L-dopa), the primary treatment for Parkinson's disease, they identified which bacteria out of the trillions of species is responsible for degrading the drug and how to stop this microbial interference.

The surprising reason why some lemurs may be more sensitive to forest loss

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM PDT

Researchers compared the gut microbes of 12 lemur species across the island of Madagascar, where thousands of acres of forest are cleared each year. The team found that some lemurs harbor microbes that are more specialized than others for the forests where they live.

Half of Ebola outbreaks undetected

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM PDT

An estimated half of Ebola virus disease outbreaks have gone undetected since it was discovered in 1976, according to new research. Although these tend to affect fewer than five patients, the study highlights the need for improved detection and rapid response, in order that outbreaks of Ebola and other public health threats are detected early and consistently.

Hidden brain signals behind working memory

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM PDT

Making a specific type of brain pattern last longer improves short-term memory in rats, a new study finds.

Environmental oxygen triggers loss of webbed digits

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM PDT

Free fingers have many obvious advantages on land, such as in locomotion and grasping, while webbed fingers are typical of aquatic or gliding animals. But both amphibians and amniotes -- which include mammals, reptiles, and birds -- can have webbed digits. Scientists now show that during embryo development, some animal species detect the presence of atmospheric oxygen, which triggers removal of interdigital webbing.

Taking the 'killer' out of natural killer cells

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM PDT

The virus responsible for chickenpox and shingles employs a powerful strategy of immune evasion, inhibiting the ability of natural killer cells to destroy infected cells and produce molecules that help control viral infection, according to a a new study.

Deadly tick-borne virus cured with experimental flu drug, in mice

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM PDT

An investigational flu drug cures mice infected with the rare but deadly Bourbon virus, according to a new study.

Migratory hoverflies 'key' as many insects decline

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM PDT

Migratory hoverflies are 'key' to pollination and controlling crop pests amid the decline of many other insect species, new research shows.

Viruses found to use intricate 'treadmill' to move cargo across bacterial cells

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM PDT

Using advanced technologies to explore the inner workings of bacteria, biologists have provided the first example of cargo within bacteriophage cells transiting along treadmill-like structures. The discovery demonstrates that bacteria have more in common with sophisticated human cells than previously believed.

Early-season hurricanes result in greater transmission of mosquito-borne infectious disease

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 10:37 AM PDT

The timing of a hurricane is one of the primary factors influencing its impact on the spread of mosquito-borne infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus, dengue, chikungunya and Zika, according to new research.

Once thought to be asexual, single-celled parasites caught in the act

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 10:37 AM PDT

The single-celled parasite Leishmania can reproduce sexually, according to new research. The finding could pave the way towards finding genes that help the parasite cause disease.

Squid could thrive under climate change

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 09:37 AM PDT

When scientists subjected two-toned pygmy squid and bigfin reef squid to carbon dioxide levels projected for the end of the century, they received some surprising results.

Sensing food textures is a matter of pressure

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 09:10 AM PDT

Food's texture affects whether it is eaten, liked or rejected, according to researchers, who say some people are better at detecting even minor differences in consistency because their tongues can perceive particle sizes.

Research shows temperature, glyphosate increase probability for dicamba volatility

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 09:10 AM PDT

New research suggests spraying dicamba in warm temperatures and adding glyphosate to a dicamba spray mixture could increase dicamba volatility, potentially leading to increased off-target movement and damage to non-tolerant plants.

Research identifies key driver for infanticide among chimpanzees

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 09:10 AM PDT

A new study concludes that the sexual selection hypothesis was the main reason for the high rates of infanticide among a community of chimpanzees in Uganda.

Interactions between plant and insect-infecting viruses

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 07:31 AM PDT

Aphids and the plant viruses they transmit cause billions of dollars in crop damage every year. Researchers are examining this relationship at the molecular level, which could lead to new methods for controlling the pests. The researchers uncovered what may be the first example of cooperation between a plant virus and an insect virus to increase their likelihood to spread.

Zebras' stripes could be used to control their temperature, study reveals

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 07:31 AM PDT

New research indicates that zebras' stripes are used to control body temperature after all -- and reveals for the first time a new mechanism for how this may be achieved.

Low vitamin K levels linked to mobility limitation and disability in older adults

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 07:31 AM PDT

Researchers evaluateD the association between biomarkers of vitamin K status and mobility limitation and disability, and found older adults with low levels of circulating vitamin K were more likely to develop these conditions.

New research decodes plant defense system, with an eye on improving farming and medicine

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 07:31 AM PDT

The plant circadian clock determines when certain defense responses are activated (often timed with peak activity of pests), and compounds used in defense affect the clock. New findings show how the clock regulates stomata opening/closure for defense, and how the defensive compound jasmonic acid influences the clock. This could lead to plants that are better at defending themselves, reducing the need for pesticides, and potentially influencing timing for human medical treatment.

Formation of habitual use drives cannabis addiction

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 06:52 AM PDT

A shift from brain systems controlling reward-driven use to habit-driven use differentiates heavy cannabis users who are addicted to the drug from users who aren't, according to a new study. The findings help explain how the brain becomes dependent on cannabis, and why not all cannabis users develop an addiction, even with long-term regular use.

Selective logging will not be enough to sustain timber production in Amazonia

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 06:52 AM PDT

Amazonian forests are unlikely to provide enough timber to meet current demand over the long term, even with the use of improved logging practices. That is a key finding of a new study.

New 'king' of fossils discovered in Australia

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 06:51 AM PDT

Fossils of a giant new species from the long-extinct group of sea creatures called trilobites have been found on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.