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  • October 24, 2014
  • 12:50 PM
  • 79 views

The Pig-like Aardvark

by beredim in Strange Animals

Adult and juvenile AardvarksCredit: By Scotto Bear from North Beach, MD, USA (aardvarks) [CC-BY-SA-2.], via Wikimedia CommonsKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaSuperorder: AfrotheriaOrder: TubulidentataFamily: OrycteropodidaeGenus: OrycteropusSpecies: Orycteropus aferConservation Status: Least Concern (Not Threatened)Common Name(s): Aardvark, African antbear, Cape anteaterMeet the Aardvark, a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal from Afri........ Read more »

Taylor, W., Lindsey, P., & Skinner, J. (2002) The feeding ecology of the aardvark Orycteropus afer. Journal of Arid Environments, 50(1), 135-152. DOI: 10.1006/jare.2001.0854  

Mutlow AG, & Mutlow H. (2008) Caesarian section and neonatal care in the aardvark (Orycteropus afer). Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 39(2), 260-2. PMID: 18634220  

Tabuce, R., Asher, R., & Lehmann, T. (2008) Afrotherian mammals: a review of current data. mammalia, 72(1). DOI: 10.1515/MAMM.2008.004  

White, J., Williams, G., Samour, J., Drury, P., & Cheeseman, P. (1985) The composition of milk from captive aardvark (Orycteropus afer). Zoo Biology, 4(3), 245-251. DOI: 10.1002/zoo.1430040305  

  • October 23, 2014
  • 07:38 AM
  • 91 views

Four Solar-Powered Animals

by beredim in Strange Animals

Photosynthesis, a process used by plants and some bacteria to convert light from the sun into chemical energy which can be later released to fuel their activities. Animals on the other hand, have to consume other organisms in order to cover their energy needs. But every rule has an exception.In recent years, researchers have discovered a small number of animals that much like plants have found a way to directly harness and feed off the Sun’s energy.1# Oriental Hornet (Vespa orientalis)Typicall........ Read more »

Rumpho ME, Worful JM, Lee J, Kannan K, Tyler MS, Bhattacharya D, Moustafa A, & Manhart JR. (2008) Horizontal gene transfer of the algal nuclear gene psbO to the photosynthetic sea slug Elysia chlorotica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(46), 17867-71. PMID: 19004808  

Plotkin M, Hod I, Zaban A, Boden SA, Bagnall DM, Galushko D, & Bergman DJ. (2010) Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis). Die Naturwissenschaften, 97(12), 1067-76. PMID: 21052618  

Valmalette, J., Dombrovsky, A., Brat, P., Mertz, C., Capovilla, M., & Robichon, A. (2012) Light- induced electron transfer and ATP synthesis in a carotene synthesizing insect. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep00579  

Kerney, R., Kim, E., Hangarter, R., Heiss, A., Bishop, C., & Hall, B. (2011) Intracellular invasion of green algae in a salamander host. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(16), 6497-6502. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1018259108  

  • September 28, 2014
  • 04:54 AM
  • 161 views

Andinobates Geminisae: New Fingernail Sized Poison Dart Frog from Panama

by beredim in Strange Animals

This is the hololotype specimen that the researchers used to describe the newly discovered Andinobates geminisaeCredit: Cesar Jaramillo, STRIA team of scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia recently announced the discovery of a new bright orange poison dart frog. The new species is so small that it can fit on a fingernail and was found in a rain forest near the Caribbean coast, Do........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2014
  • 05:57 AM
  • 139 views

Turritopsis Dohrnii - Is It Really Immortal?

by beredim in Strange Animals

The "Immortal" JellyfishCredit: Peter Schuchert/The Hydrozoa DirectoryKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: CnidariaClass: HydrozoaOrder: AnthoathecataFamily: OceaniidaeGenus: TurritopsisSpecies: Turritopsis dohrnii (formerly classified as T. nutricula.)Common Name: The immortal jellyfishMost of the animals featured on the site are chosen based on their unusual looks. However, this not the case with Turritopsis dohrnii, which seemingly has no notable morphological characteristics. On the outside, i........ Read more »

  • September 10, 2014
  • 07:42 AM
  • 149 views

Indian Purple Frog (Pignosed Frog)

by beredim in Strange Animals

Indian Purple FrogCredit: Karthickbala at ta.wikipedia (CC-BY-SA-3.0)via Wikimedia CommonsKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: AmphibiaOrder: AnuraFamily: SooglossidaeGenus: NasikabatrachusSpecies: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensisConservation Status: EndageredCommon name(s):  Indian purple frog, Pignosed frog, Indian purple frogMeet the Indian puple frog, an endangered and odd-looking species of frog from the mountains of India’s Western Ghats.The species was formally described o........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2014
  • 04:32 AM
  • 160 views

Strange Deep Sea Mushroom-Shaped Animals Discovered

by beredim in Strange Animals

Photos of the newly discovered, mushroom-shapedDendrogramma enigmaticaIn a paper that appeared this week on PlosOne, researchers from the University of Copenhagen announced the discovery of two new strange, deep sea and mushroom-shaped animals. The two species were identified from a collection of specimens that were collected back in 1986.The authors assigned the newly described Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides under the animal kingdom, however they couldn't classify them into ........ Read more »

  • September 4, 2014
  • 06:59 AM
  • 169 views

Syringammina fragilissima: World's largest unicellular organism

by beredim in Strange Animals

Syringammina fragilissimaCredit:  Andy GoodayKingdom: RhizariaPhylum: ForaminiferaClass: XenophyophoreaOrder: PsamminidaFamily: SyringamminidaeGenus: SyringamminaSpecies: Syringammina fragilissimaCommon name: NoneHard to imagine that the sponge-like thing in the photo is actually comprised of just one cell, right? Meet Syringammina fragilissima, the world's largest unicellular organism, with a maximum diameter of at least 20 cm (~8 in)!Discovery & HistoryThe species was first descr........ Read more »

Laureillard, J., Méjanelle, L., & Sibuet, M. (2004) Use of lipids to study the trophic ecology of deep-sea xenophyophores. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 129-140. DOI: 10.3354/meps270129  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 07:56 AM
  • 159 views

New Clues Revealed about the Longevity of Naked Mole Rats

by beredim in Strange Animals

Naked Mole RatCredit: UT Health Science Center at San AntonioThe hairless, odd-looking creature in the photo is a naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber).Among many weird traits, the species also holds the record for longest living rodent. For comparison, the house mouse (Mus musculus) has a maximum lifespan of just 2-3 years, whereas naked mole rats have been recorded to live as much as 32 years!The exact mechanisms behind the species remarkable longevity have yet to be clearly unveiled, ho........ Read more »

  • August 29, 2014
  • 06:38 AM
  • 187 views

Fish with Lungs Gives Clues to the Origin of Tetrapods

by beredim in Strange Animals

Juvenile Polypterus senegalusAbout 400 million years ago, fish left the water and began to evolve into land-living creatures. But how did this transition happen? In a new and unusual study, researchers from the McGill University took a fish species known to be able to occasionally walk using its fins and raised it on land. The scientists found that when raised on land, this primitive strange fish with lungs, walks much better than its water-raised friends. The experiment could she........ Read more »

  • August 16, 2014
  • 06:08 AM
  • 219 views

The Mata mata turtle

by beredim in Strange Animals

Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: ReptiliaOrder: TestudinesFamily: ChelidaeGenus: ChelusSpecies: Chelus fimbriataConservation Status: Least ConcernCommon Name(s): Mata mata, Mata mata turtle, Matamata and other similar variationsMata mata, a strange name for what is sure one of the world's strangest turtles! This large, South American river turtle is the only surviving species of the genus Chelus and is easily one of the most unusual creatures you are likely to encounter in the Amazon........ Read more »

  • August 8, 2014
  • 08:01 AM
  • 202 views

Researchers Uncover Stem Cell Behaviour of Human Bowel

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

For the first time, researchers say they have uncovered new information on how stem cells in the human bowel behave, revealing vital clues about the earliest stages in bowel cancer development and how we may begin to prevent it.The research, led by Queen May University of London (QMUL) and published yesterday the journal Cell Reports, discovered how many stem cells exist within the human bowel and how they behave and evolve over time.Read More... Read more »

Quantification of Crypt and Stem Cell Evolution in the Normal and Neoplastic Human Colon. (2014) Ann-Marie Baker, Biancastella Cereser, Samuel Melton, Alexander G. Fletcher, Manuel Rodriguez-Justo, Paul J. Tadrous, Adam Humphries, George Elia, Stuart A.C. McDonald, Nicholas A. Wright, Benjamin D. Simons, Marnix Jansen, Trevor A. Graham. Cell Reports. info:/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.07.019

  • August 7, 2014
  • 01:06 PM
  • 200 views

Researchers Grow Human Gastrointestinal Cells Using Epithelial Stem Cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Kelli L. VanDussen, PhD, and Matthew A. CiorbaA method of growing human cells from tissue removed from a patient's gastrointestinal (GI) tract may one day help scientists develop tailor-made therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other GI-related conditions.Reporting online recently in the journal Gut, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said they have made cell lines from individual patients in as little as two weeks.They have created more than 6........ Read more »

  • August 7, 2014
  • 12:53 PM
  • 215 views

Harvard Researchers Identify New Potential Treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

This image depicts graduate student Sophie De Boer, (left), and Prof. Kevin Eggan (right) discussing their latest work.Credit: B. D. Colen/Harvard UniversityAbout eight years ago, researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) begun a series of studies that led to a report published today which may be a major step forward in thequest to developing real treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).The findings by Harvard professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB) Kevin E........ Read more »

de Boer, A., Koszka, K., Kiskinis, E., Suzuki, N., Davis-Dusenbery, B., & Eggan, K. (2014) Genetic validation of a therapeutic target in a mouse model of ALS. Science Translational Medicine, 6(248), 248-248. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009351  

  • August 6, 2014
  • 03:46 PM
  • 130 views

Molecular Competition Drives Adult Stem Cells to Specialize

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

All adult organisms ranging from fruit flies to humans harbor adult stem cells, some of which renew themselves through cell division while others differentiate into the specialized cells needed to replace worn-out or damaged organs and tissues.Understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the balance between self-renewal and differentiation in adult stem cells is an important foundation for developing therapies to regenerate diseased, injured or aged tissue.Now, in the latest issue of the ........ Read more »

  • August 5, 2014
  • 12:29 PM
  • 124 views

Implanted Neurons Derived from Skin Become Part of the Brain

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Researchers at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have grafted neurons reprogrammed from skin cells into the brains of mice for the first time with long-term stability. Six months after implantation, the neurons had become fully functionally integrated into the brain.This successful, lastingly stable, implantation of neurons raises hope for future therapies that will replace sick neurons with healthy ones in the brains of Parkinson's disease ........ Read more »

Hemmer, K., Zhang, M., van Wüllen, T., Sakalem, M., Tapia, N., Baumuratov, A., Kaltschmidt, C., Kaltschmidt, B., Schöler, H., Zhang, W.... (2014) Induced Neural Stem Cells Achieve Long-Term Survival and Functional Integration in the Adult Mouse Brain. Stem Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.06.017  

  • August 5, 2014
  • 12:17 PM
  • 109 views

Frankfurt-Based Researchers Discover Weakness of Leukemic Stem Cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Despite improvements in therapy, only one out of every two adult patients survive acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The mean survival time for this disease, which predominantly occurs in the elderly, is less than a year for patients over 65 years. It is assumed that leukaemic stem cells, which cannot be completely eliminated during treatment, are the origin of relapse. However, as has been discovered by a team of Frankfurt-based researchers, these cells do have a weakness: In the current edition o........ Read more »

  • August 4, 2014
  • 09:17 AM
  • 131 views

Knowing what to keep and what to trash: How the Dis3l2 protein distinguishes cellular messages

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Every once in a while, we are forced to sort that stack of papers on the kitchen counter. Interspersed between the expired coupons and dozens of takeout menus are important documents like your car insurance or electric bill. So it isn't an option to simply drop it all in the trash at once – you need to read through the messages to be sure that you don't lose vital information.In the cell, proteins similarly read through messages to distinguish what needs to be saved and what needs to b........ Read more »

  • August 4, 2014
  • 09:07 AM
  • 195 views

Coxsackie Virus Depletes Cardiac Stem Cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

There is epidemiological evidence that links type B coxsackie virus (CVB) infection with heart disease, and research published on July 31st in PLOS Pathogens now suggests a mechanism by which early infection impairs the heart's ability to tolerate stress at later stages of life.CVB infection is very common and affects mostly children. The symptoms range widely: over half of the infections are thought to be asymptomatic, the majority of children who get sick have only a mild fever, and a very........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2014
  • 02:37 PM
  • 146 views

UCSF Scientist Discovers Key to Immune System Aging

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Emmanuelle Passegué, PhDThere's a good reason people over the age of sixty are not donor candidates for bone marrow transplantation. The immune system ages and weakens with time, making the elderly prone to life-threatening infection and other maladies, and a UC San Francisco research team now has discovered a reason why."We have found the cellular mechanism responsible for the inability of blood-forming cells to maintain blood production over time in an old organism, and have identifi........ Read more »

Flach, J., Bakker, S., Mohrin, M., Conroy, P., Pietras, E., Reynaud, D., Alvarez, S., Diolaiti, M., Ugarte, F., Forsberg, E.... (2014) Replication stress is a potent driver of functional decline in ageing haematopoietic stem cells. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13619  

  • August 1, 2014
  • 03:11 AM
  • 273 views

Floating Fried Eggs

by beredim in Strange Animals

Fried Egg JellyfishCotylorhiza tuberculataThe common name says it all. This weird-looking jellyfish literally looks like a fried egg! Scientifically known as Cotylorhiza tuberculata, it is one of the two jellyfish species that resemble a fried egg. The other one is Phacellophora camtschatica. Not surprisingly, it also goes by the same name.They may look tasty, but you probably don't want to have one for breakfast! However, you can have a lot of fun with C. tuberculata. This jellyfish has a ........ Read more »

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