In this scientific whodunnit, the latest research points a finger squarely at changing climate and sea levels as the main culprits leading to the extinction of the woolly mammoth.... Read more »
Palkopoulou Eleftheria, Dalén Love , Lister Adrian M. , Vartanyan Sergey, Sablin Mikhail, Sher Andrei, Edmark Veronica Nyström , Brandström Mikael D. , Germonpré Mietje, & Barnes Ian . (2013) Holarctic genetic structure and range dynamics in the woolly mammoth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1910
Barnes Ian, Shapiro Beth, Lister Adrian, Kuznetsova Tatiana, Sher Andrei, Guthrie Dale, & Thomas Mark G. (2007) Genetic Structure and Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius. Current Biology, 17(12), 1072-1075. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.05.035
Hofreiter Michael, Münzel Susanne, Conard Nicholas J., Pollack Joshua, Slatkin Montgomery, Weiss Gunter, & Pääbo Svante. (2007) Sudden replacement of cave bear mitochondrial DNA in the late Pleistocene. Current Biology, 17(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.026
Brace S., Palkopoulou E., Dalen L., Lister A. M., Miller R., Otte M., Germonpre M., Blockley S. P. E., Stewart J. R., & Barnes I. (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(50), 20532-20536. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109
A University of Illinois study recommends a framework for biomass contracts between growers and biorefineries to help spell out expectations for sustainability practices and designate who will assume the risks and costs associated with these new perennial energy crops.... Read more »
Endres J., Endres A., Stoller J. (2013) Building Bio-based Supply Chains: Theoretical Perspectives on Innovative Contract Design. UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 31(1). info:other/19151
A study of the photovoltaic industries in the US and China shows that China’s dominance in solar panel manufacturing is not driven solely by cheaper labor and government support, but by larger-scale manufacturing and resulting supply-chain benefits.... Read more »
Alan C. Goodrich, Douglas M. Powell, Ted L. James, Michael Woodhousea, Tonio Buonassisi. (2013) Assessing the drivers of regional trends in solar photovoltaic manufacturing. Energy . DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40701B
A partial migration of adult female tiger sharks coincides with pupping season and the months of increased incidences of shark bite in Hawaii, according to new reseach out of Hawaii’s Shark Lab... Read more »
Yannis Peter Papastamatiou, Carl Gustav Meyer, Felipe Carvalho, Jonathon Dale, Melanie Hutchinson, & Kim Holland. (2013) Telemetry and random walk models reveal complex patterns of partial migration in a large marine predator. Ecology, 94(11). DOI: 10.1890/12-2014.1
Tackling the risks of infection and other illnesses remains a challenge. Might the solution come from the sea?... Read more »
Martin Ince. (2013) Next generation cures born from the sea. youris.com. info:/
There's nothing subtle about the wooing of European common frogs. Males grow spiny pads on their thumbs during the breeding season, the better to grip their mates. As if that weren't enough, the pads also seem to channel pheromones out of a frog's hands and straight into his female partner's body.
Frogs fertilize their eggs out in the open, so you might think there'd be no need for all this effort. Yet males of most frog species can be seen during the mating season "taking a piggyback ride" ........ Read more »
Bert Willaert, Franky Bossuyt, Sunita Janssenswillen, Dominique Adriaens, Geert Baggerman, Severine Matthijs, Elin Pauwels, Paul Proost, Arent Raepsaet, Liliane Schoofs.... (2013) Frog nuptial pads secrete mating season-specific proteins related to salamander pheromones. Journal of Experimental Biology. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.086363
By Porscha CarriveauAs an aviculturist-turned-scientist, to me, it is common sense to tell people that birds are heard more often than seen. People study bird songs or calls for a variety of reasons. The reason I study bird songs is to identify the songs that my African grey parrot has learned to mimic. His repertoire includes the vocalizations of several birds’ songs such as robins, cardinals, cat birds, and chickadees. He also mimics humans. When leaving home in the morning, the last thing t........ Read more »
Ohms, V., Beckers, G., Ten Cate, C., & Suthers, R. (2012) Vocal Tract Articulation Revisited: The Case of the Monk Parakeet. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 85-92. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.064717
SUMMARY: A study of captive-bred whooping cranes found that young birds learn their migration routes over many years, and migrating alongside older birds improves the migratory efficiency of younger birds.... Read more »
Researchers from KU Leuven and VIB have developed new yeast strains capable of converting waste into biofuel with unprecedented efficiency. The yeast strains could have real environmental and economic benefits, particularly as the burgeoning industry of second-generation biofuels continues to grow.... Read more »
Demeke MM, Dumortier F, Li Y, Broeckx T, Foulquié-Moreno MR, & Thevelein JM. (2013) Combining inhibitor tolerance and D-xylose fermentation in industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae for efficient lignocellulose-based bioethanol production. Biotechnology for biofuels, 6(1), 120. PMID: 23971950
A study of captive-bred whooping cranes found that young birds learn their migration routes over many years, and migrating alongside older birds improves the migratory efficiency of younger birds.... Read more »
Edible insects are great alternatives to conventional sources of meat as they’re cheap, plentiful and excellent sources of protein and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals.
In many countries, eating insects doesn’t raise eyebrows. How palatable they appear to a person is largely determined by culture.
Analyses of insects also show huge variation in nutritional value and composition – between species, their stages of development and even due to the insects’ diet.
........ Read more »
Oonincx DG, & de Boer IJ. (2012) Environmental impact of the production of mealworms as a protein source for humans - a life cycle assessment. PloS one, 7(12). PMID: 23284661
A new paper by Dr Ezard, published today (9 August 2013) in the journal Methods in Ecology & Evolution, opens the debate on the best way to understand how new species come into existence (speciation). The debate concerns whether fossil records such as those of the planktonic foraminifera, contain useful evidence of speciation over and above the molecular study of evolution. Molecular evolution traditionally uses evidence from species that are alive today to determine what their ancestors may hav........ Read more »
University of Southampton. (2013) The ‘genetics of sand’ may shed new light on evolutionary process over millions of years. University of Southampton. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12089
European starlings are one of the many bird species changing their songs in urban environments. Image by 4028mdk09 at Wikimedia Commons.The human world population has climbed to over 7.1 billion people and for the first time ever, more than half of us live in an urban area. Urban areas are spreading and more animals are either getting pushed out or are becoming urbanized in the process. Birds are among the many species we are used to seeing and hearing in our cities, but how exactly a........ Read more »
Slabbekoorn, H. (2013) Songs of the city: noise-dependent spectral plasticity in the acoustic phenotype of urban birds. Animal Behaviour, 1089-1099. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.01.021
Cynodont therapsids – ancient closest relatives of modern mammals – the not only survived the greatest mass extinction of all time, 252 million years ago, but thrived in the aftermath, according to new research published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The first mammals arose in the Triassic period, over 225 million years ago. They included small shrew-like animals such as Morganucodon from England, Megazostrodon from South Africa, and Bienotherium from China.
........ Read more »
Marcello Ruta1, Jennifer Botha-Brink2,3, Stephen A. Mitchell4, & and Michael J. Benton. (2013) The radiation of cynodonts and the ground plan of mammalian morphological diversity . Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1865
Despite the ease with which mussels can be cooked and eaten with chips, harvesting these tiny shelled bivalves from the seashore requires a certain amount of industrious prising. That’s because mussels use multiple thin byssus threads to securely fasten themselves … Continue reading →... Read more »
Qin Z, & Buehler MJ. (2013) Impact tolerance in mussel thread networks by heterogeneous material distribution. Nature communications, 2187. PMID: 23880603
By Jim Godwin
It’s the end of another season of monitoring of the Eastern Indigo Snake reintroduction project in Conecuh National Forest. During the winter months biologists and experienced volunteers have been systematically scouring the sandhills and longleaf forest for indigo snakes, using Gopher Tortoise burrows as cues in their searches. With the close of this round of ... Read more »
The Killarney shad (Alosa fallax killarnensis) is the only landlocked species of shad. A new study by Coscia et al. (2013) has investigated the phylogenetic origins of the species and have estimated that the first colonisation event took place 16,000 years ago and a second event likely occurred 7000 years ago. ... Read more »
Coscia I, McDevitt AD, King JJ, Roche WK, McLoughlin C, & Mariani S. (2013) A species-to-be? The genetic status and colonization history of the critically endangered Killarney shad. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution. PMID: 23933070
While my blog so far this year has shown how clear the case for fighting climate change is, our financial dependence on fossil fuels makes this difficult. But now divestment campaigns might be giving us a way to start untangling this sticky web. ... Read more »
Towers, S., Chowell, G., Hameed, R., Jastrebski, M., Khan, M., Meeks, J., Mubayi, A., & Harris, G. (2013) Climate change and influenza: the likelihood of early and severe influenza seasons following warmer than average winters. PLoS Currents. DOI: 10.1371/currents.flu.3679b56a3a5313dc7c043fb944c6f138
Zhang, X., Lu, C., & Guan, Z. (2012) Weakened cyclones, intensified anticyclones and recent extreme cold winter weather events in Eurasia. Environmental Research Letters, 7(4), 44044. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/4/044044
Edward Hanna, Xavier Fettweis, Sebastian H. Mernild, John Cappelen, Mads H. Ribergaard, Christopher A. Shuman, Konrad Steffen, Len Wood, Thomas L. Mote. (2013) Atmospheric and oceanic climate forcing of the exceptional Greenland ice sheet surface melt in summer 2012. International Journal of Climatology. DOI: 10.1002/joc.3743
Westra, S., Alexander, L., & Zwiers, F. (2012) Global increasing trends in annual maximum daily precipitation. Journal of Climate, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00502.1
Gourdji, S., Sibley, A., & Lobell, D. (2013) Global crop exposure to critical high temperatures in the reproductive period: historical trends and future projections. Environmental Research Letters, 8(2), 24041. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024041
Lobell DB, & Gourdji SM. (2012) The influence of climate change on global crop productivity. Plant physiology, 160(4), 1686-97. PMID: 23054565
Cheung, W., Watson, R., & Pauly, D. (2013) Signature of ocean warming in global fisheries catch. Nature, 497(7449), 365-368. DOI: 10.1038/nature12156
If you're a young, edible animal, a little flexibility about how you develop can save your behind. Or, if you're a damselfish, it can get a few bites taken out of your behind but ultimately save your life.
The damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis lives on coral reefs in the western Pacific, where it spends its days nibbling algae and trying to avoid being swallowed. As juveniles, these small fish have a pronounced eyespot toward the back of their bodies—a cartoonish false eye drawn on t........ Read more »
Lönnstedt OM, McCormick MI, & Chivers DP. (2013) Predator-induced changes in the growth of eyes and false eyespots. Scientific reports, 2259. PMID: 23887772
Julie Julie Julie!How awesome was Heather's guest post about her black dog syndrome research in shelters? There's something extra fun about hearing about the latest research, straight from the researchers own fingers (well, mouth seemed wrong seeing she typed it?!).I'm keeping myself busy this week, organising everything ahead of the Working Dog Alliance's website going live (any day now, annnnny daaaaaay!). I'll be sure to put a link up on Facebook and Twitter when it does g........ Read more »
Laursen S., Liston C., Thiry H., & Graf J. (2007) What Good Is a Scientist in the Classroom? Participant Outcomes and Program Design Features for a Short-Duration Science Outreach Intervention in K-12 Classrooms. Cell Biology Education, 6(1), 49-64. DOI: 10.1187/cbe.06-05-0165
Ecklund Elaine Howard, James Sarah A., Lincoln Anne E., & Amaral Luís A. Nunes. (2012) How Academic Biologists and Physicists View Science Outreach. PLoS ONE, 7(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036240
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