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  • October 11, 2014
  • 11:39 AM
  • 925 views

Saying NO to Our Food Craving Is Not as Simple as It Seems

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Life Sciences

Fitness junkies would not believe this, but our road to obesity could be greatly affected by the number and type of bacteria living within us. Researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico suggest that a power struggle inside our gut happens daily. As it is a game of ‘survival-of-the-fittest’, our gut microbes would compete with each other over the availability of their preferred nutrient (e.g. sugar or fats). As a result, they influence our........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2014
  • 06:57 PM
  • 915 views

How Modern Genomics Crushed Bigfoot Pseudoscience

by Emil Karlsson in Debunking Denialism

Thousands of people around the world believe in the existence of a large primate that roams the mountain forests. It is known by many names, such as Bigfoot, Yeti and Sasquatch. Many of these enthusiasts even claim to have genuine biological samples from these creatures. Skeptics have so far remain unconvinced. No authentic photographs or video material has been produced (the one on the right is a man in a suit) and no bodies have been found. Meanwhile, cryptozoologists complain that scientist a........ Read more »

Sykes, B., Mullis, R., Hagenmuller, C., Melton, T., & Sartori, M. (2014) Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1789). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0161  

  • October 8, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,200 views

A Tale Of Two Tails

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Recent, and not so recent studies, are showing just how specialized eukaryotic flagella can be. Structures are rigid, except for when they aren’t. Sperm from two species of diatoms have very different sperm tail basal bodies, which might affect how they move and function. On the other hand, rabbits have flagella with at least three different structures. Does each have it’s own function?... Read more »

Prensier, G., Vivier, E., Goldstein, S., & Schrevel, J. (1980) Motile flagellum with a "3 0" ultrastructure. Science, 207(4438), 1493-1494. DOI: 10.1126/science.7189065  

Feistel K, & Blum M. (2006) Three types of cilia including a novel 9 4 axoneme on the notochordal plate of the rabbit embryo. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 235(12), 3348-58. PMID: 17061268  

  • October 1, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,289 views

One Thing Is Just Like The Other – Sort Of

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Recent studies have illustrated how complicated evolution by descent with adaptation can be. Convergent evolution and parallel evolution explain the fingerprints of koalas and the marsupial and placental saber-toothed cats. Dollo’s Law of Irreversibility has been shown to be plastic, as frogs have re-evolved mandibular teeth and stick insects have lost and regained wings several times. ... Read more »

Lahti, D. C., N. A. Johnson, et al. (2009) Relaxed selection in the wild. . Trends in Ecology and Evolution, , 24(9), 487-496. info:/

Stone G, & French V. (2003) Evolution: have wings come, gone and come again?. Current biology : CB, 13(11). PMID: 12781152  

  • September 28, 2014
  • 04:54 AM
  • 1,102 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 24, 2014
  • 06:00 AM
  • 1,291 views

Chase The Good, Evade The Bad

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

New research has found a bacterium that is spherical, yet has flagella all over its surface (peritrichous). This bacterium is also the only magnetotactic organism discovered that has both magnetite and Greigite crystals. Other research is showing that changing fields can turn magnetotactic bacteria on command. With some bacteria able to generate electrical circuits and others being able to open and close circuits on command, can bacterial computers be far away?... Read more »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 1,124 views

Creating The Master Breed

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

The German nationalistic sentiment before and during World War II led to some bizarre selective breeding experiments. Two brothers, Heinz and Luke Heck tried to resurrect extinct large animals that once roamed the European forests, and they also tried to breed the perfect German hunting dog – a purely German hunting dog, of course. Whether a good idea or not, the Jadgterrier is one of the few truly healthy pure bred dogs.... Read more »

Zeyland J, Wolko L, Bocianowski J, Szalata M, Słomski R, Dzieduszycki AM, Ryba M, Przystałowska H, & Lipiński D. (2013) Complete mitochondrial genome of wild aurochs (Bos primigenius) reconstructed from ancient DNA. Polish journal of veterinary sciences, 16(2), 265-73. PMID: 23971194  

  • September 18, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,435 views

Pythons and the Land - The Bangladesh Python Project Part IV --Guest Post--

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife

By Jon Hakim

Make sure to start at Part I.

“Snake call!  It's the python.  Are you up?  We got a call for the python.”









The words were almost the same, but I woke up to see that
Caesar's face held a grimace.  The
call he feared had come. 






Let's back up to the night before.



In the last post I left you in a moment of triumph.  Kanai had led four of us right to our
target species... Read more »

Rahman, Shahriar Caesar, & et al. (2013) Monsoon does matter: annual activity patterns in a snake assemblage from Bangladesh. The Herpetological Journal, 203-208. info:/

  • September 15, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,228 views

Sweating Is The Pits

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

New research is delving into the possible negative aspects of antiperspirants and deodorants. A 2014 study indicates that bacterial fauna is altered by the use of antiperspirants and can lead to overgrowth of bacteria that actually produce more foul smelling chemicals. On a more important note, research is showing that aluminum from antiperspirants may contribute to breast cancer growth, including promotion of estrogen hormone production, altered iron metabolism, and increased oxygen radical for........ Read more »

Callewaert C, Hutapea P, Van de Wiele T, & Boon N. (2014) Deodorants and antiperspirants affect the axillary bacterial community. Archives of dermatological research. PMID: 25077920  

  • September 15, 2014
  • 05:57 AM
  • 2,148 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
  • 1,644 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 1, 2014
  • 07:56 AM
  • 954 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
  • 798 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 25, 2014
  • 08:28 AM
  • 2,070 views

Chinese Food And The One Hour Dilemma

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Everyone thinks they have the answer to why you get hungry soon after eating a plate of Chinese food, but it may be more complex than a simple answer. Some people blame MSG, others say it is the higher glycemic index of rice and noodles, while others claim it is the low fat, low protein aspects of Chinese food. New studies shows that MSG, high glycemic index foods and vegetable protein diets do not alter satiety and hunger hormone levels as compared to other meal types. It may be that the satiet........ Read more »

  • August 20, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 895 views

Because He Is The One

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Swatting a fly is hard. They always seem to know you’re coming, and even if you do surprise them, they often avoid your assassination attempts. New research is showing how they do it. A 2014 paper indicates that animals with faster metabolic rates actually process information and react quicker than larger animals. This, along with recent data showing how flies can jump away from a visual stimulus before taking flight and how they can coordinate a 0.03 second banking turn with incoming visu........ Read more »

Muijres FT, Elzinga MJ, Melis JM, & Dickinson MH. (2014) Flies evade looming targets by executing rapid visually directed banked turns. Science (New York, N.Y.), 344(6180), 172-7. PMID: 24723606  

Jumpertz R, Hanson RL, Sievers ML, Bennett PH, Nelson RG, & Krakoff J. (2011) Higher energy expenditure in humans predicts natural mortality. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 96(6). PMID: 21450984  

  • August 16, 2014
  • 06:27 AM
  • 1,644 views

True facts about anglerfish | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

To the female anglerfish, the human male is a very loud, annoying and unnecessarily complicated pair of gonads. Continue reading...... Read more »

  • August 16, 2014
  • 06:08 AM
  • 1,760 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 14, 2014
  • 01:55 PM
  • 1,057 views

Getting High On Life

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Living organisms can survive and thrive in all kinds of rough environments. This would include the edges of space. There are bird species that can fly at almost 40,000 ft., as high as the highest clouds. New research is showing just how the bar headed goose is able to fly when the air is thin and the oxygen is scarce. But more impressive are the bacteria. They can actually live their whole lives in the air, dividing and growing nearly 25 miles (41 km) above the surface of the Earth. A study from........ Read more »

Pawar SP, Dhotre DP, Shetty SA, Chowdhury SP, Chaudhari BL, & Shouche YS. (2012) Genome sequence of Janibacter hoylei MTCC8307, isolated from the stratospheric air. Journal of bacteriology, 194(23), 6629-30. PMID: 23144385  

Hawkes LA, Balachandran S, Batbayar N, Butler PJ, Chua B, Douglas DC, Frappell PB, Hou Y, Milsom WK, Newman SH.... (2013) The paradox of extreme high-altitude migration in bar-headed geese Anser indicus. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1750), 20122114. PMID: 23118436  

  • August 14, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 1,612 views

Competition for ecological niches limits evolution of new species | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

A recently published study finds that competition for ecological niches limits the evolution of new species. Further, this study finds that speciation rate slows or even stops as available ecological niches fill up. Continue reading...... Read more »

Price Trevor D., Hooper Daniel M., Buchanan Caitlyn D., Johansson Ulf S., Tietze D. Thomas, Alström Per, Olsson Urban, Ghosh-Harihar Mousumi, Ishtiaq Farah, & Gupta Sandeep K. (2014) Niche filling slows the diversification of Himalayan songbirds. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13272  

Kennedy Jonathan D., Weir Jason T., Hooper Daniel M. , Tietze D. Thomas, Martens Jochen, & Price Trevor D. (2012) Ecological limits on diversification of the Himalayan core Corvoidea. Evolution, 66(8), 2599-2613. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01618.x  

Harmon Luke J., Schulte James A., Larson Allan, & Losos Jonathan B. (2003) Tempo and Mode of Evolutionary Radiation in Iguanian Lizards. Science, 301(5635), 961-964. DOI: 10.1126/science.1084786  

  • August 13, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,075 views

Getting High On Life

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Living organisms can survive and thrive in all kinds of rough environments. This would include the edges of space. There are bird species that can fly at almost 40,000 ft., as high as the highest clouds. New research is showing just how the bar headed goose is able to fly when the air is thin and the oxygen is scarce. But more impressive are the bacteria. They can actually live their whole lives in the air, dividing and growing nearly 25 miles (41 km) above the surface of the Earth. A study from........ Read more »

Pawar SP, Dhotre DP, Shetty SA, Chowdhury SP, Chaudhari BL, & Shouche YS. (2012) Genome sequence of Janibacter hoylei MTCC8307, isolated from the stratospheric air. Journal of bacteriology, 194(23), 6629-30. PMID: 23144385  

Hawkes LA, Balachandran S, Batbayar N, Butler PJ, Chua B, Douglas DC, Frappell PB, Hou Y, Milsom WK, Newman SH.... (2013) The paradox of extreme high-altitude migration in bar-headed geese Anser indicus. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1750), 20122114. PMID: 23118436  

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