Popular Science articles about Biology & Nature

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would...

Surprise: Lost stem cells naturally replaced by non-stem cells, fly research suggests

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered an unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies: When a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another group...

Connecting sleep deficits among young fruit flies to disruption in mating later in life

Mom always said you need your sleep, and it turns out, she was right. According to a new study published in Science this week from researchers at the Perelman School...

East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now

This is the African honey bee, <i>Apis mellifera scutellata</i>, on an ornamental succulent in Kitui, Kenya.Several parasites and pathogens that devastate honeybees in Europe, Asia and the United States are spreading across East Africa, but do not appear to be impacting native honeybee populations at...

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

"Charles" (an adult male chimp) is sitting in a <i>C. alexandri</i> tree.Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April...

Related science article

Stanford biologists help solve fungal mysteries

Pine forests are chock full of wild animals and plant life, but there's an invisible machine underground. Huge populations of fungi are churning away in the soil, decomposing organic matter...

Declining catch rates in Caribbean green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing

A green turtle is being unloaded by fishers in R&#237;o Grande Bar community. A 20-year assessment of Nicaragua's legal, artisanal green sea turtle fishery by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Florida has uncovered a stark reality: greatly reduced overall catch rates of turtles in what may have become an unsustainable take.A 20-year assessment of Nicaragua's legal, artisanal green sea turtle fishery has uncovered a stark reality: greatly reduced overall catch rates of turtles in what may have become an unsustainable...

Related science article

For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes

Caltech researchers studied the supportive microtubule arrangement in the tissue of pavement cells from the first leaves -- or cotyledons -- of a young <I>Arabidopsis thaliana</I> plant (pictured). By fluorescently marking the cells' microtubules (yellow, top surface of cell; purple, bottom surface of cell), the researchers could image the cell's structural arrangement -- and watch how this arrangement changed over time. They could also watch the microtubule modifications that occurred due to changes in the mechanical forces experienced by the cells. The unusual shape of the pavement cell represents a state of balance -- an individual cell's tug-of-war to maintain structural integrity while also dynamically responding to the pushes and pulls of mechanical stress.From far away, the top of a leaf looks like one seamless surface; however, up close, that smooth exterior is actually made up of a patchwork of cells in a...

Related science article

Diverse gene pool critical for tigers' survival, say Stanford scholars

New research by Stanford scholars shows that increasing genetic diversity among the 3,000 or so tigers left on the planet is the key to their survival as a species.

Related science articles

Chrono, the last piece of the circadian clock puzzle?

All organisms, from mammals to fungi, have daily cycles controlled by a tightly regulated internal clock, called the circadian clock. The whole-body circadian clock, influenced by the exposure to light,...

Biologists develop nanosensors to visualize movements and distribution of plant hormone

Biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in visualizing the movement within plants of a key hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. The achievement will allow researchers to...

This shows the female penis of <I>N. aurora</I>.

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Scanning electron micrograph shows infectious spores produced by the deadly fungi <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i>.Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why...

Call for alternative identification methods for endangered species

This is the harlequin frog from Costa Rica.In a time of global climate change and rapidly disappearing habitat critical to the survival of countless endangered species, there is a heightened sense of urgency to confirm the return...

Related science article

Researchers describe 4 new species of 'killer sponges' from the deep sea

A large group of <i>Asbestopluma monticola</i> sponges grow on top of a dead sponge on Davidson Seamount, off the Central California coast.Killer sponges sound like creatures from a B-grade horror movie. In fact, they thrive in the lightless depths of the deep sea. Scientists first discovered that some sponges are carnivorous...

For resetting circadian rhythms, neural cooperation is key

Fruit flies are pretty predictable when it comes to scheduling their days, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk and rest times in between. Now, researchers reporting in the...

Scientists re-define what's healthy in newest analysis for Human Microbiome Project

As scientists catalog the trillions of bacteria found in every nook and cranny of the human body, a new look by the University of Michigan shows wide variation in the...

Related science article

Sperm meets egg: Protein essential for fertilization discovered

PN7h means fertilized eggs.Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have discovered interacting proteins on the surface of the sperm and the egg essential to begin mammalian life. These proteins, which allow the...

Related science article

EU must take urgent action on invasive species

The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen's University Belfast.

Related science article

Lemurs match scent of a friend to sound of her voice

A ring-tailed lemur  scent-marks a tree at the Duke Lemur Center. Olfactory signals and sounds from  female lemurs can throw members of their group into a tizzy. But not all combinations of noises and odors evoke the same response. Ring-tailed lemurs respond more strongly when the scent they smell matches the voice they hear.Humans aren't alone in their ability to match a voice to a face -- animals such as dogs, horses, crows and monkeys are able to recognize familiar individuals this way...

Potent, puzzling and (now less) toxic: Team discovers how antifungal drug works

A new collaboration solved a decades-old medical mystery involving amphotericin, an antifungal agent. Pictured, from left: graduate student Grant Hisao; chemistry professor Martin Burke; graduate students Alex Cioffi, Katrina Diaz, Marcus Tuttle and Mary Clay; chemistry professor Chad Rienstra; and graduate students Brice Uno, Tom Anderson and Matt Endo.Scientists have solved a decades-old medical mystery -- and in the process have found a potentially less toxic way to fight invasive fungal infections, which kill about 1.5 million people...

Stanford team develops single cell genomics technique to reverse engineer developing lung

Stanford researchers use single cell genomics analysis (left) to reverse engineer the development of alveolar sacs in the lung (right). Alveoli are small balloon-like structures at the tips of the airways, where the gas exchange between our blood and the outside air occurs: blood vessels receive oxygen and deliver carbon dioxide. Alveoli are composed of two functionally very different cell types: Alveolar type I cells, the flattest cells in our body, facilitate gas exchange, whereas alveolar type II cells protect alveoli by secreting surfactants. The scientists found that both cell types arise from a single precursor, or 'progenitor,' cell during alveolar development. On the left, the experimental process is laid out: the scientists digested lung tissue to obtain single lung cells in suspension. They then captured individual cells in different chambers on a microfluidic chip. Finally, they measured which genes were active in each single cell at that moment using single cell mRNA sequencing.Consider the marvel of the embryo. It begins as a glob of identical cells that change shape and function as they multiply to become the cells of our lungs, muscles,...

More news about Biology & Nature

Breaking science news from the newsfeed about Biology & Nature