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Researchers donned snorkels and examined three marine areas in Fiji that had adjacent fished areas. The country has established no-fishing areas to protect its healthy habitats and also to allow damaged reefs to recover over time.

Hot-spring bacteria reveal ability to use far-red light for photosynthesis

This photo shows the colors of the Leptolyngbya sp. strain of cyanobacteria cells (JSC-1) collected from a hot spring near Yellowstone National Park by Donald A. Bryant when grown in white fluorescent light (WL), green-filtered fluorescent light (GL), red light provided by 645-nm LEDs, or far-red light provided by 710-nm LEDs. Cyanobacteria are known to appear brown when they are grown in green light and to appear blue-green when they are grown in red light. Although the cells grown in red light and far-red light look similar, Bryant's research shows that the photosynthetic apparatus in these two cell types is quite different and is optimized to use light wavelengths longer than 700 nm.Bacteria growing in near darkness use a previously unknown process for harvesting energy and producing oxygen from sunlight, a research team led by a Penn State University scientist has discovered....

Research paves way for development of cyborg moth 'biobots'

The moth is connected to a wireless platform that collects the electromyographic data as the moth moves its wings. To give the moth freedom to turn left and right, the entire platform levitates, suspended in mid-air by electromagnets.North Carolina State University researchers have developed methods for electronically manipulating the flight muscles of moths and for monitoring the electrical signals moths use to control those muscles. The work...

Fish study links brain size to parental duties

A male common stickleback and his babies are shown.Male stickleback fish that protect their young have bigger brains than counterparts that don't care for offspring, finds a new University of British Columbia study.

Sequencing at sea

San Diego State University graduate student Yan Wei Lim is exploring coral reefs in the southern Line Islands.Daylight was breaking over the central Pacific and coffee brewing aboard the MY Hanse Explorer. Between sips, about a dozen scientists strategized for the day ahead. Some would don wetsuits...

Worm virus details come to light

This is a nematode from the Rice lab of biochemist Weiwei Zhong. Nematodes are favorite models of biological systems for their relative simplicity, their transparency and the ease with which scientists can manipulate their genetic sequences.Rice University scientists have won a race to find the crystal structure of the first virus known to infect the most abundant animal on Earth.

Do gut bacteria rule our minds?

This image illustrates the relationship between gut bacteria and unhealthy eating.It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us -- which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold -- may very well be affecting both our cravings and...

Fukushima's legacy

This is a pale grass blue butterfly, one of the most common species of butterfly in Japan. Recent research has revealed major impacts on this species from the radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.Following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown, biological samples were obtained only after extensive delays, limiting the information that could be gained about the impacts of that historic disaster....

Parasitic worms sniff out their victims as 'cruisers' or 'ambushers'

It has been speculated that soil-dwelling parasitic worms use their sense of smell to find suitable hosts for infection. Research published on August 14th in PLOS Pathogens comparing odor-driven behaviors...

Lionfish characteristics make them more 'terminator' than predator

Research done with the fairy basslet, a common prey of lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean, demonstrates that lionfish are more voracious predators than other native fish, and will still hunt until almost the last of their prey is gone.New research on the predatory nature of red lionfish, the invasive Pacific Ocean species that is decimating native fish populations in parts of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, seems...

Little penguins forage together

Most little penguins may search for food in groups, and even synchronize their movements during foraging trips, according to a study published August 13, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS...

Orb-weaving spiders living in urban areas may be larger

This is a photo of an orb-weaving spider.A common orb-weaving spider may grow larger and have an increased ability to reproduce when living in urban areas, according to a study published August 20, 2014 in the open-access...

Alternate mechanism of species formation picks up support, thanks to a South American ant

A queen ant of the host species <i>Mycocepurus goeldii</i>.A newly-discovered species of ant supports a controversial theory of species formation. The ant, only found in a single patch of eucalyptus trees on the São Paulo State University campus...

Worker bees 'know' when to invest in their reproductive future

Honeybees build a new comb on a wooden frame of a beehive. The piece of comb on the right shows the transition from worker comb (small inner cells) to drone comb (large outer cells).When a colony of honeybees grows to about 4,000 members, it triggers an important first stage in its reproductive cycle: the building of a special type of comb used for...

Zombie ant fungi manipulate hosts to die on the 'doorstep' of the colony

After killing its host, the so-called zombie ant fungus grows from the cadaver and produces spores, which rain down on the forest floor to infect new hosts.A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit their infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring...

The difficult question of Clostridium difficile

This is a surface layer associated protein of <i>Clostridium difficile</i>.The bacterium Clostridium difficile causes antibiotic-related diarrhea and is a growing problem in the hospital environment and elsewhere in the community. Understanding how the microbe colonises the human gut when...

Artificial cells act like the real thing

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, but mimicking the intricate networks and dynamic interactions that are inherent to living cells is difficult to achieve outside the cell....

Scientists study 'talking' turtles in Brazilian Amazon

This is an adult Giant South American river turtle. The turtle is the largest member of the side-necked turtle family and grows up to nearly three feet in length.Turtles are well known for their longevity and protective shells, but it turns out these reptiles use sound to stick together and care for young, according to the Wildlife Conservation...

Plants may use newly discovered language to communicate, Virginia Tech scientist discovers

When parasitic plants such as dodder attack plants like the sugar beet shown here, there is a vast exchange of genetic information between the plants, a Virginia Tech researcher has discovered.A Virginia Tech scientist has discovered a potentially new form of plant communication, one that allows them to share an extraordinary amount of genetic information with one another.

Researchers identify a brain 'switchboard' important in attention and sleep

This is an illustration of awake and asleep.Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere, using a mouse model, have recorded the activity of individual nerve cells in a small part of the brain that works as...

New material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing

A DNA molecule passes through a nanopore in a sheet of molybdenum disulfide, a material that researchers have found to be better than graphene at reading the DNA sequence.Gene-based personalized medicine has many possibilities for diagnosis and targeted therapy, but one big bottleneck: the expensive and time-consuming DNA-sequencing process.

Young blue sharks use central North Atlantic nursery

A blue shark was photographed in the Azores.Blue sharks may use the central North Atlantic as a nursery prior to males and females moving through the ocean basin in distinctly different patterns, according to a study published...

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