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Two males of the twisted-winged parasite <i>Stylops ovinae</i> compete for one female hidden in the abdomen of a mining bee.

RNA splicing mutations play major role in genetic variation and disease

RNA splicing is a major underlying factor that links mutations to complex traits and diseases, according to an exhaustive analysis of gene expression in whole genome and cell line data....

Prion-like protein found in plants

Whitehead Institute scientists have determined that a plant protein involved in the timing of flowering could in fact be a prion. This is the first time that a possible prion...

Slow worms react quickly to climate change

Evolution can go quickly when it has to - at least for small organisms. Researchers exposed a natural setting in Denmark to artificial climate change and discovered that soil just...

Coral 'toolkit' allows floating larvae to transform into reef skeletons

A juvenile lace coral (<i>Pocillopora damicornis</i>),&nbsp;with coral tissue and algal symbionts (brown dots within the tissue) covering the newly grown skeleton.In a study published today, researchers from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM), Rutgers University, and the University of Haifa identified key and novel components of the molecular "toolkit"...

Despite their small brains -- ravens are just as clever as chimps

This is a raven.A study led by researchers at Lund University in Sweden shows that ravens are as clever as chimpanzees, despite having much smaller brains, indicating that rather than the size of...

Critically Endangered and ancient Himalayan wolf needs global conservation attention

A pair of Himalayan wolves in their natural habitat.Although the Himalayan wolf is visibly distinct from its European cousin, its current distribution has mostly been a matter of assumption, rather than evident truth. The most ancient wolf lineage,...

Revolutionary antibiotics will save the world

Schematic structure of the bd-cytochrome. The bd-cytochrome is located in the bacterial inner (cytoplasmic) membrane. Next -- an <i>Escherichia coli</i> bacterium (a bacterium encounters a molecule of hydrogen sulfide (H2S).An international team of including the Lomonosov Moscow State University researchers discovered which enzyme enables Escherichia coli bacterium (E. coli) to breathe. The study is published in the

Hear no evil: Farmed fish found to be hard of hearing

The left and right earbones of a juvenile farmed salmon. The left one is normal, and the right one is deformed. The deformed earbone is larger and more opaque.New research published today in the journal Scientific Reports has revealed for the first time that half of the world's farmed fish have hearing loss due to a deformity of...

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How Vibrio cholerae is attracted by bile revealed

Ribbon representation of Mlp37. Mlp37 forms a dimer (yellow and green). The two domains (the red circle and the black circle) are similar in structure, but only the upper domain binds taurine.A group of researchers from Osaka University, Hosei University, and Nagoya University have revealed the molecular mechanism that Vibrio cholerae, the etiological agent of cholera, is attracted by bile. This...

DNA barcodes gone wild

A team of researchers at Sinai Health System's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI) and University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre has developed a new technology that can stitch together DNA barcodes inside...

Influence of religion and predestination on evolution and scientific thinking

A blind cave tetra fish found in caves of Mexico showing typical loss of eyes and pigmentation common for many cave animals.Generally seen as antithetical to one another, evolution and religion can hardly fit in a scientific discourse simultaneously. However, biologist Dr Aldemaro Romero Jr., Baruch College, USA, devotes...

Patterns of glowing sharks get clearer with depth

This photo is of a biofluorescent chain catshark (<em>Scyliorhinus rotifer</em>).A team of researchers led by scientists from the American Museum of Natural History has found that catsharks are not only able to see the bright green biofluorescence they produce,...

Scientists establish first map of the sea lion brain

California sea lions have brains about the size of chimpanzees but they are organized much differently.Rio is a California sea lion who can solve IQ tests that many people have trouble passing. In fact, she is so smart that scientists at the Long Marine Lab...

Bearded dragons show REM and slow wave sleep

Sleeping bearded dragon (<i>Pogona vitticeps</i>).Behavioural sleep is ubiquitous among animals, from insects to man. In humans, sleep is also characterized by brain activity: periods of slow-wave activity are each followed by short phases of...

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New curiously scaled beetle species from New Britain named after 'Star Wars' Chewbacca

The new flightless beetle species <i>Trigonopterus chewbacca</i>.Chewbacca, the fictional 'Star Wars' character, has given his name to a new species of flightless beetle, discovered in New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Although Trigonopterus chewbacca was only one...

Hybrid forms of the common house mosquito may serve as vectors between birds and humans

Different forms of the northern house mosquito are morphologically indistinct.The team of researchers from the Institute of Parasitology at Vetmeduni Vienna sampled nearly 1,500 house mosquitoes in eastern Austria. The northern house mosquito Culex pipiens, representing more than 90%...

Protecting diversity on coral reefs: DNA may hold the key

This image shows coral reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands/ Papah&#257;naumoku&#257;kea Marine National Monument teeming with fishes.Coral reefs are widely known for their stunning array of color, shape and forms of life, making them a model for extreme biodiversity. Hidden within the multitude of reef inhabitants,...

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Controlling RNA in living cells

MIT researchers have devised a new set of proteins that can be customized to bind arbitrary RNA sequences, making it possible to image RNA inside living cells, monitor what a...

New technique accelerates isolation of potato late blight resistance genes

Several candidates were introduced into a model species, of which one (Rpi-amr3) successfully provided broad-spectrum blight resistance.A team of scientists from The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) and The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) have developed a new method to accelerate isolation of plant disease resistance genes. The team...

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Field Museum expedition captures animal selfies in Amazon Rainforest

Despite being the size of a large pig, the giant armadillo (<em>Priodontes maximus</em>) actually spends a lot of its time inside large burrows it digs in the ground. In fact, the species is considered a habitat engineer, as its burrows also provide shelter to other birds and mammals in its environment. The giant armadillo uses its claws to dig through the ground looks for its favorite meal -- termites. Unfortunately, the pressures of deforestation and hunting often times put the largest animals at risk first, and this species is vulnerable to extinction.If you've been on the Internet lately, you've probably seen a cat selfie. Now, a Field Museum expedition to the Peruvian Amazon has elevated the animal selfie phenomenon to a...

Dartmouth-led study of chimpanzees explores the early origins of human hand dexterity

A chimpanzee in Kibale National Park, Uganda, initiates a series of sensory assessments to evaluate the edibility of figs. Sensory assessment entailed manual palpation to discern softness (elastic deformation).Chimpanzees use manipulative dexterity to evaluate and select figs, a vital resource when preferred foods are scarce, according to a new Dartmouth-led study just published by Interface Focus....

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