Editorials

New Species of Fossile Bird named after Veterinary Scientist Fritz Huchzermeyer

In a paper published online on October 29th in the Chinese Science Bulletin, a research team from the Institute of Verte …

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Reviews

Canine and human insulinoma

The pancreas Function The pancreas is a glandular organ in the cranial abdomen that has both endocrine and exocrine func …

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Articles

First validated canine behavioral genetics, findings of nine fear, aggression traits in dogs

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the United States. And while much is understood about the biochemistry of anxiety, little is known about the genetic variation associated with it. Recently published in BMC Genetics, a study led by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports that genetic predisposition to aggression toward […]

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* Lions in West and Central Africa apparently unique

Lions in West and Central Africa form a unique group, only distantly related to lions in East and Southern Africa. Biologists at Leiden University confirm this in an article published in Scientific Reports. In this study, the researchers gathered a genetic dataset of lion populations covering a total of 22 countries. This included samples from […]

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How climate change will hurt humanity’s closest cousins

The consequences of climate change are an increasing concern for humans around the world. How will we cope with rising sea levels and climbing temperatures? But it’s not just humans who will be affected by these worldwide shifts — it’s our closest cousins, too: monkeys, apes and lemurs. A new Concordia study published in the […]

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New insights into how the mind influences the body

Neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh have identified the neural networks that connect the cerebral cortex to the adrenal medulla, which is responsible for the body’s rapid response in stressful situations. These findings, reported in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), provide evidence for the neural […]

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Cognitive offloading: How the Internet is increasingly taking over human memory

Our increasing reliance on the Internet and the ease of access to the vast resource available online is affecting our thought processes for problem solving, recall and learning. In a new article published in the journal Memory, researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz and University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign have found that ‘cognitive […]

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Snakes have adapted their vision to hunt their prey day or night

For example, snakes that need good eyesight to hunt during the day have eye lenses that act as sunglasses, filtering out ultraviolet light and sharpening their vision while nocturnal snakes have lenses that allow ultraviolet light through, helping them to see in the dark. New insights into the relationship between ultraviolet (UV) filters and hunting […]

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No blue light, please, I’m tired: Light color determines sleepiness versus arousal in mice

Light affects sleep. A study in mice published in Open Access journal PLOS Biology shows that the actual color of light matters; blue light keeps mice awake longer while green light puts them to sleep easily. An accompanying Primer provides accessible context information and discusses open questions and potential implications for “designing the lighting of […]

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* Pre-Hispanic Mexican civilization may have bred and managed rabbits and hares

Humans living in the pre-Hispanic Mexican city of Teotihuacan may have bred rabbits and hares for food, fur and bone tools, according to a study published August 17, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrew Somerville from the University of California San Diego, US, and colleagues. Human-animal relationships often involve herbivore husbandry and […]

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Across the animal kingdom there is a strong trend for females to be more caring parents

Using mathematical models, the researchers found that if the only initial difference between the sexes is the size of the sex cells they make (sperm by males and eggs by females), evolution does not favor females becoming more attentive parents. “Although an egg is a much larger parental investment than a tiny sperm, there is […]

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Common cold viruses originated in camels, just like MERS

There are four globally endemic human coronaviruses which, together with the better known rhinoviruses, are responsible for causing common colds. Usually, infections with these viruses are harmless to humans. DZIF Professor Christian Drosten, Institute of Virology at the University Hospital of Bonn, and his research team have now found the source of “HCoV-229E,” one of […]

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Canine babesiosis outbreak in UK under control, but needs monitoring

Scientists at the University of Liverpool are using the health records of dogs to monitor the status of a potentially fatal tick-borne disease that appears to have been imported into the UK. Canine babesiosis is transmitted to dogs by infected ticks, with symptoms including a lack of appetite, fever and jaundice. Although normally only found […]

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Stress bites! Researchers study mosquito/bird interactions

Research shows stressed-out birds more attractive to mosquitoes, raising fears birds exposed to stressors such as road noise, pesticides and light pollution, will be bitten more often and spread more West Nile virus When researchers from the University of South Florida (USF) and colleagues investigated how the stress hormone, corticosterone, affects how birds cope with […]

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* How norovirus gets inside cells: New clues

Norovirus is the most common viral cause of diarrhea worldwide, but scientists still know little about how it infects people and causes disease because the virus grows poorly in the lab. The discovery, in mice, provides new ways to study a virus notoriously hard to work with and may lead to treatments or a vaccine. […]

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Insecticide treatment of cattle to kill sand flies and combat leishmaniasis

With an estimated 500,000 human infections and 50,000 deaths annually, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the second most prevalent parasitic killer, behind malaria. Leishmania parasites are transmitted through the bite of phlebotomine sand flies. A study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases makes the case that fighting the insects by treating cattle with the long-lasting insecticide, […]

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Zika infection may affect adult brain cells

Concerns over the Zika virus have focused on pregnant women due to mounting evidence that it causes brain abnormalities in developing fetuses. However, new research in mice from scientists at The Rockefeller University and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology suggests that certain adult brain cells may be vulnerable to infection as well. Among […]

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Burnout is caused by mismatch between unconscious needs and job demands

New research shows that burnout is caused by a mismatch between a person’s unconscious needs and the opportunities and demands at the workplace. These results have implications for the prevention of jobburnout. Imagine an accountant who is outgoing and seeks closeness in her social relationships, but whose job offers little scope for contact with colleagues […]

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* Gene therapy treats all muscles in the body in muscular dystrophy dogs

Muscular dystrophy, which affects approximately 250,000 people in the U.S., occurs when damaged muscle tissue is replaced with fibrous, fatty or bony tissue and loses function. For years, scientists have searched for a way to successfully treat the most common form of the disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which primarily affects boys. Now, a team […]

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UK government gives Brexit science funding guarantee

Philip Hammond, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, has promised to underwrite EU research projects after Brexit. British scientists say they’re relieved by a government promise to guarantee them funding for existing EU research projects, even after the country leaves the European Union. But the reassurance only partly allays concerns about Brexit’s effect on UK […]

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More evidence that ‘healthy obesity’ may be a myth

The term “healthy obesity” has gained traction over the past 15 years, but scientists have recently questioned its very existence. A study published August 18 in Cell Reports provides further evidence against the notion of a healthy obese state, revealing that white fat tissue samples from obese individuals classified as either metabolically healthy or unhealthy […]

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Novel compounds arrested epilepsy development in mice

A team led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of LSU Health New Orleans’ Neuroscience Center of Excellence, has developed neuroprotective compounds that may prevent the development of epilepsy. The findings will be published online in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, on July 22, 2016. In this study in an experimental model […]

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Modifying a living genome with genetic equivalent of ‘search and replace’

Researchers including George Church have made further progress on the path to fully rewriting the genome of living bacteria. Such a recoded organism, once available, could feature functionality not seen in nature. It could also make the bacteria cultivated in pharmaceutical and other industries immune to viruses, saving billions of dollars of losses due to […]

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* Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs — mammals closer in size and biology to humans — with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human […]

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* First public collection of bacteria from the intestine of mice

Mouse models are extensively used in pharmaceutical and medical research, and it is known that the communities of microbes in their intestine can have a significant impact on the research output. However, there is still insufficient information available about many bacteria inhabiting the intestine of mice. For the first time, a collection of cultured bacterial […]

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Heart muscle made from stem cells aid precision cardiovascular medicine, study shows

Heart muscle cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells faithfully mirror the expression patterns of key genes in the donor’s native heart tissue, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. As a result, the cells can be used as a proxy to predict whether a patient is likely to experience drug-related heart […]

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* Brain’s chemical signals seen in real time

Neuroscientists have invented a way to watch the ebb and flow of the brain’s chemical messengers in real time. They were able to see the surge of neurotransmitters as mice were conditioned — similarly to Pavlov’s famous dogs — to salivate in response to a sound. The study, presented at the American Chemical Society’s meeting […]

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Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity-related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes

Oranges and other citrus fruits are good for you — they contain plenty of vitamins and substances, such as antioxidants, that can help keep you healthy. Now a group of researchers reports that these fruits also help prevent harmful effects of obesity in mice fed a Western-style, high-fat diet. The researchers are presenting their work […]

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CRISPR’s hopeful monsters: gene-editing storms evo-devo labs

A model and fossil of Tiktaalik roseae, a transitional fossil that illustrates how fish began to develop limbs. Most summers since 1893, young developmental and evolutionary biologists have flocked to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to master the tricks of their trade. At the world-famous Marine Biological Laboratory there, students in its annual embryology course dissect sea […]

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US endangered-species recovery surges to record high

The Santa Cruz Island Fox is one of three subspecies of fox removed from the Endangered Species Act list this month. More species protected by the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) have recovered during President Barack Obama’s administration than under all other presidents combined, the US Department of Interior announced on 11 August. And 2016 […]

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Human ‘super predator’ more terrifying than bears, wolves and Human ‘super predator’ more terrifying than bears, wolves and dogs

Bears, wolves and other large carnivores are frightening beasts but the fear they inspire in their prey pales in comparison to that caused by the human ‘super predator.’ A new study by Western University demonstrates that smaller carnivores, like European badgers, that may be prey to large carnivores, actually perceive humans as far more frightening. […]

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Antibiotics weaken Alzheimer’s disease progression through changes in the gut microbiome

Long-term treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics decreased levels of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, and activated inflammatory microglial cells in the brains of mice in a new study by neuroscientists from the University of Chicago. The study, published July 21, 2016, in Scientific Reports, also showed significant changes in the gut microbiome after […]

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