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

How birds unlock their super-sense, ultraviolet vision

The ability of finches, sparrows, and many other birds to see a visual world hidden to us is explained in a study published in the journal eLife. Birds can be divided into those that can see ultraviolet (UV) light and those that cannot. Those that can live in a sensory world apart, able to transmit […]

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Scavenger crows provide public service, research shows

Crows are performing a useful function and keeping our environment free from rotting carcasses, research carried out at the University of Exeter in Cornwall has discovered. Using motion activated cameras in and around Falmouth and the University’s Penryn Campus, Cornwall, ecologists observed what happened to experimental rat carcasses which they placed under view. The researchers […]

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Scientists move closer to developing therapeutic window to the brain

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside are bringing their idea for a ‘Window to the Brain’ transparent skull implant closer to reality through the findings of two studies that are forthcoming in the journals Lasers in Surgery and Medicine and Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. The implant under development, which literally provides a ‘window […]

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Ravens learn best from their affiliates

Transmission of information from one individual to another forms the basis of long-term traditions and culture, and is critical in adjusting to changing environmental conditions. Animals frequently observe each other to learn about food, predators and their social environment. The study fills an important gap in our understanding of how different types of social connections […]

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* Black bear links real objects to computer images

American black bears may be able to recognize things they know in real life, such as pieces of food or humans, when looking at a photograph of the same thing. This is one of the findings of a study led by Zoe Johnson-Ulrich and Jennifer Vonk of Oakland University in the US, which involved a […]

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What free will looks like in the brain

Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to glimpse the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act. Unlike most brain studies where scientists watch as people respond to cues or commands, Johns Hopkins researchers found a way to observe people’s brain activity as they made choices entirely on their own. The findings, which […]

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New signaling pathway for programmed cell death identified in leukemia cells

When adults develop blood cancer, they are frequently diagnosed with what is referred to as acute myeloid leukemia. The disease is triggered by pathological alterations of bone marrow cells, in which, in addition, an important mechanism is out of action: these cells do not die when they are damaged. Researchers from the Technical University of […]

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* Newborn ducklings can acquire notions of ‘same’ and ‘different’

Scientists from the University of Oxford have shown that newly hatched ducklings can readily acquire the concepts of ‘same’ and ‘different’ — an ability previously known only in highly intelligent animals such as apes, crows and parrots. Ducklings and other young animals normally learn to identify and follow their mother through a type of learning […]

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Overeating in obese mice linked to altered brain responses to food cues

Obese mice are much more likely than lean mice to overeat in the presence of environmental cues, a behavior that could be related to changes in the brain, finds a new study by a Michigan State University neuroscientist. The study is to be presented this week at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, […]

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Thinking ‘I can do better’ really can improve performance, study finds

Telling yourself I can do better, can really make you do better at a given task, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found. Over 44,000 people took part in an experiment to discover what motivational techniques really worked. In conjunction with BBC Lab UK, Professor Andrew Lane and his colleagues tested which physiological […]

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* Happy cows make more nutritious milk

Daily infusions with a chemical commonly associated with feelings of happiness were shown to increase calcium levels in the blood of Holstein cows and the milk of Jersey cows that had just given birth. The results, published in the Journal of Endocrinology, could lead to a better understanding of how to improve the health of […]

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Red meat consumption linked with increased risk of developing kidney failure

A new study indicates that red meat intake may increase the risk of kidney failure in the general population, and substituting red meat with alternative sources of protein from time to time may significantly reduce this risk. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Increasing […]

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Viruses revealed to be a major driver of human evolution

The constant battle between pathogens and their hosts has long been recognized as a key driver of evolution, but until now scientists have not had the tools to look at these patterns globally across species and genomes. In a new study, researchers apply big-data analysis to reveal the full extent of viruses’ impact on the […]

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Key to regulating cell’s powerhouse discovered

Aging, neurodegenerative disorders and metabolic disease are all linked to mitochondria, structures within our cells that generate chemical energy and maintain their own DNA. In a fundamental discovery with far-reaching implications, scientists at the University of California, Davis, now show how cells control DNA synthesis in mitochondria and couple it to mitochondrial division. The work […]

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*Battling toxoplasmosis: International team describes step-by-step progress

In the July 14 edition of Scientific Reports (Nature), 39 researchers from 14 leading institutions in the United States, United Kingdom and France suggest novel approaches that could hasten the development of better medications for people suffering from toxoplasmosis. This chronic, currently incurable infection, caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, infects the brain and eye […]

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Four steps for validating stem cells

Scientists at EPFL and in the US have developed a robust method for characterizing human embryonic stem cells and their potential for medical applications. The key to utilizing stem cells for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering lies in a property of theirs called pluripotency. This refers to the cells’ ability to differentiate into different types […]

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HPV vaccine can protect women across a broad age range

A research paper published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reported that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is safe and efficacious across a wide age range of women. The international study found that it protects against HPV infection in women older than 26 years. Vaccination programs worldwide currently target routine vaccination of women 26 years and […]

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Study shows a new role for B-complex vitamins in promoting stem cell proliferation

The study, published July 11 in Developmental Cell, shows for the first time that an adult stem cell population is controlled by an external factor arising from outside the animal–bacterial folate. In this case, that animal was a small roundworm model organism known as Caenorhabditis elegans.  “Our study shows that germ stem cells in Caenorhabditis […]

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* Bright light accelerates ageing in mice

Eliane Lucassen works the night shift at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, beginning her day at 6 p.m. Yet her own research has shown that this schedule might cause her health problems. “It’s funny,” the medical resident says. “Here I am, spreading around that it’s actually unhealthy. But it needs to be done.” […]

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Human intelligence measured in the brain

Human intelligence is being defined and measured for the first time ever, by researchers at the University of Warwick. Led by Professor Jianfeng Feng in the Department of Computer Science, studies at Warwick and in China have been recently undertaken to quantify the brain’s dynamic functions, and identify how different parts of the brain interact […]

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No blood vessels without cloche

The decade-long search by researchers worldwide for a gene, which is critical in controlling the formation of blood and blood vessels in the embryo, shows how fascinating science can be. It is more than 20 years since Didier Stainier, director at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, discovered a […]

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‘Big mama’ bonobos help younger females stand up for themselves

Female bonobo coalitions more easily defeat aggressive males. Bullying happens in the primate world too, but for young bonobo females, big mama comes to the rescue. Japanese primatologists report in Animal Behaviour that older bonobo females frequently aid younger females when males behave aggressively towards them. “We may have uncovered one of the ways in […]

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Ridiculously cute mouse lemurs hold key to Madagascar’s past

“For a long time, scientists weren’t sure how or why Madagascar’s biogeography changed in very recent geological time, specifically at the key period around when humans arrived on the island a few thousand years ago. It has been proposed they heavily impacted the Central Highland forests,” says Steve Goodman, MacArthur Field Biologist at The Field […]

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Protein found to bolster growth of damaged muscle tissue

Johns Hopkins University biologists have found that a protein that plays a key role in the lives of stem cells can bolster the growth of damaged muscle tissue, a step that could potentially contribute to treatments for muscle degeneration caused by old age and diseases such as muscular dystrophy. The results, published online by the […]

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Beware of antioxidant supplements, warns scientific review

The lay press and thousands of nutritional products warn of oxygen radicals or oxidative stress and suggest taking so-called antioxidants to prevent or cure disease. Professor Pietro Ghezzi at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School and Professor Harald Schmidt at the University of Maastricht have analyzed the evidence behind this. The result is a clear […]

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Chimpanzees who travel are more frequent tool users

Chimpanzees who travel are more frequent tool users, according to new findings from the University of Neuchâtel and the University of Geneva, Switzerland, to be published in eLife. Hawa is a wild chimpanzee from the Budongo Forest in Uganda who burns up a lot of energy travelling, which he has learnt to replenish with a […]

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* Model helps identify drugs to treat cat eye infections

It’s a problem veterinarians see all the time, but there are few treatments. Feline herpes virus 1 (FHV-1) is a frequent cause of eye infections in cats, but the drugs available to treat these infections must be applied multiple times a day and there is scant scientific evidence to support their use. Now scientists at […]

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New discovery on how the inner ear works

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Researchers have found that the parts of the inner ear that process sounds such as speech and music seem to work differently than other parts of the inner ear. Researchers from Linköping University are part of the team behind the discovery. “This helps us understand the mechanisms that enable us to perceive speech and music. […]

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Current stimulation to the brain partially restores vision in patients with glaucoma and optic nerve damage

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Vision loss due to glaucoma or optic nerve damage is generally considered irreversible. Now a new prospective, randomized, multi-center clinical trial demonstrates significant vision improvement in partially blind patients after 10 days of noninvasive, transorbital alternating current stimulation (ACS). In addition to activation of their residual vision, patients also experienced improvement in vision-related quality of […]

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It’s not just a grunt: Pigs really do have something to say

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The grunts made by pigs vary depending on the pig’s personality and can convey important information about the welfare of this highly social species, new research has found. Scientists specialising in animal behaviour and welfare devised an experiment to investigate the relationship between personality and the rate of grunting in pigs. They also examined the […]

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