Tag Archives: Fishes

Parasitic infection may have spoiled zebrafish experiments

A common parasite that infects laboratory zebrafish may have been confounding the results of years of behavioural experiments, researchers say – but critics say the case isn’t proven. Like the rat, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) is used in labs worldwide to study everything from the effects of drugs, to genetic diseases and disorders such as […]

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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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Genetic elements that drive regeneration uncovered

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If you trace our evolutionary tree way back to its roots — long before the shedding of gills or the development of opposable thumbs — you will likely find a common ancestor with the amazing ability to regenerate lost body parts. Lucky descendants of this creature, including today’s salamanders or zebrafish, can still perform the […]

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Fetal and newborn dolphin deaths linked to Deepwater Horizon oil spill

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Scientists have finalized a four-year study of newborn and fetal dolphins found stranded on beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2010 and 2013. Their study, reported in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, identified substantial differences between fetal and newborn dolphins found stranded inside and outside the areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater […]

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Scientists reveal how animals find their way ‘in the dark’

Scientists have revealed the brain activity in animals that helps them find food and other vital resources in unfamiliar environments where there are no cues, such as lights and sounds, to guide them. Animals that are placed in such environments display spontaneous, seemingly random behaviors when foraging. These behaviors have been observed in many organisms, […]

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Fish fins can sense touch

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New study finds pectoral fins feel touch through a surprisingly similar biological mechanism to mammals The human fingertip is a finely tuned sensory machine, and even slight touches convey a great deal of information about our physical environment. It turns out, some fish use their pectoral fins in pretty much the same way. And do […]

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Testing detects algal toxins in Alaska marine mammals

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Toxins from harmful algae are present in Alaskan marine food webs in high enough concentrations to be detected in marine mammals such as whales, walruses, sea lions, seals, porpoises and sea otters, according to new research from NOAA and its federal, state, local and academic partners. The findings, reported online today in the journal Harmful […]

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Starfish reveal the origins of brain messenger molecules

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Biologists from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have discovered the genes in starfish that encode neuropeptides — a common type of chemical found in human brains. The revelation gives researchers new insights into how neural function evolved in the animal kingdom. Publishing in the Royal Society journal Open Biology, the team led by Professor […]

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* European seafood fraud? Largest genetic study of fish labeling accuracy

Tough new policies to combat fish fraud across Europe appear to be working, according to new evidence. The largest multi-species survey of fish labelling accuracy to date indicates a marked and sudden reduction of seafood mislabelling in supermarkets, markets and fishmongers in the EU. Scientists in six European countries tracked samples of the mostly commonly […]

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Salmon is first transgenic animal to win US approval for food

Long-awaited decision authorizes a genetically engineered animal to grace US dinner tables for the first time. A fast-growing salmon has become the first genetically engineered animal to be approved for human consumption in the United States. The decision, issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 19 November, releases the salmon from two […]

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* What powers the pumping heart?

Researchers at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research have uncovered a treasure trove of proteins, which hold answers about how our heart pumps — a phenomenon known as contractility. Led by University of Toronto Physiology Professor Anthony Gramolini and his collaborator, Professor Thomas Kislinger in the Department of Medical Biophysics, the team used high-throughput […]

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Why offspring cope better with climate change: It’s all in the genes

In a collaborative project with scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, the researchers examined how the fish’s genes responded after several generations living at higher temperatures predicted under climate change. “Some fish have a remarkable capacity to adjust to higher water temperatures over a few generations of […]

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Freshwater and ocean acidification stunts growth of developing pink salmon

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Pink salmon that begin life in freshwater with high concentrations of carbon dioxide, which causes acidification, are smaller and may be less likely to survive, according to a new study from UBC. The risks of ocean acidification on marine species have been studied extensively but the impact of freshwater acidification is not well understood. The […]

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Why offspring cope better with climate change: It’s all in the genes

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In a world first study, researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University have unlocked the genetic mystery of why some fish are able to adjust to warming oceans. In a collaborative project with scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in […]

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* The physics of swimming fish

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Fish may seem to glide effortlessly through the water, but the tiny ripples they leave behind are evidence of a constant give-and-take of energy between the swimmer and its aqueous environment — a momentum exchange that propels the fish forward but is devilishly tricky to quantify. Now, new research shows that a fish’s propulsion can […]

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Genetically modified fish on the loose?

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Transgenic fish may soon enter commercial production, but little is known about their possible effects on ecosystems, should they escape containment. Further, risk-assessment efforts are often hampered by an inability to comprehensively model the fishes’ fitness in the wild, experts say. Genetically modified fish that overexpress growth hormone have been created for more than 25 […]

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Evolution in action: Mate competition weeds out genetically modified fish from population

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Wild-type zebrafish consistently beat out genetically modified Glofish in competition for female mates, an advantage that led to the disappearance of the transgene from the fish population over time, research has found. The study, the first to demonstrate evolutionary outcomes in the laboratory, showed that mate competition trumps mate choice in determining natural selection. Purdue […]

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Fish and other animals produce their own sunscreen

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Scientists from Oregon State University have discovered that fish can produce their own sunscreen. They have copied the method used by fish for potential use in humans. In the study published in the journal eLife, scientists found that zebrafish are able to produce a chemical called gadusol that protects against UV radiation. They successfully reproduced […]

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Secrets of the seahorse tail revealed

A team of engineers and biologists reports new progress in using computer modeling and 3D shape analysis to understand how the unique grasping tails of seahorses evolved. These prehensile tails combine the seemingly contradictory characteristics of flexibility and rigidity, and knowing how seahorses accomplish this feat could help engineers create devices that are both flexible […]

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Mercury levels in Hawaiian yellowfin tuna increasing

Mercury concentrations in Hawaiian yellowfin tuna are increasing at a rate of 3.8 percent or more per year, according to a new University of Michigan-led study that suggests rising atmospheric levels of the toxin are to blame. Mercury is a potent toxin that can accumulate to high concentrations in fish, posing a health risk to […]

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How cells communicate

During embryonal development of vertebrates, signaling molecules inform each cell at which position it is located. In this way, the cell can develop its special structure and function. For the first time now, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have shown that these signaling molecules are transmitted in bundles via long filamentary cell projections. […]

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Gray seals may be becoming the great white sharks of Dutch beaches

After 10 years of criminal scene investigation–style work, researchers have pinpointed the gray seal as the culprit behind mutilated, stranded harbor porpoises on Dutch beaches. After 10 years of criminal scene investigation–style work, researchers have pinpointed the gray seal as the culprit behind mutilated, stranded harbor porpoises on Dutch beaches. Gray seals may be becoming […]

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First clues found in mysterious sea star die-off

A virus is the likely culprit in a massive, ongoing die-off of sea stars along the Pacific Coast of North America, researchers report on 17 November in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their intense, year-long investigation has zeroed in on a densovirus (from the family Parvoviridae) that has been present in the […]

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Crustaceans win battle against being feminized

New research by scientists at the University of Portsmouth has shown that crustaceans turned partially into females retain a core of masculinity, and they may have learned how to do it after evolutionary battles with parasites. The researchers have also published the entire genetic code for the amphipod crustacean they studied, which they hope will […]

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* Synthetic fish measures wild ride through dams

In the Pacific Northwest, young salmon must dodge predatory birds, sea lions and more in their perilous trek toward the ocean. Hydroelectric dams don’t make the trip any easier, with their human made currents sweeping fish past swirling turbines and other obstacles. Despite these challenges, most juvenile salmon survive this journey every year. Now, a […]

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Animals losing migratory routes? Devasting consequences of scarcity of ‘knowledgeable elders’

Small changes in a population may lead to dramatic consequences, like the disappearance of the migratory route of a species. Until the ’50s, bluefin tuna fishing was a thriving industry in Norway, second only to sardine fishing. Every year, bluefin tuna used to migrate from the eastern Mediterranean up to the Norwegian coasts. Suddenly, however, […]

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Speed trap for fish catches domestic trout moving too slow

WashingtonStateUniversity researchers have documented dramatic differences in the swimming ability of domesticated trout and their wilder relatives. The study calls into question the ability of hatcheries to mitigate more than a century of disturbances to wild fish populations. Kristy Bellinger, who did the study for her work on a Ph.D. in zoology, said traditional hatcheries […]

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Fish-kill method questioned

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Common anaesthetic not the most humane option for zebrafish euthanasia, say studies. The anaesthetic MS-222, which can be added to tanks to cause overdose, seems to distress the fish, two separate studies have shown. The studies’ authors propose that alternative anaesthetics or methods should be used instead. “These two studies — carried out independently — use […]

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Scientists find cell fate switch that decides liver, or pancreas?

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Harvard stem cell scientists have a new theory for how stem cells decide whether to become liver or pancreatic cells during development. A cell’s fate, the researchers found, is determined by the nearby presence of prostaglandin E2, a messenger molecule best known for its role in inflammation and pain. The discovery, published in the journal […]

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Genetic chip will help salmon farmers breed better fish

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Atlantic salmon production could be boosted by a new technology that will help select the best fish for breeding. The development will enable salmon breeders to improve the quality of their stock and its resistance to disease. A chip loaded with hundreds of thousands of pieces of DNA — each holding a fragment of the […]

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