Tag Archives: Fishes

Research sheds light on nerve regeneration following spinal cord injury

Fish, unlike humans, can regenerate nerve connections and recover normal mobility following an injury to their spinal cord. Now, University of Missouri researchers have discovered how the sea lamprey, an eel-like fish, regrows the neurons that comprise the long nerve “highways” that link the brain to the spinal cord. Findings may guide future efforts to […]

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New species of dolphin found in Australian waters

A species of humpback dolphin previously unknown to science is swimming in the waters off northern Australia, according to a team of researchers working for the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and numerous other groups that contributed to the study. To determine the number of distinct species in the family of […]

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For first time, drug developed based on zebrafish studies passes Phase I clinical trial

Zebrafish research achieved a significant milestone when the first drug developed through studies utilizing the tiny animal and then put into clinical trials passed a Phase 1 trial aimed at establishing its safety. The drug, discovered in the laboratory of Leonard Zon, MD, at Boston Children’s Hospital, has already advanced to Phase II studies designed […]

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Bats and rabies virus: More data on colonies at high risk

A new approach to rabies virus epidemiology in bats shows that the risk of infection is higher in large and multispecies colonies. The research, published on the journal PLOS ONE, has been led by Jordi Serra Cobo, professor from the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Barcelona and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio), […]

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Do fish feel pain? Not as humans do, study suggests

Fish do not feel pain the way humans do. That is the conclusion drawn by an international team of researchers consisting of neurobiologists, behavioural ecologists and fishery scientists. One contributor to the landmark study was Prof. Dr. Robert Arlinghaus of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and of the Humboldt University in […]

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Depressed fish could help in the search for new drug treatments

Antidepressant normalises the behaviour of zebrafish with a defective stress hormone receptor. Chronic stress can lead to depression and anxiety in humans. Scientists working with Herwig Baier, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, recently discovered a very similar link in fish. Normally, the stress hormone cortisol helps fish, as in humans, […]

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Dolphin memories span at least 20 years

Ever been at a party where you recognize everyone’s faces but can’t think of their names? That wouldn’t happen if you were a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The marine mammals can remember each other’s signature contact whistles—calls that function as names—for more than 20 years, the longest social memory ever recorded for a nonhuman animal, […]

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Anti-anxiety drug found in rivers makes fish more aggressive

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Behaviour changes result from benzodiazepine levels similar to those in the environment. Perch can accumulate high levels of oxazepam when the anti-anxiety drug makes it into their river water. Tiny amounts of a common anti-anxiety medication — which ends up in wastewater after patients pass it into their urine — significantly alters fish behaviour, according […]

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Multi-tasking whales sing while feeding and breeding

Humpback whales are famed for their songs, most often heard in breeding season when males are competing to mate with females. In recent years, however, reports of whale songs occurring outside traditional breeding grounds have become more common. A new study may help explain why. The research, published December 19 in PLoS ONE, uncovers the […]

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Antimicrobial resistance in fish pathogenic bacteria and other bacteria in aquatic environments

Little attention has been paid to the use of antibiotics in the aquaculture industry as one reason for the increase in bacteria resistant to antibiotics and the spread of such resistance to other bacteria. Since the antibiotics that are used in veterinary medicine and aquaculture belong to the same group of antibiotics as those used […]

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Drug-pollution law all washed up

Europe is set to quash a precedent-setting initiative designed to tackle a disturbing side effect of common drugs — their impact on aquatic life. Nature has learned that landmark regulations intended to clean Europe’s waterways of pharmaceuticals are likely to be dead on arrival when they reach a key vote in the European Parliament next […]

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Fish otoliths point to climate impacts

The earbones, or ‘otoliths’, help fish to detect movement and to orient themselves in the water. Otoliths set down annual growth rings that can be measured and counted to estimate the age and growth rates of fish. “Otoliths can form the basis of new techniques for modelling fish growth, productivity and distribution in future environments,” […]

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Custom gene editing rewrites zebrafish DNA

The zebrafish is a major player in the study of vertebrate biology and human disease. Its transparent, externally fertilized eggs, short reproductive cycle and fast growth mean that its embryonic development can be studied closely while the animal is alive, and the fish is a useful model for studying gene behaviour and function. Now, researchers […]

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Gut microbes help the body extract more calories from food

You may think you have your food all to yourself, but you’re actually sharing it with a vast community of microbes waiting within your digestive tract. A new study from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine reveals some gut microbes increase the absorption of dietary fats, allowing the host organism to extract more […]

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A big magnet in a small fish

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After spending 3 years at sea and traveling up to 300 kilometers away from home, a rainbow trout can swim straight back to its original hatching ground, following freshwater streams inland and rarely heading in the wrong direction. This remarkable feat of navigation likely relies on many senses; the fish have superb eyesight and smell. […]

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Copper making salmon prone to predators

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Minute amounts of copper from brake linings and mining operations can affect salmon to where they are easily eaten by predators, says a Washington State University researcher. Jenifer McIntyre found the metal affects salmon’s sense of smell so much that they won’t detect a compound that ordinarily alerts them to be still and wary. “A […]

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Fisheries science falls foul of privacy rules

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A little-noticed tweak to one of the European Union’s many rules and regulations is leaving fisheries scientists struggling to access vital data. The rule change means that raw data from devices used to monitor fishing vessels are no longer available to some scientists. This information is vital for proper, scientifically based management of Europe’s troubled […]

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Parkinson’s disease stopped in animal model: Molecular ‘tweezers’ break up toxic aggregations of proteins

Millions of people suffer from Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and worsens over time. As the world’s population ages, it’s estimated that the number of people with the disease will rise sharply. Yet despite several effective therapies that treat Parkinson’s symptoms, nothing slows its progression. While it’s not known […]

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Live from the thymus: T-cells on the move

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For the first time, scientists have followed the development of individual immune cells in a living zebrafish embryo. T-cells are the immune system’s security force. They seek out pathogens and rogue cells in the body and put them out of action. Their precursors are formed in the bone marrow and migrate from there into the […]

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Hatcheries change salmon genetics after a single generation

The impact of hatcheries on salmonids is so profound that in just one generation traits are selected that allow fish to survive and prosper in the hatchery environment, at the cost of their ability to thrive and reproduce in a wild environment. The findings, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, […]

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Arabian oryx a conservation success story

Once extinct in the wild, the Arabian oryx is making a modest comeback, thanks to breeding and reintroduction efforts at Jordan’s Shaumari Nature Reserve and elsewhere. A few decades ago, the odds of seeing an Arabian oryx in the wild were every bit as good as the odds of seeing a unicorn. In profile, the […]

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Ancient landslide merged trout populations

Like many rivers in the western United States, California’s Eel River has two types of steelhead trout that swim upstream from the ocean to spawn. Today, these typically standoffish fish clans spawn in separate stretches of the river and at different times of year, but they are more closely related than are comparable groups in […]

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Aquarium fishes are more aggressive in reduced environments

An angry glare from the family goldfish might not be the result of a missed meal, but a too-humble abode. Fish in a cramped, barren space turn mean, a study from Case Western Reserve University has found. Ornamental fishes across the U.S. might be at risk, all 182.9 million of them. “The welfare of aquarium […]

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How the brain stores information for short periods of time

Freiburg biologist Dr. Aristides Arrenberg and his American colleagues studied mechanisms used by the brain to store information for a short period of time. The cells of several neural circuits store information by maintaining a persistent level of activity: A short-lived stimulus triggers the activity of neurons, and this activity is then maintained for several […]

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Cod genome reveals stunning gap in immune system

Sometime, probably millions of years ago, the Atlantic cod swam down an evolutionary tributary that left it without a large chunk of the normal vertebrate immune system. The astonishing gap is revealed in the fish’s genome, published today, which also exposes some of the alternative tricks cod appear to have evolved to successfully fight infections. […]

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Scientist urges government ruling on genetically engineered salmon

Purdue University scientist is urging federal officials to decide whether genetically engineered salmon would be allowed for U.S. consumption and arguing that not doing so may set back scientific efforts to increase food production. William Muir, a professor of animal sciences, said that based on data made available by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, […]

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Wildlife threatened by Fukushima radiation

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Radiation released by the tsunami-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could have long-lasting consequences for the natural environment in the vicinity of the damaged plant. Scientists estimate that in the first 30 days after the accident on 11 March, trees, birds and forest-dwelling mammals were exposed to daily doses up to 100 times greater – […]

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There’s no magic number for saving endangered species

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A new study offers hope for species such as the Siberian Tiger that might be considered ‘too rare to save’, so long as conservation efforts can target key threats. The findings have important implications for conserving some of the world’s most charismatic endangered species, which often exist in populations far smaller than the many thousands […]

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Pacific salmon may be dying from leukemia-type virus

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In Canada’s Fraser River, a mysterious illness has killed millions of Pacific salmon, and scientists have a new hypothesis about why: The wild salmon are suffering from viral infections similar to those linked to some forms of leukemia and lymphoma. For 60 years before the early 1990s, an average of nearly 8 million wild salmon […]

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Cod ranching could keep fishermen flush

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Training cod to return to an area to be captured could be more profitable than conventional fishing. Ranching cod off the coast of Iceland is far more financially sensible than conventional fishing methods or keeping the fish in cages, according to a new analysis. Fish ranching — where the animals are free to roam but […]

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