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Tag: "lou" at biology news

Nanobacteria in clouds could spread disease, scientists claim

Micro-organisms in clouds could play a crucial role in the spread of disease and in the formation of rain drops, scientists have claimed. . .. They say nanobacteria are now accepted as being widely prevalent in the terrestrial environment and that their evidence is compelling for...

Speak up: Louder neurons form more connections

As the brain develops, neurons reach out helter-skelter forming new connections, only a small number of which take hold. How the brain chooses which connections to keep and which to prune back appears to be governed by which branches have the most electrical activity—a finding that could help to explain how early experiences guide brain development. . The work, published in the April 21 issue of...

Bees solve complex colour puzzles

Bees have a much more sophisticated visual system than previously thought, according to a new UCL (University College London) study in which bees were able to solve complicated colour puzzles. The findings shed light on how brains resolve one of the most difficult challenges of vision - namely, recognizing different surfaces under different colours of illumination - by suggesting that bees solve...

Wyoming cloud seeding experiment begins this month

Scientists have sequenced and compared the genomes of planktonic microbes living throughout the water column in the Pacific Ocean. The pioneering study yielded insight into the specialization of microbial communities at each depth--ranging from 40 to more than 13,000 feet. . "By reading the information stored in the genomes of entire microbial communities, we can begin to measure the pulse of thi...

Choosy females make colourful males

Female fish prefer brightly coloured males because they are easier to see and are in better shape concludes Dutch researcher Martine Maan following her study of fish speciation in the East African Lakes. Environmental variation subsequently leads to differences in preference and eventually to speciation. . Evolutionary theory predicts that species can diverge if different females choose differen...

Variations in detoxifying genes linked to Lou Gehrig's disease

Genetic variations in three enzymes that detoxify insecticides and nerve gas agents as well as metabolize cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be a risk factor for developing sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), and possibly responsible for a reported twofold increased risk of ALS in Gulf War veterans. . These findings, from a study led Teepu Siddique, M.D., an...

Human stem cells delay start of Lou Gehrig's disease in rats

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have shown that transplanting human stem cells into spinal cords of rats bred to duplicate Lou Gehrig's disease delays the start of nerve cell damage typical of the disease and slightly prolongs life. The grafted stem cells develop into nerve cells that make substantial connections with existing nerves and do not themselves succumb to Lou Gehrig's, also known as amyot...

Researchers link ocean organisms with increased cloud cover and potential climate change

Atmospheric scientists have reported a new and potentially important mechanism by which chemical emissions from ocean phytoplankton may influence the formation of clouds that reflect sunlight away from our planet. . Discovery of the new link between clouds and the biosphere grew out of efforts to explain increased cloud cover observed over an area of the Southern Ocean where a large bloom of ph...

Colour sensor breath test can detect lung cancer

A breath test can successfully pick up lung cancer with "moderate accuracy" even in the early stages, reveals research published ahead of print in Thorax. . .. .. .. The researchers used...

Scientists discover new species of distinctive cloud-forest rodent

A strikingly unusual animal was recently discovered in the cloud-forests of Peru. The large rodent is about the size of a squirrel and looks a bit like one, except its closest relatives are spiny rats. . .. Isothrix barbarabrownae, as the new species has been named, is described in the current issue of Mastozoología Neotropical (Neotropical mammalogy), the pr...

Gene hunters close in on Lou Gehrig’s disease

In the first genome-wide search for the genetic roots of the most common form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Johns Hopkins scientists have newly identified 34 unique variations in the human genetic code among 276 unrelated subjects with ALS. . .. “Although we haven’t located the exact gene responsible for sporadic ALS, our results seriously narrow the search and bring us that much closer...

Scientists to track impact of Asian dust and pollution on clouds, weather, climate change

Mice whose brain cells respond to a flash of light are providing insight into the complexities of the sense of smell and may ultimately yield a better understanding of how the human brain works. . .. When the researchers shined ligh...

New species declared: Clouded leopard on Borneo and Sumatra

Scientists have discovered that the clouded leopard found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra is an entirely new species of cat. The secretive rainforest animal was originally thought to be the same species as the one found in mainland Southeast Asia. . Genetic analysis conducted at the U.S. National Cancer Institute shows that the difference between the two clouded leopard species is comparab...
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