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Animals in Biological News

Earliest animals lived in a lake environment, research shows

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Evidence for life on Earth stretches back billions of years, with simple single-celled organisms like bacteria dominating the record. When multi-celled animal life appeared on the planet after 3 billion years of single cell organisms, animals diversified rapidly. Conventiona...

Researchers shed light on trading behavior in animals -- and humans

ATLANTA Humans, from ancient exchanges of food to modern day home mortgages, have bartered or traded to receive something that they couldn't achieve on their own. It's the basis of the economy, and it requires a leap of faith to believe that each party will receive a payoff in return for taking a...

Why don't more animals change their sex?

New Haven, Conn. Most animals, like humans, have separate sexes they are born, live out their lives and reproduce as one sex or the other. However, some animals live as one sex in part of their lifetime and then switch to the other sex, a phenomenon called sequential hermaphroditism. What remain...

Grazing animals help spread plant disease

CORVALLIS, Ore. Researchers have discovered that grazing animals such as deer and rabbits are actually helping to spread plant disease quadrupling its prevalence in some cases and encouraging an invasion of annual grasses that threaten more than 20 million acres of native grasslands in Californ...

Details of evolutionary transition from fish to land animals revealed

New research has provided the first detailed look at the internal head skeleton of Tiktaalik roseae , the 375-million-year-old fossil animal that represents an important intermediate step in the evolutionary transition from fish to animals that walked on land. Results of the study, published...

Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction

St. Louis, Sept. 24, 2008 Calorie restriction, a diet that is low in calories and high in nutrition, may not be as effective at extending life in people as it is in rodents, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Previous research had shown that labo...

Gene associated with pair-bonding in animals has similar effects in human males

Variation in the gene for one of the receptors for the hormone vasopressin appears to be associated with how human males bond with their partners, according to an international team of researchers. The researchers found that the "334" allele of a common AVPR1A variation, the human version of ...

Big-brained animals evolve faster

Ever since Darwin, evolutionary biologists have wondered why some lineages have diversified more than others. A classical explanation is that a higher rate of diversification reflects increased ecological opportunities that led to a rapid adaptive radiation of a clade. A textbook example is Darwin...

Genomics of large marine animals showcased in the biological bulletin

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA Though the slow moving purple sea urchin may look oblivious, lacking a head, eyes and ears, this prickly creature has an impressive suite of sensory receptors to detect outside signals. And don't overlook this animal's self-defense abilities: it has much more ammunition to acti...

Are animals stuck in time?

Dog owners, who have noticed that their four-legged friend seem equally delighted to see them after five minutes away as five hours, may wonder if animals can tell when time passes. Newly published research from The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada may bring us closer to answering t...

Common aquatic animals show extreme resistance to radiation

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 25, 2008 -- Scientists at Harvard University have found that a common class of freshwater invertebrate animals called bdelloid rotifers are extraordinarily resistant to ionizing radiation, surviving and continuing to reproduce after doses of gamma radiation much greater tha...

Mantis shrimp vision reveals new way that animals can see

Mantis shrimp can see the world in a way that had never been observed in any animal before, researchers report in the March 20th Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. The discoverywhich marks the fourth type of visual systemsuggests that the ability to perceive circular polarized light may le...

Gene guards grain-producing grasses so people and animals can eat

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University and USDA-Agricultural Research Service scientists have discovered that a type of gene in grain-producing plants halts infection by a disease-causing fungus that can destroy crops vital for human food supplies. The research team is the first to show that ...

From GM farm animals to embryonic stem cell research

Genomics and Society: Todays Answers, Tomorrows Questions taking place in London on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 October 2007 - brings together policymakers, researchers and natural scientists with what is becoming the worlds largest concentration of social scientific research in the field of genomi...

Report: African, Asian, Latin American farm animals face extinction

INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND (3 SEPTEMBER 2007)With the worlds first global inventory of farm animals showing many breeds of African, Asian, and Latin American livestock at risk of extinction, scientists from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) today called for the rap...

Warmer environment means shorter lives for cold-blooded animals

Stony Brook, N.Y., July 27, 2009 - Temperature explains much of why cold-blooded organisms such as fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and lizards live longer at higher latitudes than at lower latitudes, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ...

Recruitment of reproductive features into other cell types may underlie extended lifespan in animals

In the sense that organisms existing today are connected through a chain of life through their parents, grandparents and other ancestors almost a billion years back to the first animals of the pre-Cambrian era, an animal's reproductive cells can be considered to be immortal. These germline cells...

Genome projects launched for three extreme-environment animals

BGI-Shenzhen, in association with several other research institutes, announced today the launch of three new genome projects that focus on animals living in extreme environments. The three selected genomes are those of two polar animals: the polar bear and emperor penguin, and one altiplano animal...

The life histories of the earliest land animals

The fossil record usually shows what adult animals looked like. But the appearance and lifestyle of juvenile animals often differ dramatically from those of the adults. A classic example is provided by frogs and salamanders. New discoveries from Uppsala, Cambridge and Duke Universities, published ...

Novel technique for fluorescence tomography of tumors in living animals

Fluorescent molecules i.e. substances which can be stimulated to emit light are extremely valuable tools in biological research and medical diagnosis. Fluorescence can be used for instance to analyze the regulation and expression of genes, to locate proteins in cells and tissues, to follow metab...

Using networks to map the social lives of animals

Dr Dick James from the University's Department of Physics has released a practical guide for biologists explaining how social network analysis, a method used widely in the social sciences to study interactions among people, can be used to study social structures within animal populations. Tradi...

Closing the gap between fish and land animals

New exquisitely preserved fossils from Latvia cast light on a key event in our own evolutionary history, when our ancestors left the water and ventured onto land. Swedish researchers Per Ahlberg and Henning Blom from Uppsala University have reconstructed parts of the animal and explain the transfo...

Road losses add up, taxing amphibians and other animals

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - When frogs hit the road, many croak. Researchers found more than 65 animal species killed along a short stretch of roads in a Midwestern county. Nearly 95 percent of the total dead were frogs and other amphibians, suggesting that road-related death, or road-kill, possibly...

Veterinary college researcher studying brain tumors in people and animals

Blacksburg, Va. -- A veterinary neurologist on faculty in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine( www.vetmed.vt.edu ) at Virginia Tech has been awarded funding from the Wake Forest University Translational Science Institute to study innovative approaches for treating brain t...

Texas A&M testing oral contraceptives for animals

COLLEGE STATION, Feb. 19, 2008 If youre a land owner and animals such as coyotes or wild pigs are driving you hog wild, help may soon be on the way to control their numbers in a humane way in the form of a birth control pill for animals being developed at Texas A&M Universitys College of Veterin...

Colorful view for first land animals

When prehistoric fish made their first forays onto land, what did they see" According to a study published in the online open access journal, BMC Evolutionary Biology, it's likely that creatures venturing out of the depths viewed their new environment in full colour. A team led by Helena Bailes...

Fungus genome yielding answers to protect grains, people and animals

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Why a pathogen is a pathogen may be answered as scientists study the recently mapped genetic makeup of a fungus that spawns the worst cereal grains disease known and also can produce toxins potentially fatal to people and livestock. The fungus, which is especially destruc...

UT researcher sheds new light on hybrid animals

KNOXVILLE -- What began more than 50 years ago as a way to improve fishing bait in California has led a University of Tennessee researcher to a significant finding about how animal species interact and that raises important questions about conservation. In the middle of the 20th century, local ...

Penn Veterinary Medicine report new strategy to create genetically-modified animals

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have demonstrated the potential of a new strategy for genetic modification of large animals. The method employs a harmless gene therapy virus that transfers a genetic modification to male reproductive cells, which is then...

UT researcher sheds new light on hybrid animals

KNOXVILLE -- What began more than 50 years ago as a way to improve fishing bait in California has led a University of Tennessee researcher to a significant finding about how animal species interact and that raises important questions about conservation. In the middle of the 20th century, local ...

Massive herds of animals found to still exist in Southern Sudan

Aerial surveys by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society confirm the existence of more than 1.2 million white-eared kob, tiang antelope and Mongalla gazelle in Southern Sudan, where wildlife was thought to have vanished as a result of decades-long conflict. Despite the war, some species ...

Global survey of lizards reveals greater abundance of animals on islands than on mainland ecosystems

A comprehensive survey of lizards on islands around the world has confirmed what island biologists and seafaring explorers have long observed: Animals on islands are much more abundant than their counterparts on the mainland. Besides confirming that longstanding observation, the study signals an ...

New compound prevents alcoholic behavior, relapse in animals by blocking stress response

A study of alcohol-dependent animals shows that a newly discovered compound that blocks chemical signals active during the brain’s response to stress effectively stops excessive drinking and prevents relapse. The new, synthetic compound, known as MTIP, also muted the anxiety that typically devel...

Antarctic warming to reduce animals at base of ecosystem, shift some penguin populations southward

The warming most global climate models predict will do more harm than simply raise the sea levels that most observers fear. It will make drastic changes in fragile ecosystems throughout the world, especially in the Antarctic. A warming trend during the last few decades in the Antarctic Peninsula...

Microbes compete with animals for food by making it stink

Microbes may compete with large animal scavengers by producing repugnant chemicals that deter higher species from consuming valuable food resources -- such as decaying meat, seeds and fruit, a new study suggests. Ecologists have long recognized microbes as decomposers and pathogens in ecological...

Living view in animals shows how cells decide to make proteins

Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have visualized in a living animal how cells use a critical biological process to dice and splice genetic material to create unique and varied proteins. The scientists say the findings, made in mice, help explain a key wonder of human biology: how the ...

Why do cold animals make bigger babies?

Reproduction involves a critical decision: Should an organism invest energy in a few large offspring or many small ones? In a new study from The American Naturalist, Michael Angilletta (Indiana State University), Chris Oufiero (University of California, Riverside), and Adam Leaché (University of Ca...

What animals can tell us about hemorrhage, organ transplants and aging

The stereotype of a scientist as a man in a white lab coat hunched over a microscope in a laboratory is far from real life. Consider the scientists who will meet at The American Physiological Society's conference, Comparative Physiology 2006: Integrating Diversity, taking place October 8-11 in Virg...

Experimental vaccine protects lab animals against several strains of H5N1

Nations are preparing to stockpile vaccines against H5N1, the strain of influenza virus that experts fear could cause the next flu pandemic. But will these vaccines remain effective as the virus mutates? Researchers present good news in the July 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now a...

Less antibiotic use in food animals leads to less drug resistance in people, study shows

Australia's policy of restricting antibiotic use in food-producing animals may be linked with lower levels of drug-resistant bacteria found in its citizens, according to an article in the May 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online. Campylobacter jejuni is a leading bacter...
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