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Surprising in Biological News

Research uncovers surprising lion stronghold in war-torn central Africa

MADISON Times are tough for wildlife living at the frontier between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Armies are reportedly encamped in a national park and wildlife preserve on the Congolese side, while displaced herders and their cattle have settled in an adjoining Ugandan park. ...

Study of islands reveals surprising extinction results

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) It's no secret that humans are having a huge impact on the life cycles of plants and animals. UC Santa Barbara's Steven D. Gaines and fellow researcher Dov Sax decided to test that theory by studying the world's far-flung islands. Their research, published this month in...

Study reveals surprising details of the evolution of protein translation

CHAMPAIGN A new study of transfer RNA, a molecule that delivers amino acids to the protein-building machinery of the cell, challenges long-held ideas about the evolutionary history of protein synthesis. In the study, researchers report that the dual functions of transfer RNA (reading the geneti...

Climate changing gas from some surprising microbial liaisons

The climate changing gas dimethyl sulphide (DMS) is being made by microbes at the rate of more than 200 million tonnes a year in the worlds seas, scientists heard today (Tuesday 1 April 2008) at the Society for General Microbiologys 162nd meeting being held this week at the Edinburgh International...

Major collaboration uncovers surprising new genetic clues to diabetes

An international team that included scientists from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today reported it has identified six more genetic variants involved in type 2 diabetes, boosting to 16 the total number of genetic risk factors...

The surprising power of the pill

Women who have tried to conceive using in vitro fertilization (IVF) methods are painfully aware that timing is of the essence. There are cancelled vacations, too many sick days taken from work, and the necessity to plan everything around the treatment. But thanks to a Tel Aviv University study...

UVA reports surprising findings related to myotonic muscular dystrophy

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (Dec. 17, 2007) New research from the University of Virginia Health System shows that, in cases of Type 1 myotonic muscular dystrophy (DM1), a well known heart protein does several surprising things. DM1 is the most common form of muscular dystrophy in adults and affects appr...

The surprising story of Charles Darwin and his homeopathic doctor

A new scholarly written book describes hundreds of well-known and respected physicians, scientists, politicians, corporate leaders, and literary greats who used or advocated for homeopathic medicine. Eleven U.S. Presidents, seven popes, Sir William Osler, J.D. Rockefeller, Charles Kettering, and ...

Language of a fly proves surprising

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, March 10, 2008A group of researchers has developed a novel way to view the world through the eyes of a common fly and partially decode the insects reactions to changes in the world around it. The research fundamentally alters earlier beliefs about how neural networks functi...

Researchers discover surprising drug that blocks malaria

Northwestern University researchers have discovered how malaria parasites persuade red blood cells to engulf them -- and how to block the invading parasites. The malaria marauders hack into the red cell's signaling system and steal the molecular equivalent of its password to spring open the door to...

Morphine makes lasting -- and surprising -- change in the brain

Morphine, as little as a single dose, blocks the brain’s ability to strengthen connections at inhibitory synapses, according to new Brown University research published in Nature. The findings, uncovered in the laboratory of Brown scientist Julie Kauer, may help explain the origins of addiction in...

'The eyes have it' -- Autism research yields surprising results

Autistic children are able to interpret the mental state of others by looking at their eyes, contrary to previous research, a new University of Nottingham study has found. In findings that contradict previous studies, psychologists found that autistic children can ‘read?a stranger’s mental state ...

Neural stem cells lend the brain a surprising capacity for self-repair

The brain contains stem cells with a surprising capacity for repair, researchers report in the December 15 issue of the journal Cell, published by Cell Press. The novel insight into the brain's natural ability to heal might ultimately have clinical implications for the treatment of brain damage, ac...

Climate change has surprising effect on endangered naked carp

Forthcoming in the January/February 2007 issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, a groundbreaking study reveals an unanticipated way freshwater fish may respond to water diversion and climate change. Endangered naked carp migrate annually between freshwater rivers, where they spawn, and a l...

Five surprising facts about starvation that could change the international agenda

While public attention gravitates towards conflict and natural disaster, many people in countries less affected by such events struggle with some of the same nutrition problems as those in crisis. In a "Viewpoint" published in The Lancet, Rainer Gross, PhD, UNICEF's chief of nutrition, and Patrick ...

Malaria, potato famine pathogen share surprising trait

Two wildly different pathogens ?one that infects vegetables, the other infecting humans - essentially use the same protein code to get their disease-causing proteins into the cells of their respective hosts. That's what researchers from Ohio State and Northwestern universities report in a study p...

Insects that produce males from unfertilized eggs reveal a surprising cellular feat

Scientists have long known that the social insects in the order Hymenoptera--which includes ants, bees, and wasps--have an unusual mechanism for sex determination: Unfertilized eggs develop into males, while fertilized eggs become females. But the development of an unfertilized egg into an adult (c...

A surprising pair of proteins help make healthy eggs

Human eggs rely on handmaidens. Called granulosa cells, they surround eggs and deliver nutrients and hormones. Without granulosa cells, eggs cannot mature and be successfully fertilized. How do these handmaidens grow? Biologists at Brown University and the University of California–Berkeley have d...

Survey Uncovers Surprising Attitudes Towards HIV Vaccine Research

A survey of U.S. adults has found that a majority believe that HIV vaccines are the best hope for controlling the global AIDS epidemic and are confident such vaccines can be made. But while most of those surveyed felt it personally important to help support HIV vaccine research, a majority expresse...

An HIV Protein Plays a Surprising Role in Gene Activation

Retroviruses are expert manipulators when it comes to co-opting their host's cellular resources. A great deal of human complexity stems from the vast repertoire of proteins and mechanisms dedicated to the business of regulating gene expression, and retroviruses like HIV have evolved myriad ways of ...

Genome of deadly amoeba shows surprising complexity, evidence of lateral gene transfer

The genome sequence of the parasitic amoeba Entamoeba histolytica, a leading cause of severe diarrheal disease in developing countries, includes an unexpectedly complex repertoire of sensory genes as well as a variety of bacterial-like genes that contribute to the organism's unique biology. The ...

La Jolla Institute discovers novel tumor suppressor

...ese mice developed a strange phenotype myeloproliferation and a variety of tumors including lymphomas and some carcinomas." Dr. Kawakami said this surprising occurrence suggested that PLC-beta 3 acted as a safeguard that inhibited the development of a variety of tumors. He and his team set out to investiga...

Earliest animals lived in a lake environment, research shows

...rates of evolution," said Martin Kennedy , a professor of geology in the Department of Earth Sciences who participated in the research. "Thus it is surprising that the first evidence of animals we find is associated with lakes, a far more variable environment than the ocean." The study, published in the J...

Disease threat may change how frogs mate

...nce that a disease may be causing a behavioural change in frogs. The research, published in the August edition of Molecular Ecology, has unearthed a surprising fact about our long-tongued friends: wild frogs in the UK may be changing their mating behaviour. Dr Teacher conducted her research with colleagues...

Tires made from trees -- better, cheaper, more fuel efficient

...out of trees which could cost less, perform better and save on fuel and energy. Wood science researchers at Oregon State University have made some surprising findings about the potential of microcrystalline cellulose a product that can be made easily from almost any type of plant fibers to partially repla...

Chasing tiny vehicles

... Nanoparticles are just billionths of a millimeter in size. Exhibiting novel and often surprising properties, they are finding their way into an endless stream of equally innovative products. In medical therapies, for example, tiny nanovehicles cou...

Surviving mass extinction by leading a double life

...fshore in the middle of the Arabian Sea, are genetically identical to the benthic species Bolivina variabilis, found off the coast of Kenya. Their surprising discovery suggests that planktonic foraminifera may have survived the end Cretaceous mass-extinction by abandoning the poisonous oceans for a refuge i...

Two dietary oils, two sets of benefits for older women with diabetes

...of obesity and diabetes," said Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and senior author of the study. Among the most surprising findings: that in 16 weeks, these women could lose between about two pounds and four pounds of trunk fat simply by taking safflower oil supplements. ...

GUMC discovery highlights new direction for drug discovery

...usion protein from sticking to another protein that is critical for tumor formation. The researchers say this interaction is unique and is especially surprising since the Ewing's sarcoma fusion protein is extremely flexible, which allows it to change shape constantly. "Most targeted small molecule cancer ...

Scientists 'rebuild' giant moa using ancient DNA

...pland moa and the South Island giant moa. Their findings were published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B . "The surprising thing is that while many of the species had a similar, relatively plain brown plumage for camouflage, some had white-tipped feathers to create a speck...

Chromosomal problems affect nearly all human embryos

...n University, Belgium, told the 25th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Wednesday July 1), that the surprising finding meant that current techniques used in preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), where embryos are screened genetically in order to select the b...

Who goes abroad for fertility treatment and why?

...n addition to the legal reasons, given the geographical closeness of the two countries and the fact that language difficulties are limited, it was not surprising to find French patients made up the largest percentage of those travelling to Belgium (38%). These were followed by patients from the Netherlands (2...

American Chemical Society's Weekly Presspac -- June 17, 2009

...croscopic algae could yield massive amounts of oil Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research Scientists in Canada and India are proposing a surprising new solution to the global energy crisis "milking" oil from the tiny, single-cell algae known as diatoms, renowned for their intricate, beautifully sc...

Gear bans 'can help save reefs'

...hile the coral re-grows. "Spear guns target a high proportion of species that help maintain the resilience of coral reefs, but also can result in a surprising amount of damage to the corals themselves. When a fish is shot with a spear gun, it often hides in the reef, so some fishermen break the corals in th...

Common fish species has 'human' ability to learn

...l from Durham University's Anthropology Department, and a Research Council UK Fellow, said: "Small fish may have small brains but they still have some surprising cognitive abilities. "'Hill-climbing' strategies are widely seen in human society whereby advances in technology are down to people choosing the be...

Beaked, bird-like dinosaur tells story of finger evolution

...ones suggest that it was a plant-eater, though it is related to carnivorous dinosaurs. The newly discovered dinosaur's hand is unusual and provides surprising new insights into a long-standing controversy over which fingers are present in living birds, which are theropod dinosaur descendants. The hands of th...

Help for climate-stressed corals

...hile the coral re-grows. "Spear guns target a high proportion of species that help maintain the resilience of coral reefs, but also can result in a surprising amount of damage to the corals themselves. When a fish is shot with a spear gun, it often hides in the reef, so some fishermen break the corals in th...

Shape matters in the case of cobalt nanoparticles

...the nanocubes melt together, forming nanowires that are no longer separable as individual nanoparticles. The effect, not observed with the spheres, is surprising because the cubes average 50 nm across, much larger than the spheres 10 nm diameters. You might expect the smaller objects to have a lower melting poi...

Protein that triggers plant cell division revealed by researchers

...w no one had been able to see it. So why would nature invent a different protein to solve the same problem? Bergmann explained that it was not surprising to find that plants used a unique protein for their divisions because of the way their cells are built. "The animal cell is sort of squishy an...

Tracking down the causes of multiple sclerosis

...previous, rather unspecific approaches. The new animal model, which provides a far better simulation of the human form of the disease, has prompted surprising insights into the role of the B cells in the spontaneous development of MS. This and the astonishing finding that particularly aggressive T cells are ...
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