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Why in Biological News

New theory on why male, female lemurs same size

When it comes to investigating mysteries, Sherlock Holmes has nothing on Rice University biologist Amy Dunham. In a newly published paper, Dunham offers a new theory for one of primatology's long-standing mysteries: Why are male and female lemurs the same size? In most primate species, males ha...

MS study offers theory for why repair of brain's wiring fails

Scientists have uncovered new evidence suggesting that damage to nerve cells in people with multiple sclerosis accumulates because the body's natural mechanism for repair of the nerve coating called "myelin" stalls out. The study, published today, July 1, 2009, in the print edition of " Genes ...

Harvard scientists solve mystery about why HIV patients are more susceptible to TB infection

A team of Harvard scientists has taken an important first step toward the development of new treatments to help people with HIV battle Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) infection. In their report, appearing in the July 2009 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology ( http://www.jleukbio.or...

Scientists learn why the flu may turn deadly

As the swine flu continues its global spread, researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have discovered important clues about why influenza is more severe in some people than it is in others. In their research study published online in the Journal of Leukocyte Biolog...

Caltech scientists show why anti-HIV antibodies are ineffective at blocking infection

PASADENA, Calif.--Some 25 years after the AIDS epidemic spawned a worldwide search for an effective vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), progress in the field seems to have effectively become stalled. The reason? According to new findings from a team of researchers from the Cali...

Study unravels why certain fishes went extinct 65 million years ago

Large size and a fast bite spelled doom for bony fishes during the last mass extinction 65 million years ago, according to a new study to be published March 31, 2009, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . Today, those same features characterize large predatory bony fishes, ...

MIT: Why we have difficulty recognizing faces in photo negatives

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Humans excel at recognizing faces, but how we do this has been an abiding mystery in neuroscience and psychology. In an effort to explain our success in this area, researchers are taking a closer look at how and why we fail. A new study from MIT looks at a particularly striki...

Scientists discover why teeth form in a single row

A system of opposing genetic forces determines why mammals develop a single row of teeth, while sharks sport several, according to a study published today in the journal Science . When completely understood, the genetic program described in the study may help guide efforts to re-grow missing teet...

Researchers may have found why women have an edge on salt-sensitive hypertension

AUGUSTA, Ga. Researchers may have found why women have an edge in keeping a healthier balance between the amount of salt they eat and excrete - at least before reaching menopause. Premenopausal women are known to have fewer problems with salt-sensitive hypertension and hypertension in general,...

CIC to Host Webinar Featuring Independent Research Firm: 'Enabling Straight Through Processing - Why the Insurance Industry Needs Electronic Signature Technology'

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Communication Intelligence Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: CICI) (" CIC "), a leading supplier of electronic signature solutions for business process automation in the financial industry* and the recognized leader** in biometric signature ...

Study first to pinpoint why analgesic drugs may be less potent in females than in males

ATLANTA -- Investigators at Georgia State University's Neuroscience Institute and Center for Behavioral Neuroscience are the first to identify the most likely reason analgesic drug treatment is usually less potent in females than males. This discovery is a major step toward finding more effective ...

Shared survival mechanism explains why 'good' nerve cells last and 'bad' cancer cells flourish

CHAPEL HILL Cancer cells and nervous system neurons may not look or act alike, but both use strikingly similar ways to survive, according to new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. The study published in the December issue of Nature Cell Biology ...

Ecologists say metabolism accounts for why natural selection favors only some species

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Why are some species of plants and animals favored by natural selection? And why does natural selection not favor other species similarly? According to a UC Riverside-led research team, the answer lies in the rate of metabolism of a species how fast a species consumes energy...

Scientists discover why a mother's high-fat diet contributes to obesity in her children

New research published online in The FASEB Journal ( http://www.fasebj.org ) suggests that pregnant women should think twice about high-fat foods. In a study from the University of Cincinnati and the Medical College of Georgia, scientists found that female mice fed high fat diets were more likel...

Life isn't 2-D, so why should our encyclopedias be?

Biologists and biochemists are now able to access 3D images of biomacromolecules underlying biological functions and disease. Rather than relying on text to provide the understanding of biomacromolecule structures, a collaborative website called Proteopedia now provides a new resource by linking w...

New research reveals why chili peppers are hot

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Despite the popularity of spicy cuisine among Homo sapiens, the hotness in chili peppers has always been something of an evolutionary mystery. A plant creates fruit in order to entice animals to eat and disperse its seeds, so it doesn't make sense for that fruit to be pain...

Unlocking mystery of why dopamine freezes Parkinson's patients

CHICAGO -- Parkinson's disease and drug addiction are polar opposite diseases, but both depend upon dopamine in the brain. Parkinson's patients don't have enough of it; drug addicts get too much of it. Although the importance of dopamine in these disorders has been well known, the way it works has...

For the birds or for me? Why do conservationists really help wildlife?

Volunteers who take part in conservation efforts may do it more for themselves than the wildlife they are trying to protect, a University of Alberta case study shows. A study of purple martin landlordsthose who keep and monitor special birdhouses on their landrevealed that they were more motiva...

Refusal of suicide order: Why tumor cells become resistant

Cells with irreparable DNA damage normally induce programmed cell death, or apoptosis. However, this mechanism often fails in tumor cells so that transformed cells are able to multiply and spread throughout the body. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentru...

Monarch butterflies help explain why parasites harm hosts

Athens, Ga. Its a paradox that has confounded evolutionary biologists since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859: Since parasites depend on their hosts for survival, why do they harm them? A new University of Georgia and Emory University study of monarch butterflies and th...

Scientists discover why plague is so lethal

Bacteria that cause the bubonic plague may be more virulent than their close relatives because of a single genetic mutation, according to research published in the May issue of the journal Microbiology. The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis needs calcium in order to grow at body temperature. Whe...

Answer to troublesome question of why some genetic assoc. studies have failed replication attempts

Boston, MA - A team of researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), and elsewhere have described a possible reason why some studies have been unable to replicate associations between genes and traits -- namely that the strength of a gene/trait associ...

Scientists to discover why flamingos are in the pink of health -- in the poo!

A University of Leicester ecologist is setting out to discover why flamingos are so in the pink of health - in the poo! Dr David Harper, of the Department of Biology at the University of Leicester, has been studying lesser flamingos for nine years. His research has been carried out in the l...

Computers explain why pears may become brown during commercial storage

Internal browning of pears stored under low oxygen conditions is related to restricted gas exchange inside the fruit, according to a study published March 7th in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology. Researchers at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium suggest a computer mode...

The evolution of aversion: Why even children are fearful of snakes

Some of the oldest tales and wisest mythology allude to the snake as a mischievous seducer, dangerous foe or powerful iconoclast; however, the legend surrounding this proverbial predator may not be based solely on fantasy. As scientists from the University of Virginia recently discovered, the comm...

MIT: Why men are more prone to liver cancer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--A fundamental difference in the way males and females respond to chronic liver disease at the genetic level helps explain why men are more prone to liver cancer, according to MIT researchers. This is the first genome-wide study that helps explain why there is such a gender ef...

Where and why humans made skates out of animal bones

Archaeological evidence shows that bone skates (skates made of animal bones) are the oldest human powered means of transport, dating back to 3000 BC. Why people started skating on ice and where is not as clear, since ancient remains were found in several locations spread across Central and North E...

Plants can be used to study how and why people respond differently to drugs

RIVERSIDE, Calif. While prescription medications work successfully to cure an ailment in some people, in others the same dose of the same drug can cause an adverse reaction or no response at all. According to a research team led by Sean Cutler, an assistant professor of plant cell biology at U...

CU study reveals why starling females cheat

While women may cheat on men for personal reasons, superb starling females appear to stray from their mates for the sake of their chicks, according to recent Cornell research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. The study found that superb starling females (Lamprotornis...

Understanding why C. difficile causes disease -- it's hungry

Researchers studying the genetics behind why C. difficile causes disease have come to a simple conclusion -- the bacteria do it because they are starving. That just might help them find a new treatment for what can sometimes be a very difficult disease to treat. "The genes responsible for toxin...

Detecting cold, feeling pain: Study reveals why menthol feels fresh

Scientists have identified the receptor in cells of the peripheral nervous system that is most responsible for the body's ability to sense cold. The finding, reported on-line in the journal "Nature" (May 30, 2007), reveals one of the key mechanisms by which the body detects temperature sensation...

UCLA study uncovers clues for why Graves' disease attacks the eyes

UCLA researchers have uncovered new clues that may explain why Graves?disease (GD) attacks the muscle tissue behind the eyes, often causing them to bulge painfully from their sockets, as in the late actor Marty Feldman. Scientists at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center...

The penalty of having a sister -- why sibling sex matters for male saiga antelopes

Having a twin sister could put male saiga antelopes at a reproductive disadvantage, says new research published today. The study shows that male twins with a sister are born lighter than those with a brother, making them smaller than the optimal size for males. The research also shows that saigas a...

Eating with our eyes: Why people eat less at unbused tables

People watching the Super Bowl who saw how much they had already eaten -- in this case, leftover chicken-wing bones -- ate 27 percent less than people who had no such environmental cues, finds a new Cornell study. The difference between the two groups -- those eating at a table where leftover bon...

Penn study on olfactory nerve cells shows why we smell better when we sniff

Unlike most of our sensory systems that detect only one type of stimuli, our sense of smell works double duty, detecting both chemical and mechanical stimuli to improve how we smell, according to University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers in the March issue of Nature Neuroscience. ...

New research shows why too much memory may be a bad thing

New research from Columbia University Medical Center may explain why people who are able to easily and accurately recall historical dates or long-ago events, may have a harder time with word recall or remembering the day’s current events. They may have too much memory ?making it harder to filter ou...

Researchers to study why dead zone returned to Lake Erie

A $2.5 million grant will fund a 5-year study examining why dead zones have returned to Lake Erie, and researchers hope the findings will allow them to detect the cause and stop the spread before the fishery and tourism industries suffer. "This is a very serious problem," said University of Mich...

PNAS study reveals why organs fail following massive trauma

Massive trauma, say from a sabertooth tiger attack, meant immediate death for the primitive human. Modern man is more likely to survive severe injury caused by a car crash, gunshot or fall thanks to high-tech emergency medicine. Unfortunately, the body does not know what to do when it survives an ...

Researchers examine why food tastes bad to chemotherapy recipients

About two million cancer patients currently receiving certain drug therapies and chemotherapy find foods and beverages to have a foul metallic flavor, according to a medical study. In general, more than 40 percent of hospitalized patients suffer from malnutrition due to taste and smell dysfunction....

A reason why video games are hard to give up

Kids and adults will stay glued to video games this holiday season because the fun of playing actually is rooted in fulfilling their basic psychological needs. Psychologists at the University of Rochester, in collaboration with Immersyve, Inc., a virtual environment think tank, asked 1,000 gamers...
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