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size in Biological News

Rodent size linked to human population and climate change

You probably hadn't noticed -- but the head shape and overall size of rodents has been changing over the past century. A University of Illinois at Chicago ecologist has tied these changes to human population density and climate change. The finding is reported by Oliver Pergams, UIC research ass...

Pitt team finds molecule that regulates heart size by using zebrafish screening model

PITTSBURGH, July 5 Using zebrafish, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have identified and described an enzyme inhibitor that allows them to increase the number of cardiac progenitor cells and therefore influence the size of the developing heart. The findings are described in the advance...

One size does not fit all

Statins, a commonly prescribed class of drugs used by millions worldwide to effectively lower blood cholesterol levels, may actually have a negative impact in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with high daily dosages. A new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI...

Penn biologists demonstrate that size matters... in snail shells

PHILADELPHIA - A team of biologists at the University of Pennsylvania has completed a research study begun in 1915 and determined that a snail making its home in the northwest Atlantic Ocean around Mount Desert Island, Me., has experienced a dramatic increase in the size of its shell during less t...

In spiders, size matters: Small males are more often meals

Female spiders are voracious predators and consume a wide range of prey, which sometimes includes their mates. A number of hypotheses have been proposed for why females eat males before or after mating. Researchers Shawn Wilder and Ann Rypstra from Miami University in Ohio found, in a study publis...

Evolution of fruit size in tomato

Domesticated tomatoes can be up to 1000 times larger than their wild relatives. How did they get so big? In general, domesticated food plants have larger fruits, heads of grain, tubers, etc, because this is one of the characteristics that early hunter-gatherers chose when foraging for food. In ...

Glypican-3 gene function in regulating body size helps inform novel cancer treatments

Toronto (May 13, 2008) - In a leading study that has implications for the development of novel therapies for a number of breast, lung and ovarian cancers that have lost the expression of a gene called glypican-3 (GPC3), Sunnybrook researchers have discovered how the loss of the GPC3 gene induces o...

How body size is regulated

This meta-analysis, published in the latest issue of Nature Genetics, is based on data from more than 26,000 study participants. It verifies two already known genes, but also discovered ten new genes. Altogether they explain a difference in body size of about 3.5 centimeters. The analysis produ...

How size matters

The beauty of nature is partly due to the uniformity of leaf and flower size in individual plants, and scientists have discovered how plants arrive at these aesthetic proportions. Researchers at the John Innes Centre in Norwich have discovered that cells at the margins of leaves and petals pla...

Weight loss -- not one size fits all

There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to weight loss through exercise, says Queensland University of Technology behavioural scientist Neil King. Dr Neil King, from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, is the lead author of a study conducted in collaboration with the Univ...

Why do males and females frequently differ in body size and structure?

RIVERSIDE, Calif. As even the most casual observer of nature knows, males and females frequently differ in body size, form and structure. But how these differences have developed a topic studied for decades by evolutionary biologists is not as clear. A new scholarly book now neatly brings t...

Controlling for size may also prevent cancer

Scientists at Johns Hopkins recently discovered that a chemical chain reaction that controls organ size in animals ranging from insects to humans could mean the difference between normal growth and cancer. The study, published in the Sept. 21 issue of Cell, describes how organs can grow uncontroll...

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...

'Smart' materials get smarter with ability to better control shape and size

AUSTIN, TexasA dynamic way to alter the shape and size of microscopic three-dimensional structures built out of proteins has been developed by biological chemist Jason Shear and his former graduate student Bryan Kaehr at The University of Texas at Austin. Shear and Kaehr fabricated a variety of...

Armed beetles find a mate, whatever their size

One species of armed beetle is proving that size doesnt necessarily matter when it comes to finding a mate. The creatures pulling techniques will be revealed in the April edition of the Royal Entomological Societys Ecological Entomology journal. In the world of armed beetles, biggest is usually...

Large size crucial for Amazon forest reserves

An international research team has discovered that the size of Amazon forest reserves is yet more important than previously thought. Their findings, to be published this week (January 12th) in the journal Science, underscore the importance of protecting the Amazon in large stretches of primary fore...

Protein therapy may reduce infarct size in heart attack patients

Researchers are searching for new methods and therapies to reduce infarct size and improve blood flow to the heart muscle in patients who experience myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack. In a study presented today at the American College of Cardiology’s Innovation in Intervention: i2 Sum...

New technique boosts size of proteins that can be analyzed

Imagine you had to break a secret code, but you could see only part of the message. That's the kind of frustration researchers face when trying to identify proteins and characterize how those proteins are modified in cells by biological processes. But now, Cornell researchers have extended a powe...

End of deforestation in view? Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources

An increasing number of countries and regions are transitioning from deforestation to afforestation, raising hopes for a turning point for the world as a whole, according to researchers advancing a more sophisticated approach to measuring forest cover. The novel approach looks beyond simply how m...

Particle size matters to bacteria ability to immobilize heavy metals

One of the most common bacteria in the Earth, Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, uses oxygen as an energy source for respiration. But in the absence of oxygen, Shewanella uses (oxy)hydroxide minerals. These metal particles may also have adsorbed heavy metals on them. As a result, Shewanella influence the ...

Study suggests evolutionary link between diet, brain size in orangutans

In a study of orangutans living on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra, scientists from Duke University and the University of Zurich have found what they say is the first demonstration in primates of an evolutionary connection between available food supplies and brain size. Based on thei...

Bigger brain size matters for intellectual ability

Brain size matters for intellectual ability and bigger is better, McMaster University researchers have found. The study, led by neuroscientist Sandra Witelson, a professor in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, and published in the December issue of the journal Brain, has provided some of...

Chemical compound inhibits tumor growth, size in new mouse study

Penn State food scientists have shown that the amount of health-linked polyphenols present during roasting or baking influences the toasty aroma developed by oats and might be used to limit the generation of off-flavors in oat products. Polyphenols are a large family of naturally occurring plant ...

DNA size a crucial factor in genetic mutations, study finds

Researchers at Stanford University have created a larger-than-normal DNA molecule that is copied almost as efficiently as natural DNA. The findings, reported in the Oct. 25 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), may reveal new insights into how genetic mutatio...

Female butterflies go for sparkle -- not size -- when choosing to mate

Size doesn't matter, at least not the size of the eyespots on a male butterfly's wings when female butterflies consider potential mates. Instead, females are attracted to the "sparkle" created by the ultraviolet reflectivity of the pupils, the white circles at the center of eyespots, according t...

Hormones and growth: The control of body size and developmental growth rate in fruit flies

A pair of research papers published this week report findings that increase our understanding of how an organism's body size is determined and how the speed of its development is controlled. In particular, the work sheds light on the molecular and cellular pathways that act to convey information ab...

Brain size may depend upon how neural cells are cleaved

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered a novel way in which the brain size of developing mammals may be regulated. They have identified a signaling pathway that controls the orientation in which dividing neural progenitor cells are cleaved during development. The way these ce...

To sea or not to sea: When it comes to salmon sex, size sometimes doesn't matter

The ones that stay and the ones that stray are biological puzzles among Pacific salmon, of whom the vast majority ?but not all ?travel thousands of miles to sea and back to the streams where they hatched. There are chinook salmon populations in Idaho in which an occasional male stays put and matu...

Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique

...rays were then compiled into precise 3D models, using custom-designed software. Both Cryptomartus hindi and Eophrynus prestivicii were around the size of a 50 pence piece and they roamed the Earth during the Carboniferous period, 359 299 million years ago. This was a time before the dinosaurs, when ...

Lead-based consumer paint remains a global public health threat

...oned by the metal, setting them up for life-threatening problems later in life. "Our studies have shown that when comparing the prices of the same size can of paint produced by several companies within India with a wide range of lead concentrations, there is no significant consumer price difference be...

Urban water ecology at the ESA annual meeting

...lly stream fish, rely on terrestrial insects as a portion of their food supply. But little is known about their importance to fish in lakes, where the size and shape of a lake can determine how much its fish rely on shoreline food sources. Tessa Francis, a post-doctoral researcher at the National Oceanogr...

New hope for fisheries

... and restrict certain types of fishing gear. This led to an increase in the size and amount of fish available, and a consequent increase in fishers' incomes... ecological benefits including fewer species collapses, an increase in fish size and fish abundance. "Below MMSY there is a fishing-conservation sweet spot,...

August 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights

...ulate both observed glacioeustatic changes and inferred ice sheet volumes. Their simulations present paradoxical results. While ice volumes of similar size to those implied by proxy evidence are simulated, sea-level changes brought about by cyclic variations in Earth's orbit are minuscule. It is only with...

Parasites ready to jump

...various molecular classes in terms of their modes of synthesis and specific functions". This is no easy task, since all these molecules are similar in size and virtually indistinguishable chemically. "We will now test whether the mechanism we have found in Drosophila also exists in mammalian cells. We wou...

Antibody targeting of glioblastoma shows promise in preclinical tests, say Lombardi researchers

...lso showed that in mice implanted with human glioblastoma, the antibody prevented tumors from growing. For example untreated tumors grew to an average size of 350 cubic millimeters after three weeks, but treated tumors did not grow beyond their initial 25 cubic millimeters. Wellstein says a phase I cl...

Opening a new window on daylight

...facing windows to reduce heating effects. Daylighting and shading effects can be optimized by following their formula and choosing appropriate windows size and positioning as well as other parameters, such as glazing transmittance. ...

Jet-propelled imaging for an ultrafast light source

...olecules on a side, with a width of about 100 billionths of a meter (100 nanometers). At SLAC, the researchers plan to steadily reduce the nanocrystal size down to single molecules. The corresponding reduction in scattered intensity will hasten and improve lensless imaging. The first step in lensless ...

Freshwater fish at the top of the food chain evolve more slowly

...rchers found that bass and other centrarchids that feed primarily on fish have remained relatively unchanged over time. Once they evolved the optimal size and shape for catching fish roughly 20 million years ago natural selection seems to have kept them in an evolutionary holding pattern, the researche...

Biologists rediscover endangered frog population

... sites studied by the 1908 expedition. Mountain yellow-legged frogs are not known to migrate far, possibly indicating a significant population. The size of the site represents much more habitat than occupied by the eight other mountain yellow-legged frog populations in the San Jacinto, San Bernardino, ...

Earliest animals lived in a lake environment, research shows

...mal evolution first occurred in lakes and is tied to some environmental aspect unique to lake environments. Furthermore, because lakes are of limited size and not connected to each other, there may have been significant parallel evolution of organisms. Now we must wait and see if similar fossils are fou...
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