Beyond nutrition: plants deliverThe need for a renewable and affordable source of carbon that can sustain future economic development without negatively impacting the environment is now widely recognised. It is also apparent that the increasingly high demand for fossil carbon will eventually deplete existing stocks.
The Plant Journal is pleased to present a series of invited peer-reviewed articles that describe processes that plants can or could use to convert their fixed........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 5/12/2008 9:37:58 PM)
Warming a greater danger to tropical speciesPolar bears fighting for survival in the face of a rapid decline of polar ice have made the Arctic a poster child for the negative effects of climate change. But new research shows that species living in the tropics likely face the greatest peril in a warmer world.
A team led by University of Washington researchers has observed that while temperature changes will be much more extreme at high latitudes, tropical species have a far greater........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 5/12/2008 8:08:49 PM)
Transgenic SunUp Papaya GenomeThis week's issue of Nature features the draft genome of the transgenic 'SunUp' Papaya, the first commercial virus-resistant transgenic fruit tree to be sequenced. From Nature News
The papaya genome will be of interest to scientists interested in the dietary benefits of different fruits, the evolution of fruiting trees, and other basic questions of biology. Data from the genome will also help in designing field-based assays to........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 5/8/2008 6:57:42 PM)
Gardeners get advice from neighbors, friendsWhere do gardeners turn when they need information about annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees" Staff at University of Minnesota Extension have published results of a survey that concludes that the majority of backyard gardeners get their planting and plant information informallymost often from friends, neighbors and local garden centers.
The survey of 1,000 Minnesota gardeners reported in the JanuaryMarch, 2008 issue of HortTechnology........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 5/7/2008 7:46:37 PM)
Sweet Success With InventionAn undergraduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has learned very quickly that a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down. In fact, with his invention, the sugar may actually be the medicine.
Among the most important and complex molecules in the human body, sugars control not just metabolism but also how cells communicate with one another. Graduating senior Jeffery Martin has put his basic knowledge of sugars to........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 5/7/2008 6:52:56 PM)
Global warming will negatively impact tropical speciesGlobal warming is likely to reduce the health of tropical species, researchers from UCLA and the University of Washington report May 6 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
At the same time, a little bit of warming may actually move certain organisms, especially insects, in the high latitudes closer to their optimal temperature, the scientists say.
"In the tropics, most of the organisms we have studied, from insects to........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 5/5/2008 5:46:05 PM)
Bees Disease - One Step Closer To Finding A CureResearchers in Gera number of have discovered a new mechanism of infection for the most fatal bee disease. American Foulbrood (AFB) is the only infectious disease which can kill entire colonies of bees. Every year, this notifiable disease is causing considerable economic loss to beekeepers all over the world. The only control measure is to destroy the infected hive.
The mechanism of infection (pathogenic mechanism) was originally believed to........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 5/2/2008 8:14:09 AM)
Sequencing of Protein from T. rex Confirms Dinosaurs' Link to BirdsResearchers have put more meat on the theory that dinosaurs' closest living relatives are modern-day birds.
Molecular analysis, or genetic sequencing, of a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex protein from the dinosaur's femur confirms that T. rex shares a common ancestry with chickens, ostriches, and to a lesser extent, alligators.
The dinosaur protein was wrested from a fossil T. rex femur discovered in 2003 by paleontologist John........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/30/2008 6:36:38 PM)
Engineering and invention on the half-shellMarine snails, sea urchins, and other animals from the sea are teaching scientists in UC Riversides Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering how to make the world a better place.
Consider, for example, the possibilities of designing a lightweight armor that would protect U.S. soldiers in Iraq from Improvised Explosive Devices. Or, what flexible ceramics might offer industry. Or, how everyone could benefit from new ways of........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/30/2008 5:38:28 PM)
Bison can thrive againBison can repopulate large areas from Alaska to Mexico over the next 100 years provided a series of conservation and restoration measures are taken, according to continental assessment of this iconic species by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups. The assessment was authored by a diverse group of conservationists, scientists, ranchers, and Native Americans/First Nations peoples, and appears in the recent issue of the journal........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/29/2008 8:33:34 PM)
Improved Gene Technology AnalysisGene technology analysis is used increasingly in diagnostic tests for detection of minute amounts of cells, bacteria and viruses in biological samples. However, false positive or negative results may occur.
- To uncover false negative results, an internal control reagent can be included in the tests to verify that the analysis results are valid. The problem with the internal controls used in today's analyses is that they can only be added........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/24/2008 10:36:37 PM)
Are Ice Age relics the next casualty of climate change?The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently launched a four-year study to determine if climate change is affecting populations of a quintessential Arctic denizen: the rare musk ox. Along with collaborators from the National Park Service, U. S. Geological Survey, and Alaska Fish and Game, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists have already equipped six musk ox with GPS collars to better understand how climate change may affect these........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/24/2008 10:30:55 PM)
Ugandan monkeys harbor unknown poxvirusScientists report this month that red colobus monkeys in a park in western Uganda have been exposed to an unknown orthopoxvirus, a pathogen correlation to the viruses that cause smallpox, monkeypox and cowpox. Most of the monkeys screened harbor antibodies to a virus that is similar - but not identical - to known orthopoxviruses.
The findings appear online in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
This is the first effort to screen........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/22/2008 9:36:10 PM)
Lizard hunting styles impact ability to walk, runThe technique lizards use to grab their grub influences how they move, as per scientists at Ohio University.
A research team led by doctoral student Eric McElroy tracked 18 different species of lizards as they walked or ran in order to understand how their foraging styles impact their biomechanics. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, was featured in the April 1 edition of the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Lizards use........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/21/2008 7:43:11 PM)
Sudden Oak Death pathogen is evolvingThe pathogen responsible for Sudden Oak Death first got its grip in California's forests outside a nursery in Santa Cruz and at Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County before spreading out to eventually kill millions of oaks and tanoaks along the Pacific Coast, as per a new study led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley. It provides, for the first time, evidence of how the epidemic unfolded in this state.
"In this paper, we actually........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/17/2008 4:03:32 AM)
Insects evolved radically different strategy to smellDarwin's tree of life represents the path and estimates the time evolution took to get to the current diversity of life. Now, new findings suggest that this tree, an icon of evolution, may need to be redrawn. In research would be reported in the April 13 advance online issue of Nature, scientists at Rockefeller University and the University of Tokyo have joined forces to reveal that insects have adopted a strategy to detect odors that is........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/13/2008 8:45:52 PM)
Novel 'gene toggles' in world's top food cropUniversity of Delaware researchers, in collaboration with U.S. and international colleagues, have found a new type of molecule--a kind of "micro-switch"--that can turn off genes in rice, which is the primary source of food for more than half the world's population. The discovery is published in the March 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Composed of short lengths of ribonucleic........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/9/2008 8:47:13 PM)
Variegated leaf pornWhenever I put the word “porn” on my blog I get lots of hits. I need all the help I can get, so as a sort of follow-up to my post on the science behind variegated leaves, here’s some variegated leaf porn from Roger Williams Park Botanical Conservancy in Providence
I have no idea what any of these plants are. Any ideas anyone? Jo-Ann B., if you’re out there chime in because I know you know the answer! I think........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/9/2008 8:23:09 PM)
Fingerprint of Evolution Across the Human GenomeThe Human Genome Project revealed that only a small fraction of the 3 billion "letter" DNA code actually instructs cells to manufacture proteins, the workhorses of most life processes. This has raised the question of what the remaining part of the human genome does. How much of the rest performs other biological functions, and how much is merely residue of previous genetic events? .
Researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/8/2008 9:56:39 PM)
Meteorites delivered the 'seeds' of Earth's left-hand lifeFlash back three or four billion years Earth is a hot, dry and lifeless place. All is still. Without warning, a meteor slams into the desert plains at over ten thousand miles per hour. With it, this violent collision may have planted the chemical seeds of life on Earth.
Researchers presented evidence today that desert heat, a little water, and meteorite impacts may have been enough to cook up one of the first prerequisites for life: The........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/6/2008 8:40:41 PM)
Human vision inadequate for research on bird visionThe most attractive male birds attract more females and as a result are most successful in terms of reproduction. This is the starting point of a number of studies looking for factors that influence sexual selection in birds. However, is it reasonable to assume that birds see what we see? As per a research findings reported in the latest issue of American Naturalist, Uppsala scientists show that our human vision is not an adequate instrument.
........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 5/12/2008 9:32:18 PM)
First Veterinary Corneal Implant Procedure In U.s.Sinisa Grozdanic an assistant professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences performed the surgery that restored sight to 7-year-old Dixie, a Mountain Cur breed owned by Brett Williams of Runnells.
"We are excited for Dixie," said Grozdanic. "She was our patient for such a long time and nothing really worked. She was gradually going down visually and we were finally able to do something to definitely improve her quality of life".
"She is my........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 5/12/2008 8:23:46 PM)
Fritillaria affinisThanks once again to Jackie Chambers of UBC Botanical Garden for submitting a photograph and write-up
Fritillaria affinis has just begun flowering in the Garry Oak Meadow at the UBC Botanical Garden. The meadow is part of a recent initiative to expand the garden''s native plant collections. To learn more about this unique and threatened landscape in British Columbia, visit the site of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team
Native to........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 5/8/2008 8:11:32 PM)
Silicon's effect on sunflowersVibrant, showy sunflowers are revered worldwide for their beauty and versatility. While a number of varieties of sunflower are grown specifically for their nutritional benefits, ornamental sunflowers have become standards for commercial growers and everyday gardeners. As sunflowers' popularity grows, researchers are looking for new supplements and growing methods to enhance production and quality of this celebrated annual.
Horticulturists........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 5/7/2008 7:44:19 PM)
Platypus Genome DecodedThe curious discovery of the duck-billed, egg-laying, otter-footed, beaver-tailed, venomous platypus in Australia in 1798 convinced British researchers that it must be a hoax. Sketches of its appearance were believed to be impossible.
But new research proves that the oddness of the platypus' looks isn't just skin-deep. Platypus DNA is an equally cobbled-together array of avian, reptilian and mammalian lineages that may hold clues for human........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 5/7/2008 6:26:31 PM)
Ecologists tease out private lives of plants and their pollinatorsThe quality of pollen a plant produces is closely tied to its sexual habits, ecologists have discovered. As well as helping explain the evolution of such intimate relationships between plants and pollinators, the study one of the first of its kind and published online in the British Ecological Society's journal Functional Ecology also helps explain the recent dramatic decline in certain bumblebee species found in the shrinking areas of........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 5/5/2008 9:09:22 PM)
It's a unisex brain with specific signalsResearch by Yale researchers shows that males and females have essentially unisex brains at least in flies as per a recent report in Cell designed to identify factors that are responsible for sex differences in behavior.
The scientists showed that a courting song and dance routine that only male flies naturally perform one wing is lifted and wiggled to make a humming song can also be triggered in female flies by artificially stimulating........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/30/2008 6:58:59 PM)
Photochemical Compass for Bird NavigationA team of scientists at Arizona State University and the University of Oxford are the first to model a photochemical compass that may simulate how migrating birds use light and Earth's weak magnetic field to navigate. The team reports in the April 30, 2008, online issue of Nature that the photochemical model becomes sensitive to the magnitude and direction of weak magnetic fields similar to Earth's when exposed to light. The research funded by........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/30/2008 5:52:55 PM)
Patent Office rejects company's claim for beanThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today rejected all of the patent claims for a common yellow bean that has been a familiar staple in Latin American diets for more than a century.
The bean was erroneously granted patent protection in 1999, as US Patent Number 5,894,079, in a move that raised profound concerns about biopiracy and the potential abuse of intellectual property (IP) claims on plant materials that originate in........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/30/2008 5:24:02 PM)
Protect Endangered Right WhalesEndangered North Atlantic right whales are safer along Massachusetts Bay's busy shipping lanes this spring, thanks to a new system of smart buoys. The buoys recognize whales' distinctive calls and route the information to a public Web site and a marine warning system, giving ships the chance to avoid deadly collisions.
The 10-buoy Right Whale Listening Network (http://listenforwhales.org/) -- developed at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/28/2008 5:49:01 PM)
Single-celled bacterium works 24-7Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have gained the first detailed insight into the way circadian rhythms govern global gene expression in Cyanothece, a type of cyanobacterium (blue-green algae) known to cycle between photosynthesis during the day and nitrogen fixation at night.
In general, this study shows that during the day, Cyanothece increases expression of genes governing photosynthesis and sugar production, as expected.........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/28/2008 5:00:08 PM)
Ways To Fight Lake Trout InvasionNatural barriers like waterfalls play an important role in preventing lake trout from spreading through Glacier National Park, so maintaining those barriers should be a priority, Montana State University scientists said after conducting a four-year study in the park.
Park workers might have to remove ice, logs or debris to keep the water from rising behind those barriers, said graduate student Michael Meeuwig and his adviser Christopher Guy.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/24/2008 10:13:24 PM)
Mosquitoes Fatten Up, Slow Down For WinterTwo genes that help insulin regulate mosquitoes' growth have been identified as key contributors to how the insects enter a dormant state to survive winter's cold.
The research finding broadens the understanding of the mosquito life cycle and appears to shed some light on how other insects and invertebrate species weather the winter months.
The shorter days of autumn trigger certain species of mosquitoes into diapause, a hibernation-like........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/24/2008 10:07:05 PM)
Can Certain Metals Repel Sharks from Fishing Gear?Sharks in captivity avoid metals that react with seawater to produce an electric field, a behavior that may help fishery biologists develop a strategy to reduce the bycatch of sharks in longline gear. Shark bycatch is an increasing priority worldwide given diminished populations of a number of shark species, and because sharks compete with target species for baited lines, reducing fishing efficiency and increasing operating costs.
A recent........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/22/2008 9:31:12 PM)
RNA Role In Spreading DiseaseRecent research that links specific pieces of RNA to an infectious organism's duplication and spread could lead the way to the prevention of viroids, pathogens that can kill or damage food crops and other plants.
The findings and the research approach used by Ohio State University researchers also could have applications in the study of how certain viruses spread in humans because the pathogens have some similar characteristics.
The........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/21/2008 7:38:16 PM)
Flowers' fragrance diminished by air pollutionAir pollution from power plants and automobiles is destroying the fragrance of flowers and thereby inhibiting the ability of pollinating insects to follow scent trails to their source, a new University of Virginia study indicates. This could partially explain why wild populations of some pollinators, especially bees which need nectar for food are declining in several areas of the world, including California and the Netherlands.
The study........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/10/2008 9:16:49 PM)
And the First Animal on Earth Was a ....A new study mapping the evolutionary history of animals indicates that Earth's first animal--a mysterious creature whose characteristics can only be inferred from fossils and studies of living animals--was probably significantly more complex than previously believed.
The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is the cover story of the April 10, 2008 issue of Nature Using new high-powered technologies for analyzing........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 4/10/2008 8:09:22 PM)
Trippy translationI’m taking a class on the chemistry of biological systems this term (part of the reason why it has been relatively quiet around here recently). A large section of the course was on the details of protein synthesis, or how the ribosome takes mRNA and turns it into protein. Somehow this film was never shown in class, where a (literal) interpretation of the molecular dance is depicted
Directed in 1971 by Robert Alan Weiss for the........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/9/2008 8:23:22 PM)
Don't harm microbes that clean the environmentEven large amounts of manufactured nanoparticles, also known as Buckyballs, don't faze microscopic organisms that are charged with cleaning up the environment, as per Purdue University researchers.
In the first published study to examine Buckyball toxicity on microbes that break down organic substances in wastewater, the researchers used an amount of the nanoparticles on the microbes that was equivalent to pouring 10 pounds of talcum powder........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 4/8/2008 10:06:41 PM)
Trachystemon orientalisThank you to UBC Botanical Garden horticulturist Jackie Chambers for today''s photographs and write-up, much appreciated
A fine example of Trachystemon orientalis can be found in the David C. Lam Asian Garden here at UBC. The coarse-textured, heart-shaped leaves are bright green and reach 25-30cm long. However, it is the dainty blue flowers, currently in bloom, that are the most striking feature of this perennial groundcover.
The........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 4/6/2008 6:59:57 PM)