Grizzly Bears Feast On Diverse DietTheres no such thing as picky grizzly bearstheyll eat almost anything they can find. A new University of Alberta study that tracked food habits of the Alberta grizzly bear living in the foothills sheds some light on the animals varied diet and their activity pattern.
Alberta bears have remarkably diverse diets, said Dr. Mark Boyce, biological sciences professor at the U of A and co-author on the study. Theyll eat just about anything.
........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/15/2007 6:24:00 AM)
New mechanism for nutrient uptake discoveredStanford, CABiologists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology have discovered a new way that plant cells govern nutrient regulationneighboring pore-like structures at the cell's surface physically interact to control the uptake of a vital nutrient, nitrogen. It is the first time researchers have observed that the interaction of neighboring molecules is essential to this regulation. Since plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 2/11/2007 9:32:28 PM)
Grape expectations for healthier wineA new technique that uses ozone to preserve grapes could help prevent allergies and boost healthy compounds at the same time, reports Jennifer Rohn in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI. The same technique could be used in the wine-making process to produce healthier wines without the added sulphites that can cause asthma and other conditions in some people.
Mass-marketed grapes can remain in storage for months and are commonly........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 2/11/2007 8:52:26 PM)
Animal Studies In The Land Of The Midnight SunThe temperature hovers around freezing, but the sun is up for 24 hours each day. How do animals living in the continuous light of the Arctic summer know when to sleep and when to be active? Do they maintain a 24-hour cycle of rest and activity, or does living in continuous light alter their circadian rhythm?
Answering these questions may improve our understanding of biological clocks -- the internal, genetically programmed cycle of rest and........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/8/2007 10:02:56 PM)
Toads with a TaskThe strings of sticky eggs laid at the Central Park Zoo were bound for great things, and sun-splashed places. As part of a program to revitalize the endangered Puerto Rican crested toad, animal husbandry experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reared more than 450 healthy tadpoles in New York and released them in a manmade pond in the island's Guanica State Forest. It is hoped that the tadpoles will someday return to these same........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/6/2007 9:44:15 PM)
Protein Sorting With A New MicrochipA new MIT microchip system promises to speed up the separation and sorting of biomolecules such as proteins. The work is important because it could help researchers better detect certain molecules linked to diseases, potentially leading to earlier diagnoses or therapys.
The microchip system has an extremely tiny sieve structure built into it that can sort through continuous streams of biological fluids and separate proteins accurately by........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 2/5/2007 7:35:26 PM)
Algae Toxin And The Fish-kill MysteryA team of scientists from the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., has uncovered a subtle chemical pathway by which normally inoffensive algae, Pfiesteria piscicida, can suddenly start producing a lethal toxin. The discovery, reported last week in Environmental Science and Technology,* could resolve a long-standing mystery surrounding occasional mass fish kills on the East Coast.
Pfiesteria has been implicated for years in a........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/2/2007 4:37:40 AM)
'Electric' Fish Shows How Brain Directs MovementResearchers have long struggled to figure out how the brain guides the complex movement of our limbs, from the graceful leaps of ballerinas to the simple everyday act of picking up a cup of coffee. Using tools from robotics and neuroscience, two Johns Hopkins University scientists have found some tantalizing clues in an unlikely mode of motion: the undulations of tropical fish.
Their findings, reported in the January 31 issue of the Journal........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/31/2007 9:10:50 PM)
Molecular Motors and BrakesScientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that microtubules - components responsible for shape, movement, and replication within cells - use proteins that act as molecular motors and brakes to organize into their correct structure. If microtubules are not formed properly such basic functions as cell division and transport can go wrong, which may have implications in such disease processes as cancer and........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 1/30/2007 7:35:11 PM)
Human Preference For Other SpeciesAs humans exert ever-greater influence on the Earth, their preferences will play a substantial role in determining which other species survive. New research shows that, in some cases, those preferences could be governed by factors as subtle as small color highlights a creature displays.
In the case of penguins, mostly black-and-white flightless birds that live predominantly in the Southern Hemisphere, those most popular with humans appear to........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/30/2007 5:13:58 AM)
A Hybrid Species Of ButterflyUniversity of Nevada, Reno researcher Matthew Forister is among a group of researchers that have documented an unusual type of speciation in the Sierra Nevada, including a hybrid species of butterfly that can trace its lineage as far back as almost a half a million years ago. In a recently published article in the leading research journal Science, the discovery is one of the most convincing cases of this type of species formation that has ever........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/25/2007 9:31:27 PM)
New Species Of Distinctive Cloud-forest RodentA strikingly unusual animal was recently discovered in the cloud-forests of Peru. The large rodent is about the size of a squirrel and looks a bit like one, except its closest relatives are spiny rats.
The nocturnal, climbing rodent is beautiful yet strange looking, with long dense fur, a broad blocky head, and thickly furred tail. A blackish crest of fur on the crown, nape and shoulders add to its distinctive appearance.
Isothrix........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/24/2007 7:52:46 PM)
Amazing Species Unique To East African MountainsNew studies published this month in the scientific journal Biological Conservation document an amazing concentration of over 1000 species unique--or endemic-- to an area slightly larger than Rhode Island in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya. This remaining habitat in the Eastern Arcs has the highest concentration of endemic animals in Africa and is increasingly endangered by complex threats.
"The wild areas of the Eastern Arc........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/16/2007 9:43:28 PM)
Big Vegetarian Mammals And EcosystemsRemoving large herbivorous mammals from the African savanna can cause a dramatic shift in the relative abundance of species throughout the food chain, as per researchers from Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California-Davis. Their findings were reported in the Jan. 2 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
In the study, the research team used large electric fences to exclude cattle,........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/16/2007 8:20:07 PM)
Colchicum spA thank you to Hampshire, England's "Souren" for sharing this photograph via the UBC Botanical Garden Forums. These photographs were taken in September of 2006, in the Kharkiv University Botanical Garden (Ukraine). Much appreciated!
The alkaloid colchicine was first derived from plants in the genus Colchicum, hence the name. In addition to the medicinal uses outlined in the link, colchicine is extremely important in plant breeding research.........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 1/15/2007 7:25:06 PM)
Lost Dogs Found More Often Than Lost CatsA lost dog is more likely to be reunited with its owner than a lost cat, as per two new studies.
In one city in southwestern Ohio , scientists observed that 71 percent of lost dogs were found, in comparison to just 53 percent of lost cats.
More than a third of the recovered dogs were found by a call or visit to an animal shelter. More than one in four dogs were found because the animal wore a dog license or identification tag at the time........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/15/2007 5:15:18 AM)
American ElkAt one time, the American elk was the most widely distributed member of the deer family on the North American Continent. They were found from Mexico to Alberta and from sea to sea, except on the southern coastal plains and in the Great Basin. However, as the pioneers moved west, hunting took its toll. Elk began to disappear from the settled regions until only remnant herds remained in the Rocky Mountains, parts of the Pacific Northwest, and........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/11/2007 9:12:39 PM)
Female Ducks Negotiate Joint RearingFemale eider ducks are well known to team up and share the work of rearing ducklings, but it now appears that they also negotiate not only how much effort each puts into the partnership, but also profit-sharing. An international group of researchers used a long-running study of the eider population in a Finnish archipelago to test predictions about how each hen seeks to maximize her benefits from the partnership without making it so........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/10/2007 9:23:51 PM)
Use Wheat to fatally starve insect predatorsA newly identified wheat gene produces proteins that appear to attack the stomach lining of a crop-destroying fly larvae so that the bugs starve to death.
The gene's role in creating resistance to Hessian flies was a surprise to U.S. Department of Agriculture and Purdue University researchers, discoverers of the gene and its function. They made the finding as they investigated new, long-term methods to protect wheat from insect damage.
........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/10/2007 8:51:46 PM)
New Project To Protect BiodiversityThe world's biodiversity is vanishing at an unprecedented rate - around 100 species every day - due to factors such as land use change and pollution. Addressing this threat, world governments agreed through the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to reduce significantly the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. To support this initiative, ESA has kicked off its new DIVERSITY project.
Biodiversity, the variety of life including........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 1/10/2007 4:55:15 AM)
Is there a pilot in the insect?When they fly, insects use their vision for piloting, just like human pilots. The electric signals from their facetted eyes travel through specialized neurons to stimulate the wing muscles, which let the insects correct their flight and avoid crashes. Could these same neurons be used in a sort of "automatic pilot"? This is what Nicolas Franceschini, Franck Ruffier and Julien Serres have just shown. These biorobotics specialists from the........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/13/2007 9:43:18 PM)
World shark attacks rise slightlyShark attacks edged up slightly in 2006 but continued an overall long-term decline as overfishing and more cautious swimmers helped take a bite out of the aggressive encounters, new University of Florida research finds.
The total number of shark attacks worldwide increased from 61 in 2005 to 62 in 2006 and the number of fatalities remained stable at four, far below the 79 attacks and 11 fatalities recorded in 2000, said George Burgess,........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/13/2007 9:13:57 PM)
Wildlife Birth-control MethodProfessor Cooper also raises concerns that individuals that survive the vaccine may be more likely to carry infectious diseases with the potential to affect other animals.
An immuno-contraceptive vaccine causes an animal's immune system to produce antibodies that act against some essential event or structure in the reproductive process. The antibodies can act against sperm, eggs or reproductive hormones, which prevent either fertilization or........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/11/2007 8:48:35 PM)
Male-killing Bacteria and ButterfliesA study at UCL (University College London) finds that a high-prevalence of male-killing bacteria active in a number of species of insect including the butterfly, actually increases female promiscuity and male fatigue.
The team observed that when the male insect population drops -- killed off by the bacteria -- the female butterfly becomes more sexually rampant. Males conversely show signs of fatigue and put less effort into mating.
In........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/8/2007 9:20:19 PM)
Horse genome assembledThe first draft of the horse genome sequence has been deposited in public databases and is freely available for use by biomedical and veterinary scientists around the globe, leaders of the international Horse Genome Sequencing Project announced recently.
The $15 million effort to sequence the approximately 2.7 billion DNA base pairs in the genome of the horse (Equus caballus) was funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/7/2007 9:31:35 PM)
Mule Deer - Odocoileus hemionusThe forested area of Wind Cave National Park includes scattered groves of ponderosa pine trees with a few hardwoods and one large forested area occupying the western and northwestern sections of the park. Small mammals like the red squirrel, porcupine, and chipmunk are often seen in these areas along with larger mammals like the mule deer and the elk.
The mule deer, while closely correlation to the eastern species-the white-tailed deer, are........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/5/2007 9:14:00 PM)
Keeing Fish Out Of Hot WaterRight now some tubeworm tartare and clams on the half shell would really hit the spot, so you're headed for the all-night caf.
"All-night" being the operative word because the volcanic ridge you're tooling along is nearly 1.5 miles below the surface. The term "where the sun don't shine" perfectly describes the place. It's pitch black.
Darn, but what's that loud rumbling up ahead?
Must be one of those pesky black smokers. Some of those........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 2/5/2007 6:41:15 PM)
First Endangered Fish Species RecoversFor the first time in U.S., and probably global, history a fish identified as endangered has been shown to have recovered -- and in the Hudson River, which flows through one of the world's largest population centers, New York City.
The population of shortnose sturgeon, which lives in large rivers and estuaries along the Atlantic coast of North America, has increased by more than 400 percent in the Hudson River since the 1970s, report Mark........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/31/2007 8:45:39 PM)
Non-venomous Asian Snakes 'Borrow' Defensive PoisonMost snakes are born with poisonous bites they use for defense. But what can non-poisonous snakes do to ward off predators?
What if they could borrow a dose of poison by eating toxic toads, then recycling the toxins?
That's exactly what happens in the relationship between an Asian snake and a species of toad, according to a team of researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Integrative Organismal Systems........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/30/2007 6:35:20 PM)
Why Are Males Larger Than Females?Why are males larger than females in some animal species (such as most mammals), females larger than males in others (such as most insects), and why are the sexes alike in yet other species (such as several birds)? Further, how is such sexual size dimorphism achieved when it exists? If males and females grow at the same rate, then the larger sex has to extend its growth period. Alternatively, the larger sex can grow faster.
A group of 13........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/29/2007 8:57:08 PM)
Genetically Modified Crops On Developing CountriesA new study in the recent issue of Current Anthropology explores how the arrival of genetically modified crops affects farmers in developing countries. Glenn Davis Stone (Washington University) studied the Warangal District of Andhra Pradesh in India, a key cotton growing area notorious for suicides by cotton farmers. In 2003 to 2005, market share of "Bt cotton" seeds rose from 12 percent to 62 percent in Warangal. Bt cotton is genetically........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 1/26/2007 5:10:21 AM)
Fish Can Determine Their Social RankA male fish can size up potential rivals, and even rank them from strongest to weakest, simply by watching how they perform in territorial fights with other males, as per a new study by Stanford University scientists. The scientists say their discovery provides the first direct evidence that fish, like people, can use logical reasoning to figure out their place in the pecking order.
The study, reported in the Jan. 25 edition of the journal........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/24/2007 7:47:40 PM)
deep-sea fauna under Antarctic ice shelfUnder the former Larsen ice shelf east of the Antarctic Peninsula, deep-sea sea cucumbers and stalked feather stars were ubiquitously found in shallow waters. These animals commonly inhabit far greater water depths.
The main aim of the current Polarstern expedition to Antarctica is the investigation of marine ecosystems under the former Larsen ice shelf. This "white spot" with regard to biodiversity research gave rise to the following........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/24/2007 7:40:12 PM)
Hawaiian MoorhenThe Hawaiian Moorhen is a dark gray bird with a black head and neck, and white feathers on their flanks and on their undertail coverts (or feathers). They have a very distinctive red frontal shield, and their bill tip is yellow with a red base. Their legs and feet are greenish and without lobes. The `Alae `ula commonly measure about 13 inches (33 centimeters) in length. Both sexes are similar and have chicken-like cackles and croaks.
........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/15/2007 8:00:56 PM)
Acianthera CasapensisSpecies from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela, found in wet forests from 600 to 2800 meters.
Synonym: Pleurothallis chamensis.........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 1/15/2007 7:36:47 PM)
Soil Nutrients And Tropical ForestsTropical forests are among the most diverse plant communities on earth, and scientists have labored for decades to identify the ecological and evolutionary processes that created and maintain them. A key question is whether all tree species are equivalent in their use of resources - water, light and nutrients - or whether each species has its own niche.
A large-scale study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 1/12/2007 5:05:23 AM)
New Group Of Algae DiscoveredAn international group of scientists has succeeded in identifying a previously unknown group of algae. As currently published in the scientific journal Science, the newly discovered algae are found among the smallest members of photosynthetic plankton - the picoplankton ('Picobiliphytes: A marine picoplanktonic algal group with unknown affinities to other Eukaroytes" Science, Vol. 316'). On account of the minute size of the organisms (no more........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 1/11/2007 9:27:30 PM)
Age Is More Than A NumberFluctuations in weather and the environment affect survival and reproduction of animals. But are all individuals within a population equally susceptible? Theory on the evolution in age-structured populations suggests not - those life stages that are more important for overall fitness should be less susceptible to environmental variation than other life stages. Empirical support for this prediction is rare because detailed data need to be........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/10/2007 9:19:18 PM)
Beavers Helping FrogsThe humble beaver, besides claiming a spot of honour on the Canadian nickel, is also helping fellow species survive.
Though considered a pest because of the culvert-clogging dams it builds on streams, the beaver is an ally in conserving valuable wetland habitat for declining amphibian populations, a University of Alberta study shows.
The study, conducted in the boreal forests of west-central Alberta, showed that frog and toad choruses are........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 1/10/2007 8:20:12 PM)
Dark States In DNAChemists at Ohio State University have probed an unusual high-energy state produced in single nucleotides -- the building blocks of DNA and RNA -- when they absorb ultraviolet (UV) light.
This is the first time researchers have been able to probe the "dark" energy state -- so called because it cannot be detected by fluorescence techniques used to study other high-energy states created in DNA by UV light.
The study suggests that DNA........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 1/10/2007 4:46:47 AM)