Giant Insects Might ReignThe delicate lady bug in your garden could be frighteningly large if only there was a greater concentration of oxygen in the air, a new study concludes. The study adds support to the theory that some insects were much larger during the late Paleozoic period because they had a much richer oxygen supply, said the study's lead author Alexander Kaiser.
The study, "No giants today: tracheal oxygen supply to the legs limits beetle size,'' will be........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/11/2006 4:50:30 AM)
mammalian 'disorderly' proteinsInvestigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital turned up the heat on "disorderly" proteins and confirmed that most of these unruly molecules perform critical functions in the cell. The St. Jude team completed the first large-scale collection, investigation and classification of these so-called intrinsically unstructured proteins (IUPs), a large group of molecules that play vital roles in the daily activities of cells.
The new........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/9/2006 9:21:32 PM)
Whiskers Sense Three-dimensional WorldMany mammals use their whiskers to explore their environment and to construct a three-dimensional image of their world. Rodents, for example, use their whiskers to determine the size, shape and texture of objects, and seals use their whiskers to track the fluid wakes of their prey.
Two Northwestern University engineers have been studying the whisker system of rats to better understand how mechanical information from the whiskers gets........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/8/2006 6:36:42 PM)
Loss Of Trout Habitat In The Southern AppalachiansUSDA Forest Service (FS) research projects that between 53 and 97 percent of natural trout populations in the Southern Appalachians could disappear due to the warmer temperatures predicted under two different global climate circulation models. In an article published October 2 in the online version of the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, Patricia Flebbe, research biologist at the FS Southern Research Station unit in Blacksburg,........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/4/2006 10:19:33 PM)
Genome Info From "Plant Destroyers"An international team of researchers has published the first two genome sequences from a destructive group of plant pathogens called Phytophthora--a name that literally means "plant destroyer." The more than 80 species of fungus-like Phytophthora (pronounced "fy-TOFF-thor-uh") attack a broad range of plants and together cost the agriculture, forestry and nursery industries hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
Even though Phytophthora........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 10/4/2006 10:05:59 PM)
Morganella PyriformisMorganella pyriformis is a puffball. The mature fruiting body of the fungus bursts open and releases the spores, after some physical force has been applied. I've been known to help a few of these along.
Previous to 2003, this fungus was known as Lycoperdon pyriforme. It has since been moved out of the genus Lycoperdon based on molecular evidence and morphological difference to other members of the genus. No longer is the evocative common........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 10/4/2006 4:34:43 AM)
Uncoveing Roots Of DNA SecretsDNA's simple and elegant structure - the "twisted ladder," with sugar-phosphate chains making up the "rails" and oxygen- and nitrogen-containing chemical "rungs" tenuously uniting the two halves - seems to be the work of an accomplished sculptor.
Yet the graceful, sinuous profile of the DNA double helix is the result of random chemical reactions in a simmering, primordial stew.
Just how nature arrived at this molecule and its sister........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 10/3/2006 9:58:43 PM)
Fisheries Linked To Decline In Albatross PopulationFishermen caught and killed about 1 percent of the world's waved albatrosses in a year, as per a new study by Wake Forest University biologists.
"If that happens every year, that is not sustainable," said Jill Awkerman, a Wake Forest graduate student who is the lead author of the study published online Sept. 26 in the journal Biological Conservation. "In a matter of decades, you could be talking about extinction".
Awkerman's research........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/3/2006 9:33:36 PM)
Chilly Bugs At Bottom Of The WorldThe larvae of Antarctic midges never stop producing special proteins that minimize environmental stress, allowing them to withstand a range of intense environmental conditions in one of the world's harshest environments.
Researchers observed that adult midges (Belgica antarctica) lose their ability to continually express these protective heat-shock proteins. Instead, like most animals, adult midges produce these proteins only when they are........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/3/2006 5:16:52 AM)
Big Welcome For A Big CatA feline ambassador from Pakistan made his debut in the Himalayan Highlands of the Bronx Zoo on September 25, following an historic ceremony that united the Pakistani and U.S. governments. Endangered snow leopard cub Leo was transferred to the Bronx Zoo this past summer after he was discovered orphaned in the wild, unable to fend for himself.
Click here to read more about the expedition and diplomatic collaboration that led to Leo's........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/1/2006 8:56:45 PM)
Endangered Western Gray WhaleTen prominent international researchers will monitor the status of the critically endangered Western Gray Whale population in the Northwest Pacific and provide ongoing independent advice to a consortium of companies developing oil and gas reserves in the whale's summer feeding grounds, off Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East.
The new long-term Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel, convened by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) brings........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/1/2006 8:49:55 PM)
Hearts Or Tails? A new paper in the recent issue of G&D elucidates the genetics of heart formation in the sea squirt, and lends surprising new insight into the genetic changes that may have driven the evolution of the multi-chambered vertebrate heart.
Brad Davidson and his colleagues in Michael Levine's lab at UC Berkeley have discovered that the transcription factor Ets1/2, along with the signaling molecule FGF, controls early heart formation in the sea........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/1/2006 8:27:56 PM)
Live Oak Trees Struggle For SurvivalThe majestic live oak is losing its battle for survival to suburban sprawl and the encroachment of taller trees, a new University of Florida study finds.
An icon in American history and literature, broad-crowned live oaks thrive in open savannas but are dying off as they are crowded and overshadowed by the encroachment of taller trees, said Francis Putz, a UF botanist and the study's co-author.
It is an irony of nature that the successes........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 9/28/2006 9:30:06 PM)
Lachenalia MutabilisPretty as it is, this particular lachenalia has the potential to escape from cultivation and become weedy, as has occurred in Western Australia. The fact that it is common and widespread in its native Cape region of South Africa serves as a hint that it is adaptable, and thus likely to pose problems in non-native environments with conditions similar to the Cape.
The epithet "mutabilis" means "changeable", in this case referring to the........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 9/28/2006 4:56:05 AM)
Tarantulas Produce Silk From Their FeetNow you have a new source to make silk. The researcher form UCI are showing who is making silk.
These scientists have found for the first time that tarantulas can produce silk from their feet as well as their spinnerets, a discovery with profound implications for why spiders began to spin silk in the first place.
Adam Summers, a UC Irvine assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, was among the team of researchers who made........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/27/2006 8:49:50 PM)
Sewage Management Through MetagenomicsFew stop to consider the consequences of their daily ablutions, the washing of clothes, the watering of lawns, and the flush of a toilet. However, wastewater therapy--one of the cornerstones of modern civilization--is the largest microbially-mediated biotechnology process on the planet. When it works, it is a microbial symphony in tune with humanity. When it fails, the consequences can be dire. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 10:06:47 PM)
Groundbreaking Study By On LionsIn a groundbreaking study reported in the latest issue of the Journal of Zoology sheds light on several longstanding misconceptions regarding the controversial topic of mane variability among wild lions. This comprehensive scientific assessment of mane variation--including "manelessness"--is a first and took nearly seven years to complete.
As per the overall findings of the study, wild lions generally develop manes in accordance with local........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 9:16:02 PM)
The Spider Life CycleThe spider life cycle progresses through three stages: the embryonic, the larval, and the nympho-imaginal.
The time between when an egg is fertilized and when the spider begins to take the shape of an adult spider is referred to as the embryonic stage. As the spider enters the larval stage, it begins to look more and more like an adult spider. It enters the larval stage as a prelarva and, through subsequent moults, reaches its larval form, a........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 7:01:47 PM)
Wild Bees Better PollinatorsUp to a third of our food supply depends on pollination by domesticated honeybees, but the insects are up to five times more efficient when wild bees buzz the same fields, as per a research studypublished Aug. 28 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
"As honeybees become more scarce, it becomes more important to have better pollinators," said Sarah Greenleaf, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis and........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 6:19:43 PM)
Bugs In Fruits And VegetablesA new method for ridding harvested fruits and vegetables of insect pests and microorganisms, without the use of ozone-depleting chemicals such as methyl bromide, has been developed by scientists at UC Davis.
The technique, called metabolic stress disinfection and disinfestation, effectively suffocates insects found in harvested produce. Inside sealed chambers, alternating vacuum forces and pressurized carbon dioxide applications cause........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 6:07:41 PM)
Some Butterflies Travel Farther, Reproduce FasterScientists have uncovered physiological differences among female Glanville fritillary butterflies that allows some to move away from their birth place and establish new colonies. These venturesome butterflies are stronger fliers and reproduce more quickly in comparison to their less mobile female relatives.
The study is a window to how genetic differences influence behavior and how the environment influences genetic change by favoring........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/11/2006 4:57:36 AM)
Rearing An Army To Save WheatWith wheat stem sawfly natural enemies in demand, Montana State University entomologists are investigating ways of increasing their availability.
This fall, the entomologists are concluding a two-year study that involved mass-rearing parasitic wasps that attack wheat stem sawfly larvae that tunnel the interior of developing wheat plants. The team includes entomologists David Weaver, master's graduate Godshen Pallipparambil-Robert and........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/8/2006 6:48:45 PM)
Clinical Applications For New DESI TechnologyPurdue University scientists have created the first two-dimensional images of biological samples using a new mass spectrometry technique that furthers the technology's potential applications for the detection of diseases such as cancer.
The technology, desorption electrospray ionization, or DESI, measures characteristic chemical markers that distinguish diseased from non-diseased regions of tissue samples within a few seconds and has........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 10/5/2006 10:09:41 PM)
Tree Rings Provide A 200-year-old Hurricane RecordResearchers have shown that an age-old "database"--tree rings--contains surprisingly accurate information about hurricane activity that occurred hundreds of years ago. By measuring different chemical forms of oxygen present in the rings, scientists identified periods when hurricanes hit areas of the Southeast more than 100 years before modern records were kept.
The technique allows researchers to extend from decades to centuries the........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 10/4/2006 10:10:28 PM)
Earlier Crop Plantings Could Curb Future YieldsIn an ongoing bid to grow more corn, farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt are planting seeds much earlier today than they did 30 years ago, a new study has observed.
Poring over three decades of agricultural records, Christopher Kucharik, an associate scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discovered that farmers in 12 U.S. states now put corn in the ground around two weeks earlier than they did during the late 1970s. His findings are........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 10/4/2006 8:31:31 PM)
Light On Evolution Of Life CyclesIn the history of life on earth, one intriguing mystery is how plants made the transition from water to land and then went on to diversify into the array of vegetation we see today, from simple mosses and liverworts to towering redwoods.
A research team led by University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Yin-Long Qiu has new findings that help resolve long-debated questions about the origin and evolution of land plants. The work will be........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 10/4/2006 8:22:02 PM)
Myths about species abundanceA new report finds little empirical evidence to support a widely held ecological assumption that species are most abundant near the centers of their geographic ranges and decline in abundance near the ranges' edges.
"When we reviewed data from published studies that looked at species abundance at multiple sites across a range, we found almost no evidence that supported the so-called 'abundant-center hypothesis' and strong evidence that........Go to the Biology-blog (Added on 10/3/2006 9:49:18 PM)
Reintroducing Megafauna To North AmericaDozens of megafauna (large animals over 100 pounds) such as giant tortoises, horses, elephants, and cheetah went extinct in North America13,000 years ago during the end of the Pleistocene. As is the case today in Africa and Asia, these megafauna likely played keystone ecological roles via predation, herbivory, and other processes. What are the consequences of losing such important components of America's natural heritage?.
In the recent........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/3/2006 5:20:45 AM)
How did bilaterally symmetric flowers evolve?How did bilaterally symmetric flowers evolve from radially symmetric ones? To address this important question, geneticists Francisco Perfectti and Juan Pedro M. Camacho, and ecologist Jos M. Gmez (Universidad de Granada, Spain) explored how different flower shapes affected plant fitness in natural populations of Erysimum mediohispanicum, a Mediterranean herb. Their findings would be reported in the recent issue of The American Naturalist.
........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 10/2/2006 10:10:06 PM)
Opportunity For ConservationArctic Alaska contains one of the last great wildlife spectacles in North America. Breeding birds from all over the world-from every continent and every ocean-come here to rear their young in the highly productive summer on the tundra wetlands. In the entire circumpolar Arctic, the Teshekpuk region contains some of the most diverse, productive, and abundant populations of birds.
Birds are not the only fauna attracted to this Arctic haven.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/1/2006 8:53:33 PM)
Questions About Gmos And AllergiesThe potential of genetically engineered foods to cause allergic reactions in humans is a big reason for opposition to such crops. Eventhough protocols are in place to ask questions about the allergy-causing possibilities, there has been no test that offers definitive answers.
But all of that could change as a Michigan State University researcher has developed the first animal model to test whether genetically engineered foods could cause........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 10/1/2006 8:37:36 PM)
Cloned mice created from non-stem celDid you know that stem cells are not actually mandatory for cloning?
New research dismisses the notion that adult stem cells are necessary for successful animal cloning, proving instead that cells that have completely evolved to a specific type not only can be used for cloning purposes, but they may be a better and more efficient starting point. As proof, scientists report they created two mouse pups from a type of blood cell that itself is........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 10/1/2006 8:08:46 PM)
End To Destructive High Seas Bottom TrawlingThe United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will debate as of next week various proposals to protect the deep sea environment and prohibit bottom trawling in the high seas until effective conservation and management measures are in place. This ban has been supported by a number of organizations, including the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and several states for the last few years to halt the highly destructive exploitation of our oceans.
"A........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/28/2006 5:09:57 AM)
Two New Wildlife Parks In CongoNational Geographic reports about this great new idea to create two new wildlife parks in Congo.
The Republic of Congo will set aside up to 3,800 square miles (1 million hectares) of habitat teeming with elephants, chimpanzees, hippos, crocodiles, and some of the highest densities of gorillas on Earth for two new wildlife parks.
The new protected areas will encompass a mosaic of savannas covering ancient sand dunes, riverside forests, and........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/28/2006 5:04:29 AM)
More Efficiency In Harvest And HandlingKevin Shinners wants farmers to put less energy into harvesting and handling biofuel crops - less fuel, less time and less labor.
As a field machinery specialist, Shinners has worked to improve the efficiency of harvesting forage for animals. Harvesting biomass crops poses similar challenges, he says.
"The biggest problem is there are way too many operations in the field," says Shinners, a professor of biological systems engineering and........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 9/27/2006 8:44:26 PM)
Polar Bear Habitat PreferencesThe Wildlife Society´s 13th Annual Conference & Trade Show is being held September 23-27, 2006 in downtown Anchorage, Alaska at the William A. Egan Civic and Convention Center.
Polar bear habitat preferences and prey availability in a changing sea ice environment. In the Beaufort Sea, polar bears (Ursus maritimus), ringed seals (Phoca hispida), and bearded seals (Eriginathus barbatus), inhabit a seasonably dynamic environment that has........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 9:21:34 PM)
Birds of Prince Edward IslandAND SO BEGINS Your Guide to Familiar Birds of Prince Edward Island, a pocket-sized, colour guide to some of the most sought out birds in the province. The book was compiled and written by legendary Island naturalist, the late Geoff Hogan, and published in 1991 by Ragweed Press, 222 Grafton St., Charlottetown.
In this handy, take-along paperback, Mr. Hogan has included 90 colour photos of everything from Eastern Kingbirds to Greater........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 7:09:18 PM)
Galapagos WildlifeGalapagos Wildlife
There are 27 species of reptiles found on the Galapagos divided in five families as follows: snakes, geckos, Iguanas, lava lizards and, the giant tortoises.
Giant Tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus).
The Galapagos and the Seychelles are the sole islands housing giant tortoises while the Galapagos name originates from the Saddleback tortoise meaning galápago or saddle.
14........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 6:47:05 PM)
Nestled, SharplyThis bud or arm is growing about 16' above where the three previous plant structures (in the other photos) are growing.
I wonder if this is how a cactus "arm" grows. No doubt about it, the saguaro cactus is one amazing plant.........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 9/25/2006 6:30:18 PM)
Crickets on Hawaiian IslandIn only a few generations, the male cricket on Kauai, one of the Hawaiian Islands, underwent a mutation a sudden heritable change in its genetic material that rendered it incapable of using song, its sexual signal, to attract female crickets, as per a new study by UC Riverside evolutionary biologists.
In addition, the scientists observed that eventhough the new male crickets' wings lack the file and scraper apparatus mandatory for........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 9/24/2006 10:24:05 PM)