Genome sequencing of antarctic fish reveals how they survive in extreme cold

A team of international researchers, based at esteemed institutions including the University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Oslo, as well as institutes in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States, has successfully sequenced the genomes of 24 Antarctic fish species. Their groundbreaking work, which has been published in the prestigious journal … Read more

Warmer temperatures produce more female turtles, with higher egg production

New research conducted at Duke University has uncovered an intriguing link between warmer temperatures, sex determination in turtles, and egg production. The study, published in the journal Current Biology on June 23, reveals that higher incubation temperatures not only result in more female hatchlings but also enhance their capacity for egg production even before their … Read more

Novel method for preparing cell-sized microgels

Scientists from Doshisha University in Japan have made a significant breakthrough in the field of cellular self-assembly. They have developed a simple and cost-effective one-step method for creating uniform gelatin-based microgels, which mimic living cells. The research team, led by Ms. Mayu Shono and Prof. Akihisa Shioi, published their findings in the journal Small on … Read more

Matte surfaces confer greater survival benefits in iridescent beetles

Scientists at the University of Bristol have discovered that a matte target surface appearance, when combined with iridescent coloration, provides greater survival benefits for beetles compared to a glossy surface. The study, published in Behavioral Ecology, suggests that the color and changeability of iridescent surfaces are the most crucial factors in enabling camouflage, rather than … Read more

New technology could speed up viral plaque detection by days

Humanity has faced the challenge of viral infections for centuries. Despite scientific advancements, the struggle against viruses persists, as evidenced by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Detecting and quantifying viruses is crucial for the development of vaccines and antiviral medications, and the viral plaque assay has emerged as the gold standard technique. However, traditional plaque assays … Read more

New species of early toothed whale sheds light on the origins of dolphins

Introducing Olympicetus thalassodon, a fascinating new species of early toothed whale that inhabited the North Pacific coastline approximately 28 million years ago. In a recent study published by paleontologist Jorge Velez-Juarbe from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, this species sheds light on the ancestral origins and evolutionary diversification of modern dolphins, porpoises, … Read more

Hummingbirds drink alcohol, but only in moderation

The presence of alcohol in hummingbird feeders and nectar-filled flowers creates a natural experiment in fermentation. Yeast and bacteria metabolize some of the sugar in these sources, converting it into alcohol. This raises intriguing questions for biologist Robert Dudley from the University of California, Berkeley. How much alcohol do hummingbirds consume in their daily foraging? … Read more

How plants avoid cracking up under stress

Researchers Dr. Robert Kelly-Bellow and Karen Lee, working under Professor Enrico Coen at the John Innes Centre, have made a fascinating discovery regarding the ability of plants to withstand the stresses of growth without cracking. Their study focused on a little-known aquatic plant called Utricularia gibba, which has hollow stems filled with air spaces. Unlike … Read more

New study shows MPAs can help sustain fisheries and improve well-being in coastal communities

Protecting the ocean and ensuring the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities can go hand in hand, according to a recent study led by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). The study highlights the potential benefits of marine protected areas (MPAs) in achieving multiple sustainable development goals worldwide. In December 2022, nearly 200 nations … Read more

Oldest dinosaur with air sacs discovered

Scientists have made an exciting discovery that bridges the gap between the earliest small dinosaurs and the gigantic creatures that captured our imagination. The missing link, known as Macrocollum itaquii, was found in Agudo, a town in Rio Grande do Sul state, South Brazil, and is the oldest dinosaur studied so far to possess air … Read more

Genetic differences between humans and chimps may explain our big brains

Approximately seven million years ago, humans diverged from our closest animal relatives, chimpanzees, establishing a distinct branch on the evolutionary tree. Over the relatively short timespan since then, our ancestors underwent significant evolutionary changes, acquiring the distinctive traits that define us as humans. Notably, these transformations encompassed the development of a considerably larger brain compared … Read more

Genetically engineered cephalopod offers new model for neurobiological research

Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have achieved a significant breakthrough by engineering an albino strain of the hummingbird bobtail squid, Euprymna berryi. This remarkable feat, published in Current Biology, has resulted in the creation of an almost transparent organism, providing researchers with unprecedented optical access to observe the nervous system of a living … Read more

Stem cell-grown pseudo-embryos offer new insights into embryogenesis

Researchers from EPFL and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have made significant strides in investigating the early-stage development of mouse embryos through a unique approach. Rather than relying on animal models, the team conducted their research using pseudo-embryos cultivated in the laboratory from stem cells. Similar to the way cold cases can be solved with … Read more

Gruesome fossil discovery reveals ancient marine reptiles fell prey to predators targeting their long necks

New research published in the journal Current Biology has provided graphic and conclusive evidence of predator-prey interactions in the fossil record dating back over 240 million years ago. The study focused on the unusual long necks of two Triassic species of Tanystropheus, a marine reptile distantly related to crocodiles, birds, and dinosaurs. These Tanystropheus species … Read more

Scientists sequence rusty patched bumble bee genome in effort to save endangered species

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) scientists have released a highly detailed map of the rusty patched bumble bee’s genome. This breakthrough is part of the Beenome 100 project, a unique initiative aimed at creating a comprehensive library of genome maps for 100 diverse … Read more

New species of sauropodomorph dinosaur discovered

In a groundbreaking discovery, a diminutive relative of titanosaurs has been unearthed in South Africa. This remarkable dinosaur, weighing a mere 75 kilograms, barely surpasses the average weight of a human. Initially, paleontologists believed that the fossil belonged to a juvenile Massospondylus due to its small size. However, fresh analysis has unveiled a startling revelation: … Read more

New fossil snail species found in Florida

Dr. Adrienne Jochum, a scientist from Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt and the Natural History Museum in Bern, along with researchers from the United States and Switzerland, have made an exciting discovery regarding the first fossil Carychium land snails found in Florida. The accidental unearthing of a rock layer containing these … Read more

407-million-year-old fossil reveals new insights about plant evolution

New research published in the journal Science has challenged long-held beliefs about the evolution of leaves and the presence of Fibonacci spirals in ancient plants. The study, led by Holly-Anne Turner, a Paleontology Ph.D. student at University College Cork (UCC), utilized a 3D model of a 407-million-year-old plant fossil to gain new insights into plant … Read more