Biology News

Mouse Brain Atlas Maps Neural Networks to Reveal How Brain Regions Interact Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 10:11

Different brain regions must communicate with each other to control complex thoughts and behaviors, but relatively little is known about how these areas organize into broad neuronal networks. In a study published by Cell Press February 27th in the journal Cell, researchers developed a mouse whole-brain atlas that reveals hundreds of neuronal pathways in a brain structure called the cerebral cortex. The online, open access, interactive image database, called the Mouse Connectome Project, provides an invaluable resource for researchers interested in studying the anatomy and function of cortical networks throughout the brain.


Supplement Added to a Standard Diet Improves Health and Prolongs Life in Mice Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 09:53

Activating a protein called sirtuin 1 extends lifespan, delays the onset of age-related metabolic diseases, and improves general health in mice. The findings, which appear online February 27 in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports, point to a potentially promising strategy for improving health and longevity.


Male Goat Essence Really Turns the Females On Monday, February 24, 2014 - 20:30

Anyone who has ever spent time around goats knows they have a certain smell. By carefully analyzing eau de male goat, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on February 27 have now identified a novel, citrus-scented ingredient that speaks directly to the females. It acts on female goats' brains to turn their reproductive systems on.


Researchers find that going with the flow makes bacteria stick Monday, February 24, 2014 - 14:55

In a surprising new finding, researchers have discovered that bacterial movement is impeded in flowing water, enhancing the likelihood that the microbes will attach to surfaces. The new work could have implications for the study of marine ecosystems, and for our understanding of how infections take hold in medical devices.


Dental calculus: a ‘microbial Pompeii’ for preservation of the human oral microbiome Monday, February 24, 2014 - 05:37

Dental calculus, more commonly known as dental plaque, acts as a ‘microbial Pompeii’, preserving microbes and particles of food over millennia. This is according to Professor Matthew Collins, of the University of York, a member of an international team of researchers who have published a Nature Genetics study on ancient oral microbiome ecology and function.

Scientists Uncover Drug Resistance Mechanism that Could Impact Development of Two Antibiotic Drug Candidates Friday, February 21, 2014 - 11:42

The use of antibiotics is often considered among the most important advances in the treatment of human disease. Unfortunately, though, bacteria are finding ways to make a comeback. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than two million people come down with antibiotic-resistant infections annually, and at least 23,000 die because their treatment can’t stop the infection. In addition, the pipeline for new antibiotics has grown dangerously thin.


Mauritius Kestrels Show Long-term Legacy of Man-made Habitat Change Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 12:00

The widespread loss of forest to sugarcane fields on the island of Mauritius has forced kestrels living there to survive by speeding up their life histories, according to a report published online on February 20 in the Cell Press journal Current Biology. By getting an earlier start, the birds are managing to have just as many offspring, even though they die sooner.


Researchers Regenerate Sound-sensing Cells in the Ears of Mice with Hearing Damage Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 11:00

One of the major causes of hearing loss in mammals is damage to the sound-sensing hair cells in the inner ear. For years, scientists have thought that these cells are not replaced once they're lost, but new research appearing online February 20 in the journal Stem Cell Reports reveals that supporting cells in the ear can turn into hair cells in newborn mice. If the findings can be applied to older animals, they may lead to ways to help stimulate cell replacement in adults and to the design of new treatment strategies for people suffering from deafness due to hair cell loss.