Biology News

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.

 

Human and Dog Brains Both Have Dedicated Voice Areas Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 11:00

The first study to compare brain function between humans and any nonprimate animal shows that dogs have dedicated voice areas in their brains, just as people do. Dog brains, like those of people, are also sensitive to acoustic cues of emotion, according to a study in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on February 20.

 

Learning to See Better in Life and Baseball Monday, February 17, 2014 - 11:00

With a little practice on a computer or iPad—25 minutes a day, 4 days a week, for 2 months—our brains can learn to see better, according to a study of University of California, Riverside baseball players reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on February 17. The new evidence also shows that a visual training program can sometimes make the difference between winning and losing.

 

Epigenetic regulation required to ensure correct number of chromosomes Monday, February 17, 2014 - 10:50

Abnormal number of chromosomes is often associated with cancer development. In a new study published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have shown that a subtle epigenetic change plays an important role in the correct segregation of chromosomes.

 

Scientists Find Protein that Helps Bacteria Misdirect Immune System Monday, February 10, 2014 - 13:39

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has discovered an unusual bacterial protein that attaches to virtually any antibody and prevents it from binding to its target. Protein M, as it is called, probably helps some bacteria evade the immune response and establish long-term infections.

 

How do polar bears stay warm? Research finds an answer in their genes Monday, February 10, 2014 - 13:04

In the winter, brown and black bears go into hibernation to conserve energy and keep warm. But things are different for their Arctic relative, the polar bear. Within this high-latitude species, only pregnant females den up for the colder months.

 

Personality Psychologist Unveils New Theory of Personal Intelligence Monday, February 10, 2014 - 12:56

John Mayer, the University of New Hampshire psychologist and internationally recognized researcher who co-developed the groundbreaking theory of emotional intelligence, now introduces another paradigm-shifting idea: in order to become our best selves, we use an even broader intelligence—personal intelligence—to understand our own personality and the personalities of the people around us.

 

Evolution provides transmembrane tunnels for proteins to pass through cell membranes Friday, February 7, 2014 - 10:46

The lipid-rich membranes of cells are largely impermeable to proteins, but evolution has provided a way through – in the form of transmembrane tunnels. A new study shows in unmatched detail what happens as proteins pass through such a pore.