Biology News

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.

 

Discovery opens up new areas of microbiology, evolutionary biology Friday, February 7, 2014 - 10:30

A team of researchers led by Virginia Tech and University of California, Berkeley, scientists has discovered that a regulatory process that turns on photosynthesis in plants at daybreak likely developed on Earth in ancient microbes 2.5 billion years ago, long before oxygen became available.