Biology News

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.

 

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.