Biology

04/17/2014 - 18:04

A sea slug discards its penis after copulation, the fish, Phallostethus cuulong, has its penis sprouting from its head. However in some insects from Brazilian caves, females are equiped with the penis and vagina in the males,  according to a new study.

 

04/17/2014 - 10:16

Circadian behavioural responses to light input in fruit flies (Drosophila) depends on two groups of neurons, called the morning and evening oscillators ‘talking’ to each other. Previously it had been thought that these groups of neurons worked autonomously in scheduling peaks of activity at dawn and dusk, but a new study proves that they cooperate. The study published in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on April 17th comes from researchers in the University of Massachusetts.

 

04/15/2014 - 12:34

Biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in visualizing the movement within plants of a key hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. The achievement will allow researchers to conduct further studies to determine how the hormone helps plants respond to drought and other environmental stresses driven by the continuing increase in the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide, or CO2, concentration.

 

04/11/2014 - 08:59

While too much attention to images of actresses and models in the media may contribute to women developing poor body image, a recent study suggests that this may extend to women who spend a lot of time on Facebook making comparisons between themselves and their friends. The research is being carried out by Petya Eckler of the University of Strathclyde, Yusuf Kalyango Jr. of Ohio University and Ellen Paasch of the University of Iowa. The team will present their findings at the 64th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in Seattle, WA (22nd-26th May 2014).

 

04/10/2014 - 10:52

The H5N1 bird flu virus has infected and killed hundreds of people, despite the fact that, at the moment, the virus can't spread easily between people. The death toll could become much worse if the virus became airborne. A study published by Cell Press April 10th in the journal Cell has revealed a minimal set of mutations allowing H5N1 to be transmitted through the air from one ferret to another. The findings will be invaluable for future surveillance programs and may provide early warning signals of the emergence of potential pandemic strains.

 

04/10/2014 - 10:39

A new study shows that South American oilbird is the most genetically distinct bird and has not shared its genes with any other bird on the planet, in the last 80 million years. The cuckoo roller of Madagascar also remained evolutionarily distinct for a long time, more than 65 million years.