Biology

04/23/2014 - 10:50

Use of ‘citizen scientists’ in monitoring populations of marine wildlife is an approach that often meets with scepticism in the scientific community. However, a new study published in the journal PLoS One shows that such citizen scientists, in this case experienced dive guides, can match an automated tracking tool in monitoring numbers of shark species. The study was carried out by researchers in the University of Western Australia, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Micronesian Shark Foundation.

 

04/23/2014 - 10:42

A new study from a large multi-national group of scientists suggests that absolute brain size is key in evolution of cognition and self-control. The study, published in early edition in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined 36 animal species in two problem-solving tasks measuring self-control. It found that absolute (not body size- relative) brain size and dietary breadth were the major predictors of species differences in self-control.

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).