04/22/2014 - 09:13

When humans are suffering from an infection, it is common to become fatigued and to want to sleep more than usual. Two studies on fruit flies published online ahead of print in the journal Sleep suggest that this instinct should be followed. The studies from researchers in the University of Pennsylvania show that sleep is important in increasing resistance to infection and promoting survival.


09/19/2013 - 10:25

Earthworms are a welcomed sight in many gardens and yards since they can improve soil structure and mixing. But they are hard to find in the drier soils of eastern Colorado where water and organic matter is limited. Adding earthworms to fields where they are not currently found could help enhance the health and productivity of the soil. In areas where droughts are common, though, can earthworms survive? A new study suggests that they can.


06/17/2013 - 08:30

When it comes to honey bees, more mates is better. A new study from North Carolina State University, the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that genetic diversity is key to survival in honey bee colonies – a colony is less likely to survive if its queen has had a limited number of mates.


04/19/2013 - 10:38

When the woods get crowded, female squirrels improve their offspring’s odds of survival by ramping up how fast their offspring grow.


03/12/2013 - 09:22

Scientists have delved deeper into the evolutionary history of the fruit fly than ever before to reveal the genetic activity that led to the development of wings – a key to the insect’s ability to survive. The wings themselves are common research models for this and other species’ appendages. But until now, scientists did not know how the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, first sprouted tiny buds that became flat wings.


09/21/2012 - 09:15

It may soon be easier to combat locust plagues. An international research team including members from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems clarified further details of how these insects, which are actually solitary creatures, form swarms. Especially in Africa, the masses of locusts repeatedly destroy large portions of harvests. As the working group discovered in a computer simulation, cannibalism, which is common among locusts, causes the insects to move across the land in swarms once a certain population density is reached.