Study revises the development, evolutionary origin of the vertebrate brain

Researchers have made the first detailed map of the regions into which the brain of one of the most closely-related organisms to the vertebrates is divided and which could give us an idea of what our ancestor was like.

Read More...

Comments Off on Study revises the development, evolutionary origin of the vertebrate brain

Symbiotic bacteria: From hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard

Bacterial symbionts transition between plant pathogenicity and insect defensive mutualism, a new report demonstrates. The bacterium Burkholderia gladioli lives in specific organs of a plant-feeding beetle and defends the insect’s eggs from detrimental fungi by producing antibiotics. However, when transferred to a plant, the bacterium can spread throughout the tissues and negatively affect the plant.

Read More...

Comments Off on Symbiotic bacteria: From hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard

Protein ‘spy’ gains new abilities

A method to rapidly trigger the universal tagging of proteins being produced by a cell has now been discovered by researchers. The tagging can be turned on like a switch, which enables researchers to acquire a snapshot of proteins being produced by a cell at a given time. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Protein ‘spy’ gains new abilities

Resource availability drives person-to-person variations in microbes living in the body

The collection of microbial species found in the human body varies from person to person, and new research suggests that a significant part of this variation can be explained by variability in shared resources available to the microbes.

Read More...

Comments Off on Resource availability drives person-to-person variations in microbes living in the body

Wasps and wine: Paper wasps contribute to sour rot disease, a scourge of wine industry

New research shows that the invasive European paper wasp, Polistes dominulus, plays a role in facilitating sour rot disease in the absence of other insects.

Read More...

Comments Off on Wasps and wine: Paper wasps contribute to sour rot disease, a scourge of wine industry

Barley genome sequenced

Looking for a better beer or single malt Scotch whiskey? A team of researchers may have you covered. They are among a group of 77 scientists worldwide who have sequenced the complete genome of barley, a key ingredient in beer and single malt Scotch.

Read More...

Comments Off on Barley genome sequenced

Limited gene flow between two Bengal tiger populations in the western Himalayan foothills

The flow of genes between Bengal tigers in two reserves of the Terai Arc Landscape in western Himalayan foothills is too low, according to a study.

Read More...

Comments Off on Limited gene flow between two Bengal tiger populations in the western Himalayan foothills

‘First arrival’ hypothesis in Darwin’s finches gets some caveats

Being first in a new ecosystem provides major advantages for pioneering species, but the benefits may depend on just how competitive later-arriving species are. That is among the conclusions in a new study testing the importance of ‘first arrival’ in controlling adaptive radiation of species, a hypothesis famously proposed for ‘Darwin’s Finches,’ birds from the Galapagos Islands that were first brought to scientific attention by Darwin.

Read More...

Comments Off on ‘First arrival’ hypothesis in Darwin’s finches gets some caveats

‘Unicorn’ shipworm could reveal clues about human medicine, bacterial infections

A dark slithering creature four feet long that dwells in the foul mud of a remote lagoon in the Philippines has been discovered by researchers. They say studying the animal, a giant shipworm with pinkish siphons at one end and an eyeless head at the other, could add to our understanding of how bacteria cause infections and, in turn, how we might adapt to tolerate–and even benefit from–them.

Read More...

Comments Off on ‘Unicorn’ shipworm could reveal clues about human medicine, bacterial infections

Lyme disease researchers seek consensus as number of cases grows

Scientists have built a large body of knowledge about Lyme disease over the past 40 years, yet controversies remain and the number of cases continues to rise. In the United States, reported cases of Lyme disease, which is transmitted from wild animals to humans by tick bites, have tripled in the past 20 years. A multitude of interacting factors are driving the increase in Lyme disease cases, but their relative importance remains unclear.

Read More...

Comments Off on Lyme disease researchers seek consensus as number of cases grows

Patients with drug-resistant malaria cured by plant therapy

When the standard malaria medications failed to help 18 critically ill patients, the attending physician in a Congo clinic acted under the ‘compassionate use’ doctrine and prescribed a not-yet-approved malaria therapy made only from the dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant. In just five days, all 18 people fully recovered. This is a small but stunningly successful trial.

Read More...

Comments Off on Patients with drug-resistant malaria cured by plant therapy

Photosynthesis in the dark? Unraveling the mystery of algae evolution

Researchers compared the photosynthetic regulation in glaucophytes with that in cyanobacteria, to elucidate the changes caused by symbiosis in the interaction between photosynthetic electron transfer and other metabolic pathways. Their findings suggest that cyanelles of the glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa retain many of the characteristics observed in their ancestral bacteria, and that C. paradoxa is the primary symbiotic algae most similar to cyanobacteria than other lineages of photosynthetic organisms in terms of metabolic interactions.

Read More...

Comments Off on Photosynthesis in the dark? Unraveling the mystery of algae evolution