Tarantula's ubiquity traced back to the cretaceous

1 day 8 hours ago
Tarantulas are among the most notorious spiders, due in part to their size, vibrant colors and prevalence throughout the world. But one thing most people don't know is that tarantulas are homebodies. Females and their young rarely leave their burrows and only mature males will wander to seek out a mate. How then did such a sedentary spider come to inhabit six out of seven continents?

Simulations reveal how dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain binds to host, succumbs to antibodies

1 day 8 hours ago
Large-scale supercomputer simulations at the atomic level show that the dominant G form variant of the COVID-19-causing virus is more infectious partly because of its greater ability to readily bind to its target host receptor in the body, compared to other variants. These research results from a Los Alamos National Laboratory-led team illuminate the mechanism of both infection by the G form and antibody resistance against it, which could help in future vaccine development.

New analysis finds Spotted Owls harmed by post-fire logging, not fire

1 day 8 hours ago
Are forest fires a threat to the imperiled Spotted Owl? For years, different groups of scientists assumed so, but a new study turns this assumption on its head. Researchers from the John Muir Project, Pennsylvania State University, and Wild Nature Institute found that these previous studies consistently had a serious methodological flaw: they failed to take into account the impact of post-fire logging on Spotted Owls.

Fruit flies give researchers new insights into the 'highway of the nerve cells'

1 day 12 hours ago
The nervous system is the internet of the human body and can in the same way transfer signals over long distances very quickly. Some of the most important elements in this signaling are the axons. They are projections of the nerve cells which send signals to other nerve cells or muscles. For instance, axons that jut out from nerve cells in the spinal cord can be over one meter long.

Scientists call for climate projections as part of more robust biodiversity conservation

1 day 12 hours ago
Scientists have called for the use of climate projections in conservation planning, to ensure that areas most at risk from biodiversity loss and climate impacts are protected. Protected areas are often created in areas of low population density and remote locations, rather than because of their biodiversity conservation potential. Conservation planning in tropical forests especially tends to be less rigorous and climate rarely taken into account, they said.

Quality and quantity of enrichments influence well-being of aquaculture fishes

1 day 14 hours ago
Collaborative research of the University of Jyvaskyla and Natural Research Institute Finland presents new evidence of the effects of enriched rearing on well-being of aquaculture fishes. The research demonstrates that stone enrichments that have been previously conditioned in lake water significantly improve survival of fish compared to clean stones. Also a higher number of stones has a similar positive effect. The results have practical implications for prevention of aquaculture diseases. The study was published in Antibiotics in March 2021.

Alpine plants are losing their white 'protective coat'

1 day 14 hours ago
Snow cover in the Alps has been melting almost three days earlier per decade since the 1960s. This trend is temperature-related and cannot be compensated by heavier snowfall. By the end of the century, snow cover at 2,500 meters could disappear a month earlier than today, as simulations by environmental scientists at the University of Basel demonstrate.

A rich marine algal ecosystem existed 600 million years earlier than previously thought

1 day 14 hours ago
The first photosynthetic oxygen-producing organisms on Earth were cyanobacteria. Their evolution dramatically changed the Earth allowing oxygen to accumulate into the atmosphere for the first time and further allowing the evolution of oxygen-utilizing organisms including eukaryotes. Eukaryotes include animals, but also algae, a broad group of photosynthetic oxygen-producing organisms that now dominate photosynthesis in the modern oceans. When, however, did algae begin to occupy marine ecosystems and compete with cyanobacteria as important phototrophic organisms?

Travel reveals the mind: Investigating primate cousins in the wild via observations of their travel paths

1 day 16 hours ago
A large set of observations of the travel paths of wild primates provides new opportunities for in-depth insights in the evolution of the mental abilities that primates, including ourselves, use to know where and when to travel in the most efficient way. An international team of researchers lead by the University of Amsterdam has now published the results of this global survey in the scientific journal iScience.

Examining the impact of Earth's most devastating mass-extinction event on invertebrates

1 day 16 hours ago
Dr. Luis Buatois (Ph.D.), a faculty member in the Department of Geological Sciences in USask's College of Arts and Science, is the lead author on a new paper published in the journal Terra Nova. The article, titled "Impact of Permian mass extinctions on continental invertebrate infauna," was co-authored with five researchers from universities in Madrid and Salamanca, Spain.
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