Mammal biodiversity shapes disease risk

1 day 12 hours ago
To predict the spillover of pathogens from wildlife to humans and limit future pandemics, it is important to understand where wildlife disease risk is highest. A team of researchers, led by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in The Netherlands, report that mammal biodiversity is an important mechanism driving wildlife disease risk. They identified hotspots of disease risk using the predicted distributions and abundances of more than 4,000 mammal species worldwide.

One insect species introduced decades ago to a small island had an effect on several insect populations

1 day 12 hours ago
Larvae of the Glanville fritillary butterfly, Melitaea cinxia, were introduced to the island of Sottunga in the Åland Islands, Finland, in 1991. The original research project for which this introduction was aimed failed. However, although the island was previously free of the butterfly, the relocated species persisted, offering the ground for investigating how an entire insect community could be affected by one introduction event.

Alternative to fishing – cell-based fish from the bioreactor

1 day 12 hours ago
Already about 90 percent of all fish stocks are considered maximally exploited or overfished, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. But as the world's population continues to grow, more and more people rely on fish as a source of protein. Bluu GmbH—a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Research and Development Center for Marine and Cellular Biotechnology EMB, which is an associated center of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Individualized and Cell-Based Medical Engineering IMTE—has a solution to the problem. The company specializes in the production of cell-based fish, which is made from real fish cells and grown in a bioreactor. Unlike wild-caught fish, this is not at the expense of animal welfare.

Bird and mammal diversity is declining with biological invasions

1 day 12 hours ago
The introduction of invasive species leads to a decline in certain native species. A team of researchers from the CNRS and the University of Paris-Saclay has managed to show that 11% of the global phylogenetic diversity of birds and mammals, in other words their accumulated evolutionary history, is threatened by biological invasions. Their ability to adapt to environmental changes could thus be largely lost due to biological invasions. This work, published in Global Change Biology on August 2, 2021, provides better insight into the future of ecosystems and the loss of certain species.

Black and white anglerfish hybridise producing viable descendants

1 day 12 hours ago
Black and white anglerfish have always been considered to be two separate species. Morphologically, they are mainly distinguished on the basis of the color of the peritoneum, the epithelium lining the intestinal cavity (black for black anglerfish and white for white anglerfish). However, a new analysis led by the AZTI technology center, member of the BRTA, questions the effectiveness of this identification method and has also discovered the existence of thus far unknown hybrids, resulting from the mating between white and black anglerfish.

In the absence of genetic variation, asexual invasive species find new methods of adapting to their environment

4 days 3 hours ago
Without the benefits of evolutionary genetic variation that accompany meiotic reproduction, how does an asexual invasive species adapt over time to a new environment to survive? In all-female weevil species that produce only female offspring from unfertilized eggs, the insects' survival techniques have led to the surprising discovery that these creatures can pass down gene regulation changes to future generations.

Bird brains left other dinosaurs behind

4 days 3 hours ago
Today, being "birdbrained" means forgetting where you left your keys or wallet. But 66 million years ago, it may have meant the difference between life and death—and may help explain why birds are the only dinosaurs left on Earth.

Blood-sucking flies may be following chemicals produced by skin bacteria to locate bats to feed on

4 days 4 hours ago
We humans aren't the only animals that have to worry about bug bites. There are thousands of insect species that have evolved to specialize in feeding on different mammals and birds, but scientists are still learning how these bugs differentiate between species to track down their preferred prey. It turns out, the attraction might not even be skin-deep: a new study in Molecular Ecology found evidence that blood-sucking flies that specialize on bats may be locating their preferred hosts by following the scent of chemicals produced by bacteria on the bats' skin.

A single cell type map of human tissues

4 days 8 hours ago
In a study published in the US journal Science Advances, a single cell type map of human tissues is presented. An open access atlas has been launched with more than 250,000 interactive plots to allow researchers to explore the expression in individual single cell types for all protein-coding genes in these tissues.

The spatial relationship between damaged understory and felled trees in a shelterwood forest

4 days 8 hours ago
The shelterwood forest system is a natural regeneration method of forest management that supplies the next generation of trees from overstory tree seeds without planting. This method lowers the cost of forest management by reducing the need for artificial reforestation through planting. This means that the understory trees must be preserved from felled trees during harvest.

Chromosome positioning during sperm differentiation described

4 days 10 hours ago
Chromosomes occupy specific regions of the cell nucleus called chromosome territories. In somatic cells, scientists have observed that there is a correlation between this positioning and genome regulation. In fact, alterations in chromosome distribution have been related to certain diseases. Nevertheless, there are very few studies on chromosome territoriality in the cells that originate oocytes and spermatozoa (germ cells); cells that are subjected to a specific cell division process called meiosis.

Adapting roots to a hotter planet could ease pressure on food supply

4 days 10 hours ago
The shoots of plants get all of the glory, with their fruit and flowers and visible structure. But it's the portion that lies below the soil—the branching, reaching arms of roots and hairs pulling up water and nutrients—that interests plant physiologist and computer scientist, Alexander Bucksch, associate professor of Plant Biology at the University of Georgia.
26 minutes 35 seconds ago
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