Want to reduce cockroach sex? Block an enzyme

1 week ago
It's not the look in her compound eyes or the shape of her carapace that really attracts the male cockroach to his mate. Instead, it's all those 29-carbon hydrocarbons in her cuticle that drive him wild. How the female cockroach regulates production of these contact sex pheromones, and what happens when she produces too few, is the subject of a new study publishing on July 27th in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Tong-Xian Liu of Northwest A&F University in Yangling, China, and colleagues.

How cells remember inflammation

1 week ago
When a tissue experiences inflammation, its cells remember. Pinning proteins to its genetic material at the height of inflammation, the cells bookmark where they left off in their last tussle. Next exposure, inflammatory memory kicks in. The cells draw from prior experience to respond more efficiently, even to threats that they have not encountered before. Skin heals a wound faster if it was previously exposed to an irritant, such as a toxin or pathogen; immune cells can attack new viruses after a vaccine has taught them to recognize just one virus.

Dogs can tell when people are lying to them, study finds

1 week ago
A team of researchers at the University of Vienna has found that dogs can sometimes tell when people are lying to them. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes experiments they conducted with hundreds of dogs, and what was learned about their ability to detect deception in unknown people.

Ensuring sea turtles in rehab get a proper diet

1 week ago
Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) are opportunistic carnivores that primarily feed on invertebrates and fish. In the wild, they eat a variety of food items depending on their life stage and geographic location. For debilitated sea turtles in rehabilitation, part of the healing process is to provide a species-specific, balanced diet that provides nutrition similar to that of a wild diet to allow injured, ill, malnourished and incapacitated turtles to gain weight and improve body condition. However, developing the right nutritionally balanced formula is challenging.

Animals are better sprinters than humans

1 week ago
An interdisciplinary group of scientists from the universities of Cologne, Koblenz, Tübingen, and Stuttgart has studied the characteristics determining the maximum running speed in animals. The model they developed explains why humans cannot keep up with the fastest sprinters in the animal kingdom. Based on these calculations, the giant spider Shelob from "The Lord of the Rings" would have reached a maximum speed of 60 km/h.

Genomic secrets of gutless deep-sea tubeworm unlocked

1 week ago
Researchers from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) decoded for the first time the chromosomal-level genome of a deep-sea gutless tubeworm and how the worm's co-living bacterial partners manufacture organic nutrients for its host so it can survive the extreme habitat. The discovery lays foundation for potential applications such as biomaterial production and microbial growth control.

Reprogrammed whale neurons predict neurotoxicity of environmental pollutants

1 week ago
Whales accumulate large burdens of environmental pollutants that threaten their survival and health. Toxicological studies on cetacean species have been extremely challenging because invasive studies are restricted by legal and ethical considerations and sampling of wild cetaceans is highly opportunistic. Although model animal studies can provide data from practical experiments, extrapolating the toxicological effects to cetaceans is limited due to the large interspecies susceptibility to chemical exposure. The types of whale cells that can be cultured are limited, and cell-specific assays for whales have not been developed. A research team of the Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES) of Ehime University, Japan succeeded in direct reprogramming the fibroblasts of stranded melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra) to neurons, not through the induction of pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), but by using a cocktail of small compounds. Using whale induced neurons, they have investigated the neurotoxicity of an environmental pollutant on cetacean neurons for the first time. Their research was recently published in Environmental Science & Technology.
45 minutes 20 seconds ago
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