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.
Madagascar is renowned for its unique and varied biodiversity, which spans dry grasslands, wet rain forests, mangroves and deserts. This variety, combined with the island's isolation and size, has fostered distinctive assemblages of plants and animals, including the country's famous lemurs and baobab trees.
From art to religion to land use, much of what is deemed valuable in the United States was shaped centuries ago by the white male perspective. Fish, it turns out, are no exception.
A toddler who was found dead in Oregon 58 years ago has finally been identified, thanks to a concerted effort involving local, state and national law enforcement, genetic genealogists and a University of Oregon scientist.
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.
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.
Backyard trapping of rats and other pests is by far more popular as a conservation activity in urban areas than monitoring pests or native wildlife, according to Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington research just published in the journal People and Nature.
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.
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.
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.
An international study led by The University of Western Australia has found that temperate marine ecosystems dominated by marine forests are collapsing into flattened seascapes of short turf algae across the globe.
Sunflowers have many uses. They are used for floral arrangements, animal feed, biofuels, and even food for us.
Research led by a University of Wyoming graduate student involving about 50 scientists from across the globe has provided new insights into the behavior of ungulates (hoofed animals) as it relates to forage conditions and water availability.
Perfect hexagonal structures inspired by honeycombs in bee nests are widely used to build everything from airplane wings, boats, and cars, to skis, snowboards, packaging and acoustic dampening materials.
Research Assistant Professor Seth Taylor and Professor David Miller, both in Vanderbilt University's Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, have established a gene expression atlas for the nervous system of the nematode C. elegans, along with biologists from Colombia University and Yale University.
Active management of forests, including timber harvesting to meet silvicultural objectives, can influence the transmission dynamics of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme, anaplasmosis and babesiosis, according to a new study by a team of University of Maine researchers.
For some giant viruses, a DNA-packing trick may be essential for infectivity.
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.
Unlike bones and shells, which can endure for millions of years, soft tissues are rarely preserved as fossils.
Each year, thousands of hobbyists and educators across North America collect monarch eggs or caterpillars from the wild to raise indoors and patiently wait for butterflies to emerge. Raising monarch butterflies indoors has become an increasingly popular activity that can have numerous benefits.
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