Biology News

Biology news and videos from research institutes around the world. Updated daily.
Biology News -- ScienceDaily
  1. Certain species of snake -- think pit vipers, boa constrictors and pythons, among others -- are able to find and capture prey with uncanny accuracy, even in total darkness. Now scientists have discovered how these creatures are able to convert the heat from organisms that are warmer than their ambient surroundings into electrical signals, allowing them to 'see' in the dark.
  2. A team of researchers has found that transcription factors have a tendency to bind strongly to 'mismatched' sections of DNA, i.e. sections of the genome that were not copied correctly. The strong binding of transcription factors to these mismatched sections of regulatory DNA might be a way in which random mutations become a problem that leads to disease, including cancer.
  3. When temperatures go below a critical limit, sleeping lizards lose their grip and fall out of trees. But when researchers collected the scaled survivors of a record cold snap, they discovered that a Miami lizard community responded in an unexpected way: all of them could now tolerate cold temperatures down to about 42 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of their species' previous ability to withstand cold.
  4. Artificial light abnormally increases mosquito biting behavior at night in a species that typically prefers to bite people during the day, according to new research.
  5. Researchers have elucidated how Rubisco activase works. As the name indicates, this enzyme is critical for repairing Rubisco once it has lost its activity.
  6. As the world grapples with COVID-19, the Ebola virus is again raging. Researchers are using supercomputers to simulate the inner workings of Ebola (as well as COVID-19), looking at how molecules move, atom by atom, to carry out their functions. Now, they have revealed structural features of the Ebola virus's protein shell to provide therapeutic targets to destabilize the virus and knock it out with an antiviral treatment.
  7. For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth's surface biomes.
  8. The discovery of the cause of a rare liver disease in babies led to uncovering a novel cellular mechanism for disposing of misfolded proteins that has implications for neurodegenerative conditions of older age.
  9. In birds and other species alike, pairs can face considerable difficulties with reproduction. Scientists have now shown in an extensive analysis of 23,000 zebra finch eggs that infertility is mainly due to males, while high embryo mortality is more a problem of the females. Inbreeding, age of the parents and conditions experienced when growing up had surprisingly little influence on reproductive failures.
  10. Gene editing for the development of new treatments, and for studying disease as well as normal function in humans and other organisms, may advance more quickly with a new tool for cutting larger pieces of DNA out of a cell's genome, according to a new study.