Biology News

Biology news and videos from research institutes around the world. Updated daily.
Biology News -- ScienceDaily
  1. Once thought to be extinct, lobe-finned coelacanths are enormous fish that live deep in the ocean. Now, researchers have evidence that, in addition to their impressive size, coelacanths also can live for an impressively long time -- perhaps nearly a century.
  2. Nitrogen from agriculture, vehicle emissions and industry is endangering butterflies in Switzerland. The element is deposited in the soil via the air and has an impact on vegetation -- to the detriment of the butterflies, as researchers have discovered.
  3. Researchers now have a better understanding of the mechanism underlying how certain bacteria can transfer genetic material across taxonomic kingdoms, including to fungi and protists. Their work could have applications in changing how bacteria perform certain functions or react to changes in their environment.
  4. Like the movie version of Spider-Man who shoots spider webs from holes in his wrists, a little alpine plant has been found to eject cobweb-like threads from tiny holes in specialized cells on its leaves. It's these tiny holes that have taken plant scientists by surprise because puncturing the surface of a plant cell would normally cause it to explode like a water balloon.
  5. Chemical additives used in plastic production have been found in herring gull eggs, new research shows.
  6. An analysis of 18 species of stationary and migratory bats living in Switzerland has discovered that they harbor viruses from 39 different viral families -- including some viruses with the potential risk of jumping to other animals, including humans, and causing disease.
  7. Researchers have discovered a surprising asymmetry in the mating behavior of unicellular yeast that emerges solely from molecular differences in pheromone signaling. Their results might shed new light on the evolutionary origins of sexual dimorphism in higher eukaryotes.
  8. Scientists have developed a computational technique that greatly increases the resolution of atomic force microscopy, a specialized type of microscope that 'feels' the atoms at a surface. The method reveals atomic-level details on proteins and other biological structures under normal physiological conditions, opening a new window on cell biology, virology and other microscopic processes.
  9. Researchers have found that plants balance growth and genome maintenance by organizing their responses to damage. Plants can't replace dead cells as animals do, and must deal with DNA damage without halting growth. Combined control of the plant hormones cytokinin and auxin allows plants to organize different DNA damage responses while minimizing cell death. This study will have broad applications to research on plants and other organisms.
  10. New findings show that the gut microbiome impacts stroke severity and functional impairment following stroke. The results lay the groundwork for potential new interventions to help treat or prevent stroke.