Biology News

Biology news and videos from research institutes around the world. Updated daily.
Biology News -- ScienceDaily
  1. Scientists believe bats first transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to humans in December 2019, and while the virus has since evolved into several variants such as delta and omicron, a new study indicates the virus is still highly transmissible between mammals.
  2. Marking trees are important hotspots of communication for cheetahs: Here they exchange information with and about other cheetahs via scent marks, urine and scats. A team has now shown that several mammalian species on farmland in Namibia maintain a network for intra- and interspecific communication at cheetah trees. Black-backed jackals, African wildcats and warthogs visited and sniffed the cheetahs' 'places to be' more frequently than control trees, the team concluded from photos and videos recorded by wildlife camera traps. A common prey species of the cheetahs, however, avoided these hotspots.
  3. About 80% of people with cancer suffer from significant muscle wasting, or loss of muscle tissue, and 30% of these patients die from this condition. New research in mice finds that the severity of muscle wasting is related to the type, size and location of the tumor.
  4. Human-released greenhouse gasses are causing the world to warm, and with that warming comes increasing stress for many of the planet's plants and animals. That stress is so great that many scientists believe we are currently in the midst of the 'sixth extinction,' when entire species are disappearing up to 10,000 times faster than before the industrial era. However, scientists have been uncertain which ecosystems, and which species, are most at risk. New research shows that the focus on species-level risk obscures a wide variability in temperature tolerance, even within the same species, and that this variability is greater for marine species than terrestrial ones. The findings have immediate implications for management and conservation practices and offer a window of hope in the effort to adapt to a rapidly warming world.
  5. Early life experiences can impact the activity of our genes much later on and even affect longevity, finds a new study in fruit flies.
  6. Researchers are a step closer to identifying ways to support clinicians in predicting drug treatment outcomes for patients with visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil.
  7. Underwater cameras have revealed the impressive range of skills nurse sharks use when feeding.
  8. A new study shows how plants 'encode' specific chemistries of their lignin to grow tall and sustain climate changes: each plant cell uses different combinations of the enzymes LACCASEs to create specific lignin chemistries. These results can be used both in agriculture and in forestry for selecting plants with the best chemistry to resist climate challenges.
  9. A medication used to treat MS also has a beneficial effect on the composition of the intestinal flora, according to researchers. Conversely, the gut flora also plays a role in which side effects occur during treatment with the medication.
  10. A new analysis showed that early signs of liver damage from high-dose green tea extract were somewhat predicted by one variation in a genotype and strongly predicted by another variation.