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Cutting-edge tool helps predict impact of invasive species
Cutting-edge tool helps predict impact of invasive species
a lone tree stands in the middle of a barren field with rocks and grass on either side
World's Oldest Living Tree -- 9550 years old -- Discovered In Sweden
World's Oldest Living Tree -- 9550 years old -- Discovered In Sweden
an image of the inside of a human head with different colors and shapes on it
Most comprehensive wiring diagram of the mammalian brain to date
Researchers have published the first comprehensive, large-scale data set on how the brain of a mammal is wired, providing a groundbreaking data resource and fresh insights into how the nervous system processes information. Their landmark paper describes the publicly available Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas and demonstrates the exciting knowledge that can be gleaned from this valuable resource.
a map of the united states with high and low heat zones in yellow, brown and white
Deforestation of sandy soils a greater climate threat
A new study finds that tree removal has far greater consequences for climate change in some soils than in others, a finding that could provide key insights into which ecosystems should be managed with extra care. In a comprehensive analysis of soil collected from 11 distinct U.S. regions, from Hawaii to northern Alaska, researchers found that the extent to which deforestation disturbs underground microbial communities that regulate the loss of carbon into the atmosphere depends almost ...
two zebras are standing in the tall grass near some trees and bushes, one is looking at the camera
Scientists solve the riddle of zebras' stripes: Those pesky bugs
Why zebras have black and white stripes is a question that has intrigued scientists and spectators for centuries. Scientists now examined this riddle systematically.
The latest results from a 25-year study of diet and aging in monkeys shows a significant reduction in mortality and in age-associated diseases among those with calorie-restricted diets. The study, begun in 1989, is one of two ongoing, long-term U.S. efforts to examine the effects of a reduced-calorie diet on nonhuman primates. Lean Diet, Calorie Restriction Diet, Calorie Restriction, Nutrition Course, Juice Fast, Fasting Diet, Low Calorie Diet, Healthy Beauty, Nutrition Program
Monkey caloric restriction study shows big benefit; contradicts earlier study
The latest results from a 25-year study of diet and aging in monkeys shows a significant reduction in mortality and in age-associated diseases among those with calorie-restricted diets. The study, begun in 1989, is one of two ongoing, long-term U.S. efforts to examine the effects of a reduced-calorie diet on nonhuman primates.
a pen sitting on top of a map with a cork in it's middle
Ancient African cattle first domesticated in Middle East, study reveals
The genetic history of 134 cattle breeds from around the world has been completed by a group of researchers. In the process of completing this history, they found that ancient domesticated African cattle originated in the 'Fertile Crescent,' a region that covered modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Israel.
a bat flying in the dark with its wings spread
Foraging bats can warn each other away from their dinners
A new call that some bats use to tell other foraging bats to 'back off' from bugs they've claimed for themselves has been identified by scientists. This sound, called a 'frequency-modulated bout,' warns other bats away from prey. The researchers are first to report this ultrasonic social call produced exclusively by flying, foraging male big brown bats, in a new article.
two men and a woman looking at a spider on a leaf in front of them
Students on field course bag new spider species
As a spin-off of their Tropical Biodiversity course in Malaysian Borneo, a team of biology students discover a new spider species, build a makeshift taxonomy lab, write a joint publication and send it off to a major taxonomic journal. The new species Crassignatha danaugirangensis was named after the field center's idyllic setting at the Danau Girang oxbow lake.
three soldiers are walking in the woods
Targeting enforcement where needed most in Africa's heart of biodiversity
Scientists seeking a more efficient way of protecting the heart of Africa's wildlife -- the Greater Virunga Landscape -- have developed a method to make the most of limited enforcement resources, according to a new study.
there is a small pond in the middle of this field with water lilies growing on it
Invasive species in waterways on rise due to climate change
One of the most serious threats to global biodiversity and the leisure and tourism industries is set to increase with climate change according to new research. Researchers have found that certain invasive weeds, which have previously been killed off by low winter temperatures, are set to thrive as global temperatures increase.
a black dog standing on top of a wooden platform next to a glass tube filled with liquid
Crows understand water displacement at the level of a small child: Show causal understanding of a 5- to 7-year-old child
New Caledonian crows may understand how to displace water to receive a reward, with the causal understanding level of a 5- to 7-year-old child. Understanding causal relationships between actions is a key feature of human cognition. However, the extent to which non-human animals are capable of understanding causal relationships is not well understood. Scientists used the Aesop's fable riddle -- in which subjects drop stones into water to raise the water level and obtain an out-of reach-reward ...
two people crouching on rocks and looking at something in the water with their hands
Natural history must reclaim its place, experts say
Scientists argue that the study of natural history has waned in recent decades in developed countries. Declining course requirements and support for herbaria are among the documented evidence. Yet costly mistakes in policy relating to natural resources, agriculture, and health might have been avoided by paying attention to organisms' natural history, and future policies will be improved if natural history knowledge is used and expanded. New technologies offer ways to increase natural history ...
a whale is jumping out of the water
Biologists use sound to identify breeding grounds of endangered whales
Biologists have confirmed what many conservationists fear -- that Roseway Basin, a heavily traveled shipping lane, off the coast of Nova Scotia, is a vital habitat area for the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
a blue and brown bird sitting on top of a tree branch in front of a blurry background
Male Eurasian jays know that their female partners’ desires can differ from their own
Knowing what another person wants is not a trivial issue, particularly when the other's desires are different from our own. The ability to disengage from our own desire to cater to someone else's wishes is thought to be a unique feature of human cognition. New research challenges this assumption. Despite wanting something different to eat, male Eurasian jays can disengage from their own current desire in order to feed the female what she wants even when her desires are different to his.
a brown and black snake sitting on top of a green leaf covered tree branch in the dark
Salamanders shrinking as their mountain havens heat up
Salamanders in some of North America's best habitat are shrinking fast as their surroundings get warmer and drier, forcing them to burn more energy. A new article examines specimens caught in the Appalachian Mountains from 1957 to 2007 and wild salamanders caught at the same sites in 2011-2012. Animals measured after 1980 averaged 8 percent smaller -- one of the fastest rates of changing body size ever recorded.
an image of a corn field with blue sky in the background
Understanding plant-soil interaction could lead to new ways to combat weeds
Using high-powered DNA-based tools, a recent study identified soil microbes that negatively affect ragweed and provided a new understanding of the complex relationships going on beneath the soil surface between plants and microorganisms. The study allowed researchers to observe how three generations of ragweed and sunflower interacted with the microbial community in the soil. The plants interact with each other indirectly due to the differing effects they each have on the microbes in the ...
a large industrial facility with stainless steel tanks and equipment on the floor in front of them
Sugar, not oil: New possibilities for isobutene from wood sugar
No more oil – renewable raw materials are the future. This motto not only applies to biodiesel, but also to isobutene, a basic product used in the chemical industry. In a pilot plant researchers now want to obtain isobutene from sugar instead of oil for the first time. And in order not to threaten food supplies, in the long term the sugar should come from wood or straw and not from sugar beet.
two white birds sitting on top of a piece of wood
Biased sex ratios predict more promiscuity, polygamy and 'divorce' in birds
More birds break pair bonds or 'divorce' in populations where there are more females, according to new research. Researchers also found that short-term infidelity increases in male-dominated environments. The research has some striking parallels in human societies.
a mallard flying in the air with its wings spread out and it's head turned to the side
Missing hormone in birds: Leptin found in mallard duck, peregrine falcon and zebra finch
How does the Arctic tern (a sea bird) fly more than 80,000 miles in its roundtrip North Pole-to-South Pole migration? How does the Emperor penguin incubate eggs for months during the Antarctic winter without eating? These physiological gymnastics would usually be influenced by leptin, the hormone that regulates body fat storage, metabolism and appetite. However, leptin has gone missing in birds -- until now.
a small bird sitting on top of a persons hand
Climate change will improve survival rates of British bird -- the long-tailed tit
Climate change may be bad news for billions, but scientists have discovered one unlikely winner -- a tiny British bird, the long-tailed tit. Like other small animals that live for only two or three years, these birds had until now been thought to die in large numbers during cold winters. But new research suggests that warm weather during spring instead holds the key to their survival.
three different shades of brown, white and black with the same pattern in each color
Mother-of-pearl inspires super-strong material
Whether traditional or derived from high technology, ceramics all have the same flaw: they are fragile. Yet this characteristic may soon be a thing of the past: a team of researchers has recently presented a new ceramic material inspired by mother-of-pearl from the small single-shelled marine mollusk abalone.
wildflowers and other flowers in the foreground with mountains in the backgroud
Rocky mountain wildflower season lengthens by more than a month
A 39-year study of wildflower blooms in a Rocky Mountain meadow shows more than two-thirds of alpine flowers changed their blooming pattern in response to climate change. Half are beginning to bloom weeks earlier, more than a third are reaching peak bloom earlier, and others' last blooms are later. Records of more than two million blooms show flowering plants' response to climate change is more complex than previously believed. Species that depend on wildflowers are likely to be affected.
a close up of a bird in a field of grass with tall grasses behind it
Project hoping to end alarming decline of bobwhite quail
The bobwhite quail, a favorite among hunters and wildlife enthusiasts alike throughout the United States, has literally flown the coop -- its numbers have been decreasing alarmingly for decades, but a groundbreaking project could prove to be a big move toward understanding bobwhite population trends.
two white mice sitting on top of each other in front of a glass window and looking at the camera
An end to animal testing for drug discovery?
As some countries and companies roll out new rules to limit animal testing in pharmaceutical products designed for people, scientists are stepping in with a new way to test therapeutic drug candidates and determine drug safety and drug interactions -- without using animals. The development of "chemosynthetic livers" could dramatically alter how drugs are made.
the world map is shown with different colors and numbers on it's sides,
Global problem of fisheries bycatch needs global solutions
Whenever fishing vessels harvest fish, other animals can be accidentally caught or entangled in fishing gear as bycatch. Numerous strategies exist to prevent bycatch, but data have been lacking on the global scale of this issue. A new in-depth analysis of global bycatch data provides fisheries and the conservation community with the best information yet to help mitigate the ecological damage of bycatch and helps identify where mitigation measures are most needed.
a vase with some flowers in it sitting on a stove top burner, next to a lit candle
Bionic plants: Nanotechnology could turn shrubbery into supercharged energy producers
Plants have many valuable functions: They provide food and fuel, release the oxygen that we breathe, and add beauty to our surroundings. Now, researchers wants to make plants even more useful by augmenting them with nanomaterials that could enhance their energy production and give them completely new functions, such as monitoring environmental pollutants.
two people standing on top of a lush green field next to icebergs and water
Back to life after 1,500 years: Moss brought back to life after 1,500 years frozen in ice
Researchers have demonstrated that, after over 1,500 years frozen in Antarctic ice, moss can come back to life and continue to grow. For the first time, this vital part of the ecosystem in both polar regions has been shown to have the ability to survive century to millennial scale ice ages. This provides exciting new insight into the survival of life on Earth.
an aerial map shows the location of several different trees
Forest corridors help plants disperse their seeds, study shows
A forest, a supercomputer and some glow-in-the-dark yarn have helped a team of field ecologists conclude that woodland corridors connecting patches of endangered plants not only increase seed dispersal from one patch to another, but also create wind conditions that can spread the seeds for much longer distances. An environmental engineer leveraged Ohio Supercomputer Center systems to simulate a forest and the winds that flow through it.
a man in white lab coat and blue gloves standing next to a large sheet of paper
New biotechnology product to make waterproof paper using natural enzymes
A new aqueous compound to functionalize or modify the properties of paper and any other cellulosic material has been patented. The compound uses natural enzymes instead of the traditional chemical reagents, is biodegradable, and involves no environmental impact. Most important, it is easily applicable in the production process and requires no additional investment.
a bee that is sitting on some yellow flowers
Bees capable of learning feats with tasty prize in sight
Bumblebees are capable of some remarkable learning feats, especially when they might get a tasty reward, according to two studies. In the first study, the researchers found bees capable of learning to solve increasingly complex problems, an example of scaffold learning. In a second study, the researchers found bees learned by watching and communicating with other bees, a process called social learning.
some white flowers are growing in the grass
Reintroduction experiments give new hope for plant on brink of extinction
A critically endangered plant known as marsh sandwort is inching back from the brink of extinction thanks to the efforts of a plant ecologist. Although it used to occur all along the west coast, from San Diego to Washington state, this wetland plant with delicate white flowers had dwindled to one population in a boggy wetland in San Luis Obispo County.
a goat grazing in the grass on a sunny day
In grasslands remade by humans, animals may protect biodiversity: Grazers let in the light, rescue imperiled plants
A study of grasslands on six continents suggests a way to counteract the human-made overdose of fertilizer that threatens the biodiversity of the world's prairies. The solution originates in nature: let grazing animals crop fast growing grasses, which have a competitive advantage in an over-fertilized world. The grasses block sunlight from ground level, but herbivores make light available to other plants.
a blue glass globe sitting on top of papers
Important and complex systems, from the global financial market to groups of friends, may be highly controllable
Scientists have discovered that all complex systems, whether they are found in the body, in international finance, or in social situations, actually fall into just three basic categories, in terms of how they can be controlled.
an image of the earth from space with clouds and water on it's surface
Dust in the wind drove iron fertilization during ice age
A longstanding hypothesis that wind-borne dust carried iron to the region of the globe north of Antarctica, driving plankton growth and eventually leading to the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has been confirmed by researchers. Plankton remove the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere during growth and transfer it to the deep ocean when their remains sink to the bottom.
an animal's tail is shown in the sky with no other animals around it
First evidence of plants evolving weaponry to compete in the struggle for selection
Rutting stags and clawing bears are but two examples of male animals fighting over a mate, but new research has uncovered the first evidence of similar male struggles leading to the evolution of weaponry in plants.
the mountains are covered in green grass and trees
Ants plant tomorrow's rainforest
Tropical montane rain forests are highly threatened and their remnants are often surrounded by deforested landscapes. For the regeneration of these degraded areas, seed dispersal of forest trees plays a crucial role but is still poorly understood. Most tree species are dispersed by birds and mammals, but also by ants. This new research demonstrates the importance of this hitherto neglected ecosystem function for the restoration of montane rain forests. Ants promote the regeneration of these ...
a close up of a pink flower with a bee on it's back end
Diversity in UK gardens aiding fight to save threatened bumblebees, study suggests
The global diversity of plants being cultivated by Britain's gardeners is playing a key role in the fight to save the nation's threatened bumblebees, new research has revealed. "Urban gardens are increasingly recognized for their potential to maintain or even enhance biodiversity," Dr Hanley said. "In particular, the presence of large densities and varieties of flowering plants supports a number of pollinating insects whose range and abundance has declined as a consequence of agricultural ...
a small monkey sitting on top of a tree branch next to some branches and logs
Owl monkeys don't cheat: Intensive fathering plays a role
A new study shows that Azara's owl monkeys (Aotus azarae) are unusually faithful. The investigation of 35 offspring born to 17 owl monkey pairs turned up no evidence of cheating; the male and female monkeys that cared for the young were the infants' true biological parents.
The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery -- until now. Researchers reported that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart. Snacks, Youtube, Health, Beautiful Teeth, Salute, Dark Chocolate, Salud, Dentistry, Womens Health
Precise reason for health benefits of dark chocolate: Thank hungry gut microbes
The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery -- until now. Researchers reported that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart.
a herd of elephants walking across a dry grass field
Do elephants call 'human!'? Low rumble alarm call in response to the sound of human voices
African elephants make a specific alarm call in response to the danger of humans, according to a new study of wild elephants in Kenya. Researchers carried out a series of audio experiments in which recordings of the voices of the Samburu, a local tribe from North Kenya, were played to resting elephants. The elephants quickly reacted, becoming more vigilant and running away from the sound whilst emitting a distinctive low rumble.
a brown dog walking through a forest filled with trees
Dingo poisoning should be stopped to protect native Australian mammals
Poisoning of dingoes -- the top predators in the Australian bush -- has a deleterious effect on small native mammals such as marsupial mice, bandicoots and native rodents, a study shows. Loss of dingoes is associated with greater activity by foxes, which prey on the small mammals. As well, the number of kangaroos and wallabies increases and their grazing reduces the density of the understorey vegetation where the mammals live, leaving them more exposed to predators.
a man standing in front of some plants and smiling at the camera with his hands out
Agroforestry can ensure food security, mitigate effects of climate change in Africa
Agroforestry can help to achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation while at the same time providing livelihoods for poor smallholder farmers in Africa, a new article suggests. Scientists say it could be a win-win solution to the seemingly difficult choice between reforestation and agricultural land use, because it increases the storage of carbon and may also enhance agricultural productivity.
two bats hanging upside down on a rope
Light pollution impairs rainforest regeneration: Seed-dispersing bats avoid feeding in light polluted areas
Increasing light pollution in tropical habitats could be hampering regeneration of rainforests because of its impact on nocturnal seed-dispersers. These new findings show that seed-dispersing bats avoid feeding in light-polluted areas.
two goats standing next to each other in the dirt near a fence and metal gate
Male goat essence really turns the females on
Anyone who has ever spent time around goats knows they have a certain smell. By carefully analyzing eau de male goat, researchers have now identified a novel, citrus-scented ingredient that speaks directly to the females. It acts on female goats' brains to turn their reproductive systems on. Although the work was done in goats, the researchers say there is reason to think the findings will apply to other livestock, and perhaps even to humans, too. After all, the researchers note, the action ...
a large group of fish swimming over a coral reef
Coral fish biodiversity loss: Humankind could be responsible
Literal biodiversity reservoirs, coral reefs and associated ecosystems are in grave danger from natural and human-made disturbances. The latest World Resources Institute assessment is alarming with 75% of coral reefs reported as endangered worldwide, a figure that may reach 100% by 2050. The numbers are concerning, particularly as coral reefs provide sustenance and economic benefits for many developing countries and fish biodiversity on coral reefs partly determines the biomass available for ...
an onion and two pieces of garlic on a white surface
Don't throw out old, sprouting garlic -- it has heart-healthy antioxidants
'Sprouted' garlic -- old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves -- is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. But scientists report that this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts. They found that garlic sprouted for five days had higher antioxidant activity than fresher, younger bulbs, and it had different metabolites, suggesting that it also makes different substances. Extracts ...
a television sitting on top of a metal shelf in a room filled with white walls
Research maze puts images on floor, where rodents look
Visual acuity is sharpest for rats and mice when the animals are looking down. Researchers have found that rodents can learn tasks in a fourth to a sixth of the usual number of repetitions when visual stimuli are projected onto the floor of the maze rather than onto the walls. The maze in this study is part real and part virtual. There are actual walls -- often in the shape of a giant piece of farfalle -- but researchers can project any imagery they want onto the floor from below. The use of ...
an owl spreads its wings in the snow
Bird call database nests online
A growing online library of bird sounds, photos and information offers a new resource for backyard birders and seasoned ornithologists alike. More than 10,200 recordings from over 3,190 species in 45 countries are now available.
two people working on some boxes at a table
Digital ears in the rainforest: Estimating dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings and computing
A Finnish-Brazilian project is constructing a system that could estimate the dynamics of animal populations by using sound recordings, statistics and scientific computing. The canopy in a Brazilian rainforest is bustling with life, but nothing is visible from the ground level. The digital recorders attached to the trees, however, are picking up the noises of birds.
a fish that is laying on some wood
Ecological impacts of invasive species can be readily predicted from features of their behavior
Ecologists have studied the behavior of some of the "world's worst" invasive species, including the large-mouth bass, an invasive fish which typically devastates invertebrate and other fish communities wherever it is introduced. They have revealed that the ecological impacts of invasive species might be readily predicted from features of their behavior.
the view from an airplane looking down at water and land in the ocean with clouds
Ancient 'great leap forward' for life in the open ocean: Cyanobacteria sheds light on how complex life evolved on earth
Plankton in the Earth's oceans received a huge boost when microorganisms capable of creating soluble nitrogen 'fertilizer' directly from the atmosphere diversified and spread throughout the open ocean. This event occurred at around 800 million years ago and it changed forever how carbon was cycled in the ocean.
an animal that is looking at something in the air
'Oddball science' has proven worth, biologists say
Scoffing at or cutting funds for basic biological research on unusual animal adaptations from Gila monster venom to snail sex, though politically appealing to some, is short-sighted and only makes it more likely that important economic and social benefits will be missed in the long run, say a group of evolutionary biologists.
a grey parrot sitting on top of a wooden box
Reciprocity and parrots: Griffin the grey parrot appears to understand benefits of sharing, study suggests
A study into whether grey parrots understand the notion of sharing suggests that they can learn the benefits of reciprocity. The research involved a grey parrot called Griffin, who consistently favoured the option of 'sharing' with two different human partners.
Some shampoos and conditioners that contain chemicals or special oils are marketed as nit-removal products for head lice eggs. However, new research shows that ordinary hair conditioner is just as effective. Eggs from head lice, also called nits, are incredibly difficult to remove. Female lice lay eggs directly onto strands of hair, and they cement them in place with a glue-like substance, making them hard to get rid of. In fact, the eggs are glued down so strongly that they will stay in ...
Ordinary conditioner removes head lice eggs as effectively as special products
Some shampoos and conditioners that contain chemicals or special oils are marketed as nit-removal products for head lice eggs. However, new research shows that ordinary hair conditioner is just as effective. Eggs from head lice, also called nits, are incredibly difficult to remove. Female lice lay eggs directly onto strands of hair, and they cement them in place with a glue-like substance, making them hard to get rid of. In fact, the eggs are glued down so strongly that they will stay in ...
a humpback whale swims in the blue water
Link between marine algae and whale diversity over last 30 million years, study finds
New research shows a strong link between the diversity of organisms at the bottom of the food chain and the diversity of mammals at the top. Throughout the last 30 million years, changes in the diversity of whale species living at any given time period correlates with the evolution and diversification of diatoms, tiny, abundant algae that live in the ocean.
a small bird perched on top of a tree branch next to a body of water
It Takes Two To Tutor A Sparrow
It may take a village to raise a child, and apparently it takes at least two adult birds to teach a young song sparrow how and what to sing.
a small bird perched on top of a stone wall next to a cemetery marker in the background
'Team of rivals' approach works for sparrows defending territories
A new study of territorial songs used by chipping sparrows to defend their turf reveals that males sometimes will form a "dear enemy" alliance with a weaker neighbor to prevent a stronger rival from moving in. For the first time findings demonstrate the birds' use of a stereotyped, specialized signal, in this case chipping sparrow trills, to establish brief periods of cooperation among neighbor birds who are otherwise rivals.
some people are standing in the sand and looking at an animal skeleton on the side of the road
Mass strandings of marine mammals blamed on toxic algae: Clues unearthed in ancient whale graveyard
Modern whale strandings can be investigated and their causes identified. Events that happened millions of years ago, however, are far harder to analyze -- frequently leaving their cause a mystery. Scientists examined a large fossil site in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile -- the first definitive example of repeated mass strandings of marine mammals in the fossil record. It reflected four distinct strandings over time, indicating a repeated and similar cause: toxic algae.
a large fish floating in the middle of a body of water with another bird nearby
Whales, ships more common through Bering Strait
The Arctic is home to a growing number of whales and ships, and to populations of sub-Arctic whales that are expanding their territory into newly ice-free Arctic waters. A three-year survey of whales in the Bering Strait reveals that many species of whales are using the narrow waterway, while shipping and commercial traffic also increase.