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ScienceDaily: Plants & Animals News


Did mosasaurs hunt like killer whales?
An RNA key that unlocks innate immunity
New mechanism for how animal cells stay intact
Smallest ever Tylosaurus fossil sheds light on species
Classifying microbes differently leads to discovery
Quantifying evolutionary impacts of humans on the biosphere is harder than it seems
Goldilocks principle in biology: Fine-tuning the 'just right' signal load
Tropical moths in the mountains are larger
Irrigating vegetables with wastewater in African cities may spread disease
Ketogenic diet appears to prevent cognitive decline in mice, study finds
Effects of a high-fat diet may be passed on for three generations
Understanding the neurological code behind how flies fly
Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections
What pneumococcus says to make you sick
Optical illusion spooks raptors
Mouse pups with same-sex parents born in China using stem cells and gene editing
New microscope offers 4-D look at embryonic development in living mice
Genetic Achilles heel hurts humans fighting hepatitis C
Do lizards dream like us?
Shrimp talent quest finds a winner
Surfing on calcium waves: A larva's journey to becoming a fly
Newly described fossils could help reveal why some dinos got so big
DNA vaccine against Ebola virus shows potent and long-term efficacy in preclinical studies
Puppy-killing disease rampant in Australia
Why shoals of fish flash silver
Indigenous fire practice protecting the Gibson Desert's biodiversity


Did mosasaurs hunt like killer whales?



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 12:26 PM PDT


Researchers have examined the youngest-ever specimen of tylosaur ever found. Like orcas, mosasaurs might have used their bony noses to strike prey.


An RNA key that unlocks innate immunity



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 12:16 PM PDT


New research shows that a versatile RNA molecule may be a key player in human cells' frontline defenses against viruses.


New mechanism for how animal cells stay intact



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 12:16 PM PDT


Watching the movement of every cell in an adult animal all at once, researchers discovered ultra-fast cellular contractions. This research suggests a new role for cellular contractions in tissue cohesion, which could be the basis of a new material.


Smallest ever Tylosaurus fossil sheds light on species



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:50 AM PDT


The smallest Tylosaurus mosasaur fossil ever found has been revealed in a new study, and surprisingly it lacks a trademark feature of the species.


Classifying microbes differently leads to discovery



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:50 AM PDT


Changing the way microbes are classified can reveal similarities among mammals' gut microbiomes, according to a new study that proposes an alternative method for classifying microbes to provide insight into human and environmental health.


Quantifying evolutionary impacts of humans on the biosphere is harder than it seems



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:02 AM PDT


Are human disturbances to the environment driving evolutionary changes in animals and plants? A new study finds that, on average, human disturbances don't appear to accelerate the process of natural selection. While the finding may seem reassuring, this unexpected pattern could reflect the limited number of species for which data were available.


Goldilocks principle in biology: Fine-tuning the 'just right' signal load



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:01 AM PDT


In 'Goldilock and the Three Bears', Goldilock finds that only one bowl of porridge has the ''just right'' temperature, and in the same way within biology, you can find the 'just right' conditions -- called the Goldilocks principle. This a research team has done by demonstrating that in order to get the 'just right' amount of signalling for symbiosis in the roots of legumes, a specific enzyme called chitinase (CHIT5) must be present.


Tropical moths in the mountains are larger



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:01 AM PDT


Researchers have measured more than 19,000 tropical moths from 1,100 species to find out whether their size varies with elevation. The researchers found clear patterns: moths increase in size significantly at higher elevations.


Irrigating vegetables with wastewater in African cities may spread disease



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 07:22 AM PDT


Urban farmers growing vegetables to feed millions of people in Africa's ever-growing cities could unwittingly be helping to spread disease by irrigating crops with wastewater, a new study reveals.


Ketogenic diet appears to prevent cognitive decline in mice, study finds



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 06:29 AM PDT


The Ketogenic Diet, simple caloric restriction, or the pharmaceutical rapamycin appear to improve neurovascular function and prevent cognitive decline in animal models.


Effects of a high-fat diet may be passed on for three generations



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 05:27 AM PDT


A high-fat diet in female mice affects their offspring's obesity, insulin resistance and addictive-like behaviors for three generations, according to a new study.


Understanding the neurological code behind how flies fly



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 05:27 AM PDT


Discoveries about the neurological processes by which flies stay steady in flight could help humans build more responsive drones or better-balanced robots.


Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 02:31 PM PDT


Researchers are testing whether a light-active version of heme, the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen in blood circulation, may help people infected with MRSA. Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, involves a compound known as a photosensitizer, which can be activated by visible light to kill diseased cells or bacteria. PDT is a clinically proven method for fighting cancer but has not yet been developed for treating MRSA infections.


What pneumococcus says to make you sick



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Researchers have identified a molecule that plays a key role in bacterial communication and infection. Their findings add a new word to pneumococcus' molecular dictionary and may lead to novel ways to manipulate the bacteria and prevent infection.


Optical illusion spooks raptors



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Researchers have designed a visual pattern that elicits long-term avoidance of high-risk areas by raptors. The scientists' work clears the way for further investigation into the visual cognition of these birds, and it has applications for conservation, because raptors are among the most common victims of collisions with planes and wind turbines.


Mouse pups with same-sex parents born in China using stem cells and gene editing



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Researchers were able to produce healthy mice with two mothers that went on to have normal offspring of their own. Mice from two dads were also born but only survived for a couple of days. The work looks at what makes it so challenging for animals of the same sex to produce offspring and suggests that some of these barriers can be overcome using stem cells and targeted gene editing.


New microscope offers 4-D look at embryonic development in living mice



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


With the development of an adaptive, multi-view light sheet microscope and a suite of computational tools, researchers have captured the first view of early organ development inside the mouse embryo.


Genetic Achilles heel hurts humans fighting hepatitis C



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


An antimicrobial signaling molecule called interferon lambda 4 has lower activity against the hepatitis C virus in the vast majority of humans compared with chimpanzees and African hunter-gatherer Pygmies, according to a new study.


Do lizards dream like us?



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:30 AM PDT


Researchers have confirmed that lizards exhibit two sleep states, just like humans, other mammals, and birds. They corroborated the conclusions of a 2016 study on the bearded dragon and conducted the same sleep investigation on another lizard, the Argentine tegu. Their findings nevertheless point out differences between species, which raises new questions about the origin of sleep states.


Shrimp talent quest finds a winner



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 07:36 AM PDT


Shrimp help keep fish clean -- and scientists have identified the 'cleaner shrimp' with the most talent for reducing parasites and chemical use in farmed fish.


Surfing on calcium waves: A larva's journey to becoming a fly



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 07:36 AM PDT


Researchers have uncovered the neuronal typeset that determines a larva's decision to pupariate, especially when challenged for nutrients. The group has investigated this question in fruit flies to understand how they integrate internal and environmental nutritional cues to make decisions on pupariation.


Newly described fossils could help reveal why some dinos got so big



Posted: 10 Oct 2018 01:47 PM PDT


A new, in-depth anatomical description of the best preserved specimens of a car-sized sauropod relative from North America could help paleontologists with unraveling the mystery of why some dinosaurs got so big.


DNA vaccine against Ebola virus shows potent and long-term efficacy in preclinical studies



Posted: 10 Oct 2018 10:24 AM PDT


A novel synthetic DNA vaccine developed based on technology pioneered and offers complete protection from Zaire Ebolavirus (EBOV) infection in promising preclinical research.


Puppy-killing disease rampant in Australia



Posted: 10 Oct 2018 07:57 AM PDT


A study has found that canine parvovirus (CPV), a highly contagious and deadly disease that tragically kills puppies, is more prevalent than previously thought with 20,000 cases found in Australia each year, and nearly half of these cases result in death.


Why shoals of fish flash silver



Posted: 10 Oct 2018 07:57 AM PDT


Scientists have helped to figure out why shoals of fish flash silver as they twist through the water by studying how the shiny silver cells are created in zebrafish.


Indigenous fire practice protecting the Gibson Desert's biodiversity



Posted: 10 Oct 2018 07:55 AM PDT


Traditional indigenous burning practices are protecting plant biodiversity in Australia's Gibson Desert, according to new research. The study analyzed how environments dominated by flammable spinifex grasses and fire-sensitive desert myrtle shrubs reacted to wildfires, and to the low-intensity burning practices of the Pintupi people.
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