Researchers have discovered the first direct evidence that exposure to stress in young birds affects the way they react to stress when adult. This research, presented at the Society for Endocrinology BES meeting in Harrogate, greatly improves our understanding of how the environment during development influences birds’ subsequent physiology, health and survival.
Dr. Stephen P. Yanoviak of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has published new research in the Royal Society’s Biology Letters providing insight on the evolution of winged flight. Yanoviak and his co-authors, Mike Kaspari of the University of Oklahoma and Robert Dudley at the University of California-Berkeley, observed how arboreal bristletails — evolutionary precursors to insects — in the Amazon Forest can leap tree trunk to tree trunk by manipulating a filament on their bodies as a primitive rudder system.
A retrovirus related to HIV became stably integrated into the genome of several lemurs around 4.2 million years ago, according to research led by Dr. Cédric Feschotte at the University of Texas, Arlington. The new analysis of prosimian immunodeficiency virus (pSIV) offers new insights into the evolution of lentiviruses.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a gene that plays a critical regulatory role in the process of converting dietary carbohydrates to fat. In a new study, they disabled this gene in mice, which consequently had lower levels of body fat than their normal counterparts, despite being fed the equivalent of an all-you-can-eat pasta buffet.
Cellular mechanisms that subterranean mole rats have developed in order to survive the low levels of oxygen in their underground habitat are similar to the mechanisms used by tumors to survive and progress in humans. Based on a new study, the mole rat can represent the human tumor in research, and the gene targeted in mole rats can be targeted for development of anti-cancer drugs.
In a first-of-its-kind discovery that overturns conventional wisdom, scientists in Florida are reporting that certain plants — including the exotic “White Bird of Paradise Tree” — make bilirubin. Until now, scientists thought that pigment existed only in animals. The finding may change scientific understanding of how the ability to make bilirubin evolved, researchers say.