Researchers aiming to produce vaccine to save the Tasmanian devil

Researchers aiming to produce vaccine to save the Tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devil New research, led by University of Southampton biological scientist Dr Hannah Siddle, is aiming to develop an effective vaccine against an infectious cancer that is eradicating the Tasmanian devil, the world’s largest remaining marsupial carnivore. Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is a rare contagious facial tumour, which emerged from a neural (Schwann) cell […]

Scientists solve decades-old cell biology puzzle

Scientists solve decades-old cell biology puzzle

Clathrin proteins involved in endocytosis form a lattice that can dramatically change its shape to form the vesicle. Credit: Ori Avinoam/EMBL Researchers at EMBL Heidelberg have solved a question that has puzzled cell biologists for decades – how does the protein machine that allows cells to swallow up molecules during endocytosis function? Endocytosis is the […]

Japan must stop killing of whales in the name of science

Japan must stop killing of whales in the name of science

Japan plans to hunt 333 minke whales annually for 12 years as part of a so-called scientific research programme. Credit: Morton Lindhard / WWF The illegitimate killing of whales in the name of science must be rejected, WWF says. The world’s most renowned whale experts, who are gathering this week for the International Whaling Commission […]

DNA sequencing of noninvasively collected hair expands the field of conservation genetics

DNA sequencing of noninvasively collected hair expands the field of conservation genetics

An American pika (Ochotona princeps) calling. Credit: Philippe Henry, CC BY 4.0 Information embedded within DNA has long contributed to biodiversity conservation, helping to reconstruct the past history of species, assess their current status, and guide strategies for their protection. A new study shows that the entire genome of hard to study species may now […]

From worker to queen at the drop of a gene

From worker to queen at the drop of a gene

  Bumblebee. Credit: University of Leicester Biologists from the University of Leicester have discovered that one of nature’s most important pollinators – the buff-tailed bumblebee – either ascends to the status of queen or remains a lowly worker bee based on which genes are ‘turned on’ during its lifespan. The paper, entitled ‘Reproductive workers show […]

Protecting South America’s iconic golden dorado fish

Protecting South America’s iconic golden dorado fish

Danylchuk’s new study will measure impacts of catch and release through factors such as fight time, air exposure and fishing method, and correlation of these with physiological biomarkers such as blood lactate, blood glucose and blood pH. Credit: University of Massachusetts Amherst A new study launched this month by University of Massachusetts Amherst fisheries biologist […]

Evidence from ivory DNA identifies two main elephant poaching hotspots

Evidence from ivory DNA identifies two main elephant poaching hotspots

A group of elephants socializing. Credit: Michael Nichols University of Washington biologist Samuel Wasser is a pioneer in using DNA evidence to trace the origin of illegal ivory and help police an international trade that is decimating African elephant populations. The broadest application yet uses DNA from tons of ivory samples associated with large-scale trafficking. […]

New technology to help prevent rhino poaching

New technology to help prevent rhino poaching

A new group of technologies packaged together and called Rapid (Real-Time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device) by its makers is on track to reduce poaching of rhinos, primarily in South Africa. The system was invented by British scientist Paul O’Donoghue—he and fellow scientist Christian Rutz, both of the University of St. Andrews have published an article in […]

Baboons don’t play follow the leader – they’re democratic travellers

Baboons don’t play follow the leader – they’re democratic travellers

Enlarge Well if you’d just ASK someone Bernard. Credit: Courtesy of Rob Nelson Baboons in the wild are known for their highly strategic and hierarchical societies. So when it comes to decisions about where to go, one might expect that some bolshie individuals will direct the group through its habitat. However, a new study of […]

Detecting disease in beef cattle using ear tag units

Detecting disease in beef cattle using ear tag units

A calf with an in-ear accelerometer unit was used in Calgary’s research study. Credit: Barbara Wolfger, University of Calgary A smartphone switches its orientation from portrait to landscape depending on how it’s tilted. A car’s airbags inflate when it senses collision forces. By detecting earth’s vibrations, a computer can measure the magnitude and aftershocks of […]

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