Biological builders like beavers, elephants, and shipworms re-engineer their environments. How this affects their ecological network is the subject of new research, which finds that increasing the number of "ecosystem engineers" stabilizes the entire network against extinctions.
A new approach could illuminate a critical stage in the life cycle of one of the most common malaria parasites. The approach was developed by scientists at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) in Japan and published in the Malaria Journal.
Utah State University biologist Edmund 'Butch' Brodie, Jr. and colleagues from Brazil's Butantan Institute describe oral glands in a family of terrestrial caecilians, serpent-like amphibians related to frogs and salamanders.
Researchers have developed a new non-invasive method to count individual fish by measuring the concentration of environmental DNA in the water, which could be applied for quantitative monitoring of aquatic ecosystems.
Caecilians are limbless amphibians that can be easily mistaken for snakes. Though caecilians are only distantly related to their reptilian cousins, researchers in a study appearing July 3 in the journal iScience describe specialized glands found along the teeth of the ringed caecilian (Siphonops annulatus), which have the same biological origin and possibly similar function to the venom glands of snakes. As such, caecilians may represent the oldest land-dwelling vertebrate animal with oral venom glands.
In a new study in rotifers (microscopic invertebrates), scientists tested the evolutionary fitness of older-mother offspring in several real and simulated environments, including laboratory culture, under threat of predation in the wild, or with reduced food supply. They confirmed that this effect of older maternal age, called maternal effect senescence, does reduce evolutionary fitness of the offspring in all environments, primarily through reduced fertility during their peak reproductive period. They also suggest an evolutionary mechanism for why this may occur.
New research from The University of Texas at Dallas suggests food deserts might be more prevalent in the U.S. than the numbers reported in government estimates. In a feasibility study published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, scholars found that the methods used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to identify areas with low access to healthy food are often outdated and narrow in scope.
Neuroscientists describe for the first time how relationships between different odors are encoded in the brain. The findings suggest a mechanism that may explain why individuals have common but highly personalized experiences with smell, and inform efforts better understand how the brain transforms information about odor chemistry into the perception of smell.
Incarceration and police discrimination may contribute to HIV, depression and anxiety among Black gay, bisexual and other sexual minority men, according to a Rutgers led study.
Response to the recent report of the deaths of two children receiving high doses of a gene therapy vector (AAV8) in a Phase I trial for X-linked myotubular myopathy (MTM). The news "is a tragic reminder of how difficult it is to predict outcomes in first-in-human studies