Current Leeches News and Events

Current Leeches News and Events, Leeches News Articles.
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New UCF study examines leeches for role in major disease of sea turtles in Florida
University of Central Florida researchers are homing in on the cause of a major disease of sea turtles, with some of their latest findings implicating saltwater leeches as a possible factor. The results, published recently in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, present the first evidence of a significant association between leeches and the disease in sea turtles, according to the researchers. (2021-02-18)

Biobased anti-thrombosis agent
Thrombosis, the clogging of blood vessels, is a major cause of heart attacks and embolism. Scientists have now engineered the first inhibitors of thrombin, a protease promoting thrombosis, that is three-fold efficient. In a study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the authors demonstrate that attacking three sites of the thrombin molecule is more efficient than attacking only two sites, which is the mode of action of many natural agents. (2021-01-29)

King of the Cave: New centipede on top of the food chain in the sulphurous-soaked Movile
A new species of endemic, troglobiont centipede was discovered by an international team of scientists in the Romanian cave Movile: a unique underground ecosystem, isolated several millions years ago during the Neogene, whose animal life only exists because of the chemosynthetic bacteria. As the largest Movile's inhabitant, the new species can easily be crowned as the 'king' of this 'hellish' ecosystem. Aptly named Cryptops speleorex, the cave-dweller is described in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys. (2020-12-16)

Reducing the adverse impact of water loss in cells
A University of Houston College of Medicine researcher has found how a protein inside the body reduces the adverse effects of hypertonicity, an imbalance of water and solutes inside cells, which leads to cell death. (2020-08-04)

Everything you ever wanted to know about leech sex but were afraid to ask
New research, published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, sheds light on the effects the synthetic estrogens commonly found in birth control pills have on leeches. (2020-07-21)

Researchers take a bloody good look at the medicinal leech genome
An international team of researchers, led by Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) scientist Sebastian Kvist, have announced the completion and results of their work to sequence the genome of Hirudo medicinalis, a European leech, and one of the most prominently used medicinal species. The team focused their efforts on unveiling the diversity and abundance of anticoagulants (blood thinners) in the leech genome. The results will guide future medical use of leeches by providing insights into which proteins are secreted by the leech during feeding. (2020-06-18)

Landscape-level surveys are necessary to address large-scale wildlife losses from poaching
Widespread poaching in tropical biodiversity hotspots is causing unprecedented declines in wildlife populations, known as defaunation. A new study provides evidence that large-scale systematic surveys and novel methods of data collection and analysis, are necessary to assess the extent and distribution of poaching and its impact on biodiversity in forest exposed to severe defaunation. The research team, led by the Leibniz-IZW, comprised scientists, conservationists and government counterparts, including representatives from WWF-Vietnam and WWF-Laos. (2020-02-05)

Gimme shelter: Seven new leech species call freshwater mussels home
The frequent presence of leeches with a hidden lifestyle in the mantle cavity of freshwater mussels has been recorded since the second half of the 19th century. Yet this was, until now, regarded as an accidental phenomenon. Recent research not only reveals seven mussel-associated leech species new to science, but also shows that their association evolved over millions of years. (2019-11-11)

Bloodsucker discovered: First North American medicinal leech described in over 40 years
Freshwater wetlands from Georgia to New York are home to a previously unrecognized species of medicinal leech, according to scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of National History. The new species was first identified from specimens collected in southern Maryland less than 50 miles from Washington, D.C., prompting a search through marshes and museum collections that revealed that the leech has long occupied a range that stretches throughout the eastern United States. (2019-08-15)

Inspired by a soft body of a leech -- a wall-climbing robot
A research team led by Associate Professor Tomoaki Mashimo at Toyohashi University of Technology has successfully developed a leech-shaped robot, 'LEeCH,' which can climb vertical walls. LEeCH is capable of elongating and bending its body without any constraints; just like a leech. Thanks to its flexible body structure and the suction cups, the robot has successfully climbed a vertical wall and even reached to the other side of the wall. (2019-05-10)

The secret behind witchweed's devastating ability to steal nutrients from crops
Commonly known as 'witchweed,' the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica devastates crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists have discovered a unique protein in Striga that helps sustain its high transpiration. Striga uses transpiration to effectively steal water and nutrients from its hosts, so this protein could provide a new target for controlling Striga. The findings were published on Feb. 25 in Nature Plants. (2019-02-25)

DEET scrambles worms' sense of smell
The roundworm C. elegans is sensitive to DEET's insect-repellent effects. The discovery opens up a new genetic toolbox that scientists can use to figure out how DEET works. (2018-09-26)

Antibiotic resistance in a leech's gut
Plastic surgery patients were getting infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria, and no one knew why. UConn microbiologists found the answer in a leech's gut. Their research, published today in mBio, provides proof that tiny levels of antibiotics found in the environment can encourage bacterial resistance. (2018-07-24)

Report from the leech's gut: Even trace amounts of antibiotics boost resistant bacteria
An international team of researchers recently took a deep dive into the microbiome of blood-sucking medicinal leeches and made a surprising observation: low levels of antibiotics in the animal's environment improved the survival of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in its gut. Those resistant bacteria, in turn, displaced healthy bacteria. The findings, published this week in mBio, could help explain why antibiotic resistant infections have been found in patients who undergo medicinal leech therapy. (2018-07-24)

Cross species transfer of genes has driven evolution
Far from just being the product of our parents, University of Adelaide scientists have shown that widespread transfer of genes between species has radically changed the genomes of today's mammals, and been an important driver of evolution. (2018-07-08)

Ocean-migrating trout adapt to freshwater environment in 120 years
Steelhead trout, a member of the salmon family that live and grow in the Pacific Ocean, genetically adapted to the freshwater environment of Lake Michigan in less than 120 years. (2018-05-31)

Tracking endangered mammals with the leeches that feed on them
A broad survey conducted across southern Asia reinforces the idea that the mammal biodiversity of an area can be determined by looking at the DNA found in leeches' blood meals. The new study, led by researchers at the American Museum of Natural History, also shows for the first time that DNA found in leeches can be used to identify certain ground birds and, possibly, some bats. (2018-02-27)

Worm genomes reveal a link between ourselves and our distant relatives
Researchers from the Marine Genomics Unit at OIST, in collaboration with Okayama University, have decoded two worm genomes and found that they have several genetic similarities with the vertebrates. (2017-12-04)

Native leech preys on invasive slug?
Citizen science has revealed the spread of the invasive giant slug Limax maximus and its potential native predator in Japan, providing new insights into predator-prey dynamics between introduced prey and native predators. (2017-07-20)

400-million-year-old gigantic extinct monster worm discovered in Canadian museum
A previously undiscovered species of an extinct primordial giant worm with terrifying snapping jaws has been identified by an international team of scientists. (2017-02-21)

Major storm events play key role in biogeochemistry of watersheds
A new Yale-led study finds that heavy weather events cause an inordinate amount of organic material to bypass headwater systems, pushing them downstream into larger rivers and coastal waters and inland basins -- with profound implications for water quality through the watershed. (2016-02-01)

Fossil fireworm species named after rock musician
A muscly fossil fireworm, discovered by scientists from the University of Bristol and the Natural History Museum, has been named Rollinschaeta myoplena in honor of punk musician and spoken word artist, Henry Rollins. (2015-11-19)

Evolution peaks on tropical mountain
Tropical mountains have an exceptionally high biodiversity. This is also the case for Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. During an expedition, organized by Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Sabah Parks, experts investigated the local fauna, flora, and fungi. They discovered that most of the unique species that occur in the area had evolved later than the age of the mountain itself, and that some had evolved from immigrant ancestors, whereas others evolved from local ancestors. These findings are published in Nature. (2015-08-12)

For ticks, researchers find lemur noses to be males only in Madagascar
Out of 295 ticks collected from the noses of lemurs in Madagascar, 100 percent of them were male. The chosen location may provide a convenient jump-off point for male ticks to switch hosts as the lemurs sniff each other. (2015-04-06)

Microbial soil cleanup at Fukushima
Proteins from salt-loving, halophilic, microbes could be the key to cleaning up leaked radioactive strontium and caesium ions from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant incident in Japan. (2015-03-10)

Connecticut River watershed study will assess impacts of extreme rain events
A team of Yale researchers will lead a five-year, $3 million study to determine whether an increase in extreme rain events is affecting the transport of dissolved organic matter through the Connecticut River watershed, a phenomenon they say could alter the chemical composition and water quality of the watershed and Long Island Sound. The grant is funded by the National Science Foundation's MacroSystems Biology program. (2014-04-22)

Insect 'soup' serving up rapid biodiversity monitoring
Griffith University researchers have taken part in an international study which has discovered a fast but accurate means of identifying changes to the biodiversity of a region. And the secret lies in crushed up insect (2013-08-06)

'Insect soup' holds DNA key for monitoring biodiversity
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown that sequencing the DNA of crushed up creepy crawlies can accelerate the monitoring and cataloging of biodiversity around the world. Research published today shows that a process known as (2013-08-05)

What do leeches, limpets and worms have in common? Now, a sequenced genome
A team of biologists report in this week's Nature the genome sequences of three organisms that represent more than one-quarter of marine species, including clams, octopuses and the segmented worms, including earthworms. The leech, limpet and polychaete worm all descended from animals that split off more than 500 million years ago and have evolved since, most still utilizing an old larval form, the trochophore - a tiny ciliated free-swimming phase that looks nothing like the adult. (2012-12-19)

Uncovering complexity
Caenorhabditis elegans, with just 302 neurons, has long been considered an ideal model system for the study of the nervous system. New research, however, is suggesting that the worms' (2012-11-21)

Crayfish species proves to be the ultimate survivor
Red swamp crayfish, known as one of the most successful invaders on earth, is able to feed off the land as well as getting food from its usual source in the water. (2012-08-03)

Contrary to popular belief, investment banks do add value to M&As, new study shows
Investment banks add value to mergers and acquisitions and, in fact, produce important information for the M&A advisory process, according to new research by Matthew Cain, assistant professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. (2012-05-21)

Leeches are DNA bloodhounds in the jungle
Copenhagen Zoo and University of Copenhagen have in collaboration developed a new and revolutionary, yet simple and cheap, method for tracking mammals in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. They collect leeches from tropical jungles, which have been sucking blood from mammals, and subsequently analyze the blood for mammal DNA. By using this method, the researchers can get an overview of the biodiversity of the mammals without having to find them. The groundbreaking results are to be published in the prestigious scientific journal Current Biology. (2012-04-23)

Survey identifies sea turtle 'hitchhikers'
A recent survey documented the crustaceans, mollusks, algae and other marine organisms that make a home on the bodies Olive Ridley and green sea turtles living in the Pacific. (2011-11-08)

Switching senses
Many meat-eating animals have unique ways of hunting down a meal using their senses. To find a tasty treat, bats use echolocation, snakes rely on infrared vision, and owls take advantage of the concave feathers on their faces, the better to help them hear possible prey. Leeches have not just one but two distinct ways of detecting dinner and, according to new findings from biologists at the California Institute of Technology, their preferred method changes as they age. (2011-11-01)

Fighting fire with fire: 'Vampire' bacteria has potential as living antibiotic
A vampire-like bacteria that leeches onto specific other bacteria -- including certain human pathogens -- has the potential to serve as a living antibiotic for a range of infectious diseases, a new study indicates. (2011-10-31)

The future of drugs is all in the family
In a first-ever comprehensive study of the species origins of nature-derived drugs, it was found that drug-producing species are concentrated and clustered in a limited number of families, refuting the conventional view that as every nature species produces biologically active molecules, one can find drugs from almost any major block of species groups if one looks for them hard enough. The study was conducted by researchers from the National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University. (2011-09-06)

Caterpillars crawl like none other
Most of us have surely seen the slow and gravity-defying crawl of a caterpillar, with that wave of motion that passes over their elongated and flexible bodies. But it turns out that inside those crawlers, there's a completely different motion going on: their rather primitive guts slide forward before anything else moves at all. (2010-07-22)

BioTorrents: An OA file sharing service and more
The following papers are featured in the latest issue of PLoS ONE: BioTorrents: A file sharing service; Evolutionary origins of mucosal leech infestations; and Differential brain activation to angry faces by elite warfighters. (2010-04-14)

The new T. rex: A leech with an affinity for noses
A new leech species with ferociously large teeth -- recently discovered in noses of children that swam in Peruvian rivers -- is providing insight into the evolutionary relationships among all the leeches that have an affinity for mucus membranes and orifices. Tyrannobdella rex was discovered in the remote Upper Amazon; its regular host remains unknown. (2010-04-14)

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