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A new fossil species found in Spain
In the '80s, Spanish researchers found the first fossils of Cloudina in Spain, a small fossil of tubular appearance and one of the first animals that developed an external skeleton between 550 and 543 million years ago. Now palaeontologists from the University of Extremadura have discovered a new species, Cloudina carinata, the fossil of which has preserved its 3-D shape. (2010-03-25)

Caltech and UCSD scientists establish leech as model for study of reproductive behavior
Researchers at Caltech and the University of California, San Diego, have discovered that injecting a simple hormone into leeches creates a novel way to study how hormones and the nervous system work together to produce species-specific reproductive behavior. A paper describing the work appears in the March 11 online edition of the journal Current Biology. (2010-03-16)

Rare armor-plated creature discovered in Canada's capital
Scientists have unearthed the remains of one of the world's rarest fossils -- in downtown Ottawa, reports the journal Palaeontology. (2010-03-16)

Scientists use microRNAs to track evolutionary history for first time
A team of scientists from Yale University and Dartmouth College has used microRNA data to investigate the evolutionary relationships of annelids, which include earthworms, leeches and bristle worms, to show that this large animal group evolved as a single, unique evolutionary branch. Their work represents the first time that microRNAs have been used to study the evolutionary relationships between organisms. (2009-09-09)

Once upon a time, scales were displayed in parlors, not hidden in bathrooms
Stepping onto a scale after a calorie-filled holiday season isn't an activity many 21st-century Americans relish. But in the late 19th century, scales were all the rage at festive gatherings -- the 1800s' answer to Guitar Hero. (2008-12-11)

Bacteria stop sheep dip poisoning fish and bees
Bacteria can be used to break down used sheep dip, preventing bees and fish from dying because of soil and river contamination, scientists heard today at the Society for General Microbiology's autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin. (2008-09-09)

Rutgers biologist to study worms in Amazon, glaciers
Look out, Indiana Jones. Dan Shain is redefining the term (2008-07-23)

BTER Foundation director deemed 1 of 100 Notable Persons in Medical Device Industry
The director of the BioTherapeutics, Education & Research Foundation, Ronald Sherman, was recognized by the editors of Medical Device and Diagnostics Industry as one of the (2008-07-05)

Researchers develop new conservation map for biodiversity hotspot
A conservation biologist at the University of York is part of an international team of researchers that has developed a remarkable new road map for protecting thousands of rare species that live only in Madagascar. The researchers, including Professor Chris Thomas, prepared a detailed conservation plan for lemurs, ants, butterflies, frogs, geckos and plants across the 226,642-square-mile island, considered one of the most significant biodiversity hot spots in the world. (2008-04-10)

As nanotech goes mainstream, 'toxic socks' raise concerns
Valued for it's antibacterial and odor-fighting properties, nanoparticle silver is becoming the star attraction in a range of products from socks to bandages to washing machines. But as silver's benefits propel it to the forefront of consumer nanomaterials, scientists are recommending a closer examination of the unforeseen environmental and health consequences of nanosilver. (2008-04-06)

Role reversal as humans suck life out of leeches
Global warming may be to blame for the gradual extinction of cold-loving species, and the European land leech in particular, according to a study which will be published in the December issue of Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften. The findings show that human-induced temperature increases over a 40-year period in the Graz region of Austria may have led to the near extinction of the local land leech Xerobdella lecomtei. (2007-09-05)

Misclassified for centuries, medicinal leeches found to be 3 distinct species
Genetic research has revealed that commercially available medicinal leeches used around the world in biomedical research and postoperative care have been misclassified for centuries. Until now, the leeches were assumed to be the species Hirudo medicinalis, but new research reveals they are actually a closely related but genetically distinct species, Hirudo verbana. (2007-04-11)

New book presents neurobiology from an evolutionary perspective
A new book, (2007-03-29)

Leeches ferry infection among newts
Parasite-carrying bloodsucking leeches may be delivering a one-two punch to newts, according to biologists, who say the discovery may provide clues to disease outbreaks in amphibians. (2007-01-31)

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Some news tips from the upcoming Journal of Neuroscience include: Short hairpin RNAs off-target; Making oligodendrocytes in the SVZ; A touching story from the leech; and A case of rescue by neural stem cells. (2006-07-25)

Leeches provide source for cardiovascular drugs
The leech has recently confirmed its biomedical interest for scientists by showing that it contains an extensive list of new potential molecules that may become useful tools in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The details of this research appear in the October issue of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology journal. (2005-10-24)

Sperm trading can resolve hermaphrodite mating conflicts
By directly manipulating mating performance in a tropical sea slug, Chelidonura hirundinina, researchers of the University of Tübingen have now shed light on the bizarre reproductive conflicts encountered by hermaphroditic animals. In some hermaphroditic species, such as C. hirundinina, mating partners may insist on copulating as a (2005-10-10)

Worms, slugs inspire robotic devices
Drawing on an understanding of how slugs, leeches and earthworms traverse their environments and grasp objects, a team of Case Western Reserve University biologists and engineers has developed two flexible robotic devices that could make invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopies safer for patients and easier for doctors to administer. (2005-02-17)

Diet of worms protects against bowel cancer
Regular doses of worms really do rid people of inflammatory bowel disease. The first trials of the treatment, carried out in the US, which involved a drinkable concoction of pig whipworm eggs, have been a success and the treatment could soon be available in Europe. The pig whipworm was chosen as it does not survive long in people. (2004-04-07)

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, November 4, 2003
Highlights of the November 4 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine include vulnerable older adults needing special geriatric care to remain independent, leeches relieving pain in arthritic knees, and a study that looks at three ways to measure blood pressure for insight into mortality. (2003-11-03)

Dodging elephants, scorpions, mudslides...UF researcher tracks tigers
Tiger experts are hailing a new study of the tiger population in Malaysia as something of a landmark in research and conservation of the animals. (2003-07-10)

Novel device takes over where leeches leave off
A new device improves on the centuries-old medicinal use of leeches and avoids the unpleasantness of having a blood-sucking parasite attached to your body. (2001-12-12)

Leeches reduce the pain of osteoarthritis
Leeches may yet return to favour as a treatment to relieve pain and inflammation, suggests a pilot study on osteoarthritis of the knee, reported in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. (2001-09-16)

Molecular biologists prune branches from the animal family tree
HHMI researchers and their colleagues are using genetic studies to overturn long-held beliefs about the evolution of the animal kingdom. The researchers propose a new family tree with only three branches, which they say reflects the three primary evolutionary lines from which animals evolved. (1999-06-24)

Common genes form new family tree for animals
Looking deep within the genes of three very different kinds of animals, scientists have found enough molecular evidence to finally fell the animal kingdom's old family tree. (1999-06-23)

Methane Deep In Ocean Crust Could Feed Chemical-Hungry Microorganisms
Tiny bubbles full of brine may be creating a storehouse of nutrients needed by microorganisms living at the seafloor and, possibly, deep within the earth's crust. A UW oceanographer presents evidence at this week's AGU meeting that a significant reservoir of methane may be found in rock beneath the seafloor (1996-12-15)

Medicinal Leech May Offer Clues To Neural Regeneration
Purdue University researchers have found that nitric oxide synthase, or NOS, is activated when axons are damaged in the medicinal leech, an invertebrate known for its ability to regenerate its neural connections. The group is now conducting followup studies to see what role NOS may play in neural regeneration (1996-11-21)

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