Current Organisms News and Events

Current Organisms News and Events, Organisms News Articles.
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Bacteria and algae get rides in clouds
Human health and ecosystems could be affected by microbes including cyanobacteria and algae that hitch rides in clouds and enter soil, lakes, oceans and other environments when it rains, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. (2021-02-16)

Strange creatures accidentally discovered beneath Antarctica's ice shelves
Prior research has suggested that the watery depths below the Antarctic ice shelves are too cold and nutrient poor to sustain much life. But a new study from British Antarctic Survey published in Frontiers in Marine Science reveals the discovery of a colony of sponges and other animals attached to a boulder on the sea floor - challenging researchers' understanding about the existence of life in extreme environments. (2021-02-15)

Why overfishing leads to smaller cod
Overfishing, hunting and intensive agriculture and forestry can sometimes contribute to plants and animals becoming endangered. New research from Lund University in Sweden and University of Toronto can now show why this leads to entire populations becoming smaller in size, as well as reproducing earlier. The study is published in the journal PNAS. (2021-02-10)

Nehandertals' gut microbiota and the bacteria helping our health
Through the study of ancient DNA from 50,000-year-old Neanderthal faecal sediments, an international research group isolated a group of micro-organisms whose characteristics are similar to those of modern Sapiens: such findings can be instrumental to the protection of our gut microbiota (2021-02-05)

UTA engineers develop programming technology to transform 2D materials into 3D shapes
University of Texas at Arlington researchers have developed a technique that programs 2D materials to transform into complex 3D shapes. (2021-02-04)

Warmer climate may make new mutations more harmful
A warmer global climate can cause mutations to have more severe consequences for the health of organisms through their detrimental effect on protein function. This may have major repercussions on organisms' ability to adapt to, and survive in, the altered habitats of the future. This is shown in a new Uppsala University research study now published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (2021-02-02)

Marine organisms use previously undiscovered receptors to detect, respond to light
Single-celled organisms in the open ocean use a diverse array of newly discovered genetic tools to detect light, even in tiny amounts, and respond. (2021-02-01)

Mysterious magnetic fossils offer past climate clues
There are fossils, found in ancient marine sediments and made up of no more than a few magnetic nanoparticles, that can tell us a whole lot about the climate of the past, especially episodes of abrupt global warming. Now, researchers have found a way to glean the valuable information in those fossils without having to crush the scarce samples into a fine powder. (2021-02-01)

Exploration of toxic Tiger Rattlesnake venom advances use of genetic science techniques
A team of researchers led by the University of South Florida has decoded the genome of the Tiger Rattlesnake, which has venom 40 times more toxic than that of Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes, the largest venomous snake in North America. (2021-01-19)

Simulating evolution to understand a hidden switch
Some organisms evolve an internal switch that can remain hidden for generations until stress flicks it on. (2021-01-15)

Accounting for the gaps in ancient food webs
Studying ancient food webs can help scientists reconstruct communities of species, many long extinct, and even use those insights to figure out how modern-day communities might change in the future. There's just one problem: only some species left enough of a trace for scientists to find eons later, leaving large gaps in the fossil record -- and researchers' ability to piece together the food webs from the past. (2021-01-14)

Orange is the new 'block'
New research from Washington University in St. Louis reveals the core structure of the light-harvesting antenna of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae -- including key features that both collect energy and block excess light absorption. Scientists built a model of the large protein complex called phycobilisome that collects and transmits light energy. Phycobilisomes allow cyanobacteria to take advantage of different wavelengths of light than other photosynthetic organisms. The study, published Jan. 6, 2020 in Science Advances, yields insights relevant to future energy applications. (2021-01-06)

Modern microbes provide window into ancient ocean
Roughly two billion years ago, microorganisms called cyanobacteria fundamentally transformed the globe. Researchers are now stepping back to that pivotal moment in Earth's history. (2021-01-06)

DeepTFactor predicts transcription factors
A joint research team from KAIST and UCSD has developed a deep neural network named DeepTFactor that predicts transcription factors from protein sequences. DeepTFactor will serve as a useful tool for understanding the regulatory systems of organisms, accelerating the use of deep learning for solving biological problems. (2021-01-05)

The ABCs of species evolution
Almost four decades of research have led scientists at Japan's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) to propose that a family of transporter proteins has played an important role in species evolution. One protein in particular, called ABCA1, was likely crucial for vertebrate evolution by helping regulate when signals involved in cell proliferation, differentiation and migration enter a cell. This process was necessary for vertebrates to develop into more complex organisms with sophisticated body structures. (2020-12-23)

New salmonella proteins discovered
Only one small protein needs to be missing and salmonellae are no longer infectious. This was discovered in a study in which the pathogens were re-analysed using bioinformatics. (2020-12-16)

Scientists took a rare chance to prove we can quantify biodiversity by 'testing the water'
While extraction of DNA from water samples provides a convenient and non-invasive way to study aquatic biodiversity, reliable evidence that this approach is accurate enough to estimate the number of fish per species and their biomass in natural habitats, is still lacking. A new study, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Metabarcoding and Metagenomics, demonstrates the high precision of the method, after comparing environmental DNA data with manually collected information from a fishery farm. (2020-12-04)

Scientists predict 'optimal' stress levels
Scientists have created an evolutionary model to predict how animals should react in stressful situations. (2020-12-03)

Identical evolution of isolated organisms
Palaeontologists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the University of Calgary in Canada have provided new proof of parallel evolution: conodonts, early vertebrates from the Permian period, adapted to new habitats in almost identical ways despite living in different geographical regions. The researchers were able to prove that this was the case using fossil teeth found in different geographical locations. (2020-11-23)

Ribosome assembly - The final trimming step
Ribosomes synthesize all the proteins in cells. Studies mainly done on yeast have revealed much about how ribosomes are put together, but an Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich team now reports that ribosome assembly in human cells requires factors that have no counterparts in simpler model organisms. (2020-11-20)

Can animals use iridescent colours to communicate?
New paper sheds light on the colourful world of animal communication, highlighting the challenges of studying accurately how iridescent colours work in nature (2020-11-19)

Gut microbiome manipulation could result from virus discovery
Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells - a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature. (2020-11-18)

The first detection of marine fish DNA in sediment sequences going back 300 years
Far too little is known about the long-term dynamics of the abundance of most macro-organism species. We used sedimentary DNA technology to quantify marine fish DNA abundance in sediment sequences spanning the last 300 years. This study first shows the existence of fish DNA in the sequences and proves that fish abundance can be tracked using sedimentary DNA, highlighting the utility of sedimentary DNA for researchers to acquire lengthy records of macro-organism species abundance. (2020-11-16)

???New insights can foster development of natural and safer fungicides
In a recent study published in PhytoFrontiers journal, plant pathologists confirmed that 13 natural and semi-synthetic glucosinolate derivatives are efficient fungicides alone or when used in combination against widespread genetically distant species of fungal plant pathogens. Combinations of these compounds showed strong synergistic fungitoxic effects. (2020-11-13)

Researchers discover the secret of how moss spreads
University of Copenhagen researchers have discovered how mosses became one of our planet's most widely distributed plants -- global wind systems transport them along Earth's latitudes, to rooftops, sidewalks and lawns worldwide, and as far away as Antarctica. This new knowledge can provide us with a better understanding of how other small organisms are spread, including airborne bacteria and organisms that produce airborne spores. (2020-11-10)

Half a billion years old microfossils may yield new knowledge of animal origins
When and how did the first animals appear? Science has long sought an answer. Uppsala University researchers and colleagues in Denmark have now jointly found, in Greenland, embryo-like microfossils up to 570 million years old, revealing that organisms of this type were dispersed throughout the world. The study is published in Communications Biology. (2020-11-09)

The birth of a bacterial tRNA gene
The Microbial Evolutionary Dynamics Group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön has directly observed the birth of a tRNA gene, using experimental evolution of bacterial populations in the laboratory. (2020-11-03)

In your gut: How bacteria survive low oxygen environments
Researchers from ITQB NOVA, in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur in Paris, have shed light on the mechanisms that allow Clostridioides difficile, a pathogen that can only grow in oxygen-free environments, to survive low oxygen levels. C. difficile is a major cause of intestinal problems associated with the use of antibiotics, causing an estimated number of 124k cases per year in the EU, costing on average 5k€ per patient, as a direct consequence of healthcare-associated contagion. (2020-11-02)

Radical changes in ecosystems
Earth and all the living organisms on it are constantly changing. But is there any way we can detect if these changes are occurring at an abnormal rate? An international team of researchers including scientists from FAU have developed a method of detecting such developments and tracking how new ecosystems are formed. (2020-10-30)

Plankton turn hunters to survive dinosaur-killing asteroid impact
New research by an international team of scientists shows how marine organisms were forced to 'reboot' to survive following the asteroid impact 66 million years ago which killed three quarters of life on earth. (2020-10-30)

Phosphate polymer forms a cornerstone of metabolic control
In a changing climate, understanding how organisms respond to stress conditions is increasingly important. New work could enable scientists to engineer the metabolism of organisms to be more resilient and productive in a range of environments. Their research focuses on polyphosphate, an energy-rich polymer of tens to hundreds phosphate groups which is conserved in all kingdoms of life and is integral to many cellular activities, including an organism's ability to respond to changing environmental conditions. (2020-10-15)

University of Guam part of international effort to understand cycad pollinators
The Guam team's 2017 discovery of the new Cycadophila samara beetle and its pollination of cycads is now contributing to an international effort to more fully understand the intimate relationship between plant and insect. (2020-10-13)

"Immortal" in tree resin
The phenomenon of using DNA from old fossils preserved in amber already inspired Hollywood - in the film Jurassic Park, scientists reproduce the DNA of dinosaurs extracted from a fossil mosquito and thereby resurrect them. In reality, however, all previous studies in which researchers took DNA samples from insects enclosed in tree resin were useless under the scientific method. Researchers now detected DNA from ambrosia beetles that were trapped in recent tree resin. (2020-09-30)

Sentinels of ocean acidification impacts survived Earth's last mass extinction
Two groups of tiny, delicate marine organisms, sea butterflies and sea angels, were found to be surprisingly resilient--having survived dramatic global climate change and Earth's most recent mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2020-09-28)

Born to be wild: Fungal highways let bacteria travel in exchange for thiamine
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found a fungal-bacterial relationship that allows bacteria to travel along fungal highways and supply the fungus with thiamine (vitamin B1), which is essential to most organisms. Thiamine provided by the bacteria helped the fungal filaments to grow, and the highways let the bacteria travel farther than otherwise possible. Research in this area could be applied to settings ranging from fermentation to plant and human disease mechanisms. (2020-09-24)

Evolution of radio-resistance is more complicated than previously thought
Radio-resistance in bacteria first evolves through the adaptation of DNA repair mechanisms, however as evolution continues more mutations accumulate, and more cellular metabolic processes are affected. It is not yet clear which panel of mutations provides high-level resistance. The study shows that acquisition of radio-resistance via evolution is possible independent of other mechanisms like extreme dryness resistance (desiccation). (2020-09-22)

Biodiversity hypothesis called into question
How can we explain the fact that no single species predominates? A generally accepted hypothesis is that a trade-off exists between organisms able to acquire and consume more food than other when resources are scarce, and organisms which rapidly consume large quantities of food when they are in abundance. However, when scientists from the University of Geneva and the Technical University of Denmark analysed over 500 species, biodiversity cannot be explained with such a trade-off. (2020-09-21)

Chaotic "Lévy walks" are a good strategy for animals
A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) explains the advantage that animals have of using a specific type of chaotic type of movement called a ''Lévy walk,'' and how this type of behavior emerges. Using computer modeling, the author shows that this type of movement can allow animals to make flexible decisions between ''exploitation'' and ''exploring'' in an environment. (2020-09-17)

An evolutionary roll of the dice explains why we're not perfect
Scientists have found that chance events can be more important than natural selection in defining the genome of species like humans and other mammals. (2020-09-09)

Engineering speciation events in insects may be used to control harmful pests
This research provides the foundations for scientists to be able to prevent genetically modified organisms from reproducing with wild organisms. Additionally, the research will allow scientists to develop new tools to control populations of disease carrying insects and invasive species in a highly targeted fashion. (2020-09-08)

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