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Current Squirrels News and Events, Squirrels News Articles.
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Falling ants glide back to trunk to avoid dangers of forest floor
The tropical canopy is full of ants that forage out to the tips of twigs, occasionally getting knocked off by wind or birds. Scientists at UC Berkeley and the University of Texas Medical Branch have found that many ants have learned to glide back to the trunk of the tree from which they fell. These are the first insects found to glide, and represent a unique strategy for avoiding hazards of the forest floor. (2005-02-09)

Research on electronic waste, venom-resistant squirrels featured at Sacramento ACS meeting
Disposing of waste from consumer electronics, proteins that make some squirrels resistant to snake venom and new perspectives on teaching chemistry are among some of the topics highlighting the 39th Western regional meeting of the American Chemical Society, to be held Oct. 27-30 in Sacramento. (2004-10-21)

Warning to preserve 'unique' red squirrel from extinction
A scientific study has found that red squirrels found in Cumbria, North West England, are genetically unique in Europe but unless extra conservation measures are taken they risk being wiped out by the invading American grey squirrel, say researchers from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. (2004-04-06)

Squirrel invasion sows seeds of change for future forests
As squirrels gather nuts for winter, they also plant the seeds of future forests - but the different ways squirrel species hoard nuts, coupled with changes in squirrel populations, may significantly alter the course of forest regeneration, according to a Purdue University study. (2003-11-25)

Natural selection in a nutshell
If they could, many women would likely take a page out of the red squirrel's book. The northern animal can not only decide when its babies are born in the season but how many brothers and sisters will be in a litter, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists. (2003-11-12)

Highway deaths highest for males - Male urban squirrels, that is
A year-long study on the Texas A&M University campus showed that males are more likely than females to die on the road, and scientists believe it's because the males dart about through the streets more. But wait. It was urban squirrels, not students, who were radio-tagged and followed by Dr. Roel Lopez, wildlife assistant professor, both to find out about the 350-or-so fox squirrels on the campus and to teach undergraduate students how to trap, handle and monitor animals. (2003-04-29)

Could hibernators hold the key to improving organ preservation?
Studies help uncover how hibernating animals adjust their physiology to increase the tolerance of their liver and other organs to very low temperatures. (2003-04-09)

Squirrels' evolutionary 'family tree' reveals major influence of climate, geology
The first-ever genetic delineation of nearly all existing squirrel groups suggests not only some surprising branchings in the squirrels' family tree. The study also reveals strong evidence that geological and climatic change influenced how their ancestors evolved and spread over 36 million years from just one part of ancient North America to nearly all of today's world. (2003-02-20)

First genetic response in animal species to global warming
For the first time ever, a University of Alberta researcher has discovered that an animal species has changed its genetic make-up to cope with global warming. In the past, organisms have shown the flexibility--or plasticity--to adapt to their surroundings, but this is the first time it has been proven a species has responded genetically to cope with environmental forces. (2003-02-12)

Hibernating squirrels provide clues for stroke, Parkinson's
A compound that enables squirrels to hibernate may one day help minimize brain damage that results from stroke, according to a researcher at the Medical College of Georgia and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta. (2002-11-01)

Hibernators may hold the key for better human organ preservation
Hibernating ground squirrels are commonly seen around the golf courses, lawns and prairies of the American Midwest. Although a problem for groundskeepers because of their habit of digging holes, soon they could be famous for providing clues to keeping life-saving human transplant organs viable for extended periods of time. (2002-08-26)

Pets do make a difference for patients in long-term care facilities
Animal-assisted therapy can effectively reduce the loneliness of residents in long-term care facilities, according to a study published in the July 2002 issue of Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Although animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is claimed to have a variety of benefits, until now almost all published results have been anecdotal. This study found that even one AAT session of 30 minutes per week was effective in reducing loneliness to a statistically significant degree. (2002-06-28)

Squirrels rise from hibernation
Ground squirrels wake up once a week from their deep hibernating sleep. American researchers found that hibernating squirrels rouse naturally to do a systems check for any parasites and pathogens and to kick-start their immune system. (2002-05-01)

Farming inside forests hurts bird communities more than timber harvesting, study suggests
Farming in and around forests hurts bird populations more than does timber harvesting, according to a study by a researcher at Ohio State University. The study suggests that farming may make bird nests more vulnerable to predation by squirrels and other animals. They found that forests with agricultural clearings in them had a lower diversity of bird species and fewer birds than forests in which pockets of tree cover had been cleared by timber harvesting. (2002-04-10)

Immune system turned off during hibernation in squirrels
Ground squirrels' immune system essentially quits when the animals hibernate each winter, researchers report. When scientists injected hibernating squirrels with a pseudo-bacteria that would normally provoke an immune response, they were surprised what they found: the squirrels didn't react at all. But when the squirrels aroused briefly from hibernation days later - as they do normally about once a week during winter - the squirrels spiked a fever as if they had just been infected. (2002-04-01)

Some animals can recognize degree of kinship by scent
Ground squirrels analyze each other's scent, determining in a matter of seconds precisely who is close-enough kin to risk their lives helping, and perhaps even whether they are too closely related to mate, according to field studies by a Cornell University psychologist. (Proceedings: Biological Sciences ,April 7) (2002-03-26)

Hot pepper oil may prevent salmonella in poultry
Adding capsaicin, the spicy component of peppers, to the diet of neonatal broiler chicks appears to increase their resistance to Salmonella. (2001-08-17)

Battle to save last stronghold of the red squirrel
A unique conservation plan is stopping England's biggest surviving population of red squirrels, at the 200 square mile Kielder Forest District from dying out in 11 years time due to a lack of food. Researchers from Newcastle University have used computer technology to redesign the layout of a conservation area which will ensure the protected animals survive for the next 40 years at least. (2001-07-26)

Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian Biodefense warns tularemia-rabbit fever-could be bioweapon threat
The Working Group on Civilian Biodefense, an expert panel convened by the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, says the disease tularemia--also known as rabbit fever--could pose serious consequences if used as a biological weapon. The report appears in JAMA and contains recommendations, public health guidelines, and policies to minimize the consequences from a potential attack. (2001-06-05)

E-nose noses out mines
The sensor works by picking up air puffed across the E-nose. This sensor can detect changes in odors as well as distinguish a number of odors. The E-nose uses a family of fluorescent polymers, developed with support from the Office of Naval Research. (2001-04-17)

UIC's squirrel count is on
Univ of Illinois at Chicago biology professor enlists public help to gather various regional data on squirrel population. (2001-03-28)

Animals regulate their numbers by own population density
Zoologists from the University of Toronto have cracked the ecological puzzle of how animals - in this case the arctic ground squirrel - manage to control their own population in the northern boreal forest of Canada. (2000-11-22)

Cellular membrane changes associated with acclimation to cold
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have discovered a cellular mechanism in hibernating ground squirrels that may protect the nervous system from being damaged during extreme cold and lowered body temperatures, called hypothermia. (2000-09-19)

Biodiversity may reduce Lyme disease
It's well-known that biodiversity makes ecosystems healthier. But new research shows that biodiversity may make people healthier too. People are less likely to get Lyme disease if they live in areas with a greater diversity of small mammals, according to the June issue of Conservation Biology. (2000-06-04)

New Science study revisits the debate over bird parents, predators, and family planning
In tropical and southern regions, female birds tend to have fewer babies per nesting attempt, compared to their more prolific counterparts in moderate, northern climates. This curious fact of bird life has fueled an ongoing debate over whether clutch sizes are limited mostly by food supply, by predators, or both. A February 25 Science paper suggests that smaller clutch sizes in southern areas can't be explained solely by food delivery or predation rates. (2000-02-24)

Jefferson scientists create first transgenic mouse model of hepatitis B-based liver disease
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College have developed the first mouse model of chronic liver disease caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV), which promises to accelerate the discovery of drugs against the disease. Such a model may provide a better understanding of how HBV actually causes liver disease. (1999-07-28)

Suppression Of Natural Fires Harms Squirrels
Cornell University biologists who study dwindling populations of a rare ground squirrel in Idaho have found another reason to let (1999-05-03)

Colorado State Biology Professor Says Fatty Acids, Not Shadow, Determine Outcome Of Groundhog Day Feb. 2
Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow on Groundhog Day Feb. 2? A Colorado State University Biology professor and international expert on hibernation says it doesn't matter; his recent research shows the makeup of fatty acids in the groundog's body will determine whether he seeks six more weeks of winter hibernation. (1998-01-26)

Miraculous High-Tech Glasses Could Help Millions See Better
Her new glasses are no miracle, but donĂ¢t try telling that to Jenna Meck, a visually impaired 21-year-old junior at Meredith College in Raleigh. She says the battery-powered, self-focusing, computer-controlled telescopic glasses are the next best thing. (1997-02-06)

Hibernation: The Opposite of Sleep?
Is animal hibernation really a blissful, season-long slumber, or is it more like a months-long bout with insomnia? Brian Barnes reports in the Sept/Oct issue of The Sciences magazine on the hibernation patterns of arctic ground squirrels, which appear to go through something more closely resembling an icy stupor rather than a restful sleep (1996-08-28)

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