Current Diversity News and Events

Current Diversity News and Events, Diversity News Articles.
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Middle Stone Age populations repeatedly occupied West African coast
In a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, researchers from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), and the University of Sheffield, reveal evidence of Middle Stone Age occupations of the West African coast. Ranging from 62 to 25 thousand years ago, the largest well-dated assemblages from the region clearly document technological continuity across almost 40,000 years in West Africa. (2020-11-20)

Researchers create first map of bee species around the globe
There are over 20,000 species of bee, but accurate data about how these species are spread across the globe are sparse. However, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on November 19 have created a map of bee diversity by combining the most complete global checklist of known bee species with the almost 6 million additional public records of where individual species have appeared around the world. (2020-11-19)

Inclusion is key for all to thrive throughout life, report says
When it comes to optimizing 'longevity fitness' through attention to social, health, and wealth aspects of life, many Americans face intractable inequities based on the color of their skin, where they live, their sex, and who they love. The COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated the additional impacts affecting these demographics through the increased number of cases and mortality rates. (2020-11-19)

Cichlid fishes from African Lake Tanganyika shed light on how organismal diversity arises
Lake Tanganyika in Africa is a true hotspot of organismal diversity. Approximately 240 species of cichlid fishes have evolved in this lake in less than 10 million years. A research team from the University of Basel has investigated this phenomenon of ''explosive speciation'' and provides new insights into the origins of biological diversity, as they report in the journal Nature. (2020-11-18)

Abundance of prey species is key to bird diversity in cities
A team of scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) collaborated to analyse breeding bird data from the Senate of Berlin gathered by citizen scientists. They found that the abundance of invertebrates such as insects or spiders as prey is a key factor affecting bird diversity in the city. The more prey is available, the more diverse the urban bird communities are. (2020-11-17)

New analysis refutes claim that dinosaurs were in decline before asteroid hit
New research suggests that dinosaurs were not in decline before the asteroid hit. The study contradicts previous theories and concludes that had the impact not occurred dinosaurs might have continued to be the dominant group of land animals. (2020-11-17)

What type of forest to choose for better CO2 storage?
An international team led by the University of Geneva has studied which types of forest are the most effective in storing carbon. Inventory data from natural forests on five continents show that species diversity is optimal for equatorial and tropical rainforests, and that, conversely, in forests located in cold or dry regions, it is the abundance of trees and not their diversity that favours the recapture of CO2. (2020-11-13)

Dynamic risk management in cell populations
Scientists at AMOLF and Yale report the discovery of a mechanism that enables cell populations to tune their diversity much faster, by a combination of physical and chemical interactions between existing proteins. (2020-11-13)

Multiracial congregations in US have nearly tripled, Baylor University study finds
Racially diverse congregations have more than tripled in the United States over the past 20 years, and the percentage of all-white congregations has declined, according to a study by a Baylor University sociologist and two colleagues. (2020-11-11)

New research identifies 'triple trouble' for mangrove coasts
Some of the world's most valuable ecosystems are facing a ''triple threat'' to their long-term durability and survival, new research shows. (2020-11-10)

Rice has many fathers but only two mothers
University of Queensland scientists studied more than 3000 rice genotypes and found diversity was inherited through two maternal genomes identified in all rice varieties. (2020-11-10)

RUDN University soil scientist: Deforestation affects the bacterial composition of the soil
A soil scientist from RUDN University studied the effect of forest conversion on the properties of the soil: its acidity, carbon and nitrogen resources, bacterial composition, and the activity of microorganisms. The study can help improve the methods of soil cultivation after deforestation, namely, select the best fertilizers, prevent erosion, slow down nutrient depletion, and balance the composition of the bacterial community. (2020-11-09)

The ecology of crop pests
Ecological theory provides insights on pesticide use in agriculture (2020-11-09)

More plant diversity, less pesticides
Increasing plant diversity enhances the natural control of insect herbivory in grasslands. Species-rich plant communities support natural predators and simultaneously provide less valuable food for herbivores. This was found by a team of researchers, who conducted two analogous experiments in Germany and the USA. Their results were published in Science Advances and show that increasing plant biodiversity could help reduce pesticide inputs in agricultural systems by enhancing natural biological control. (2020-11-06)

Neural stem and progenitor cell diversity in brain development may contribute to cortical complexity
Stem and progenitor cells exhibit diversity in early brain development that likely contributes to later neural complexity in the adult cerebral cortex, this according to a new study published Nov. 6, 2020 in Science Advances. Researchers from the Center for Neuroscience Research (CNR) at Children's National Hospital say this research expands on existing ideas about brain development, and could significantly impact the clinical care of neurodevelopmental diseases in the future. (2020-11-06)

Host genetic factors shape composition of virus communities
Plants can be infected by multiple viruses at once. However, the composition of the pathogen community varies, even if individuals belong to the same species and the same population. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that these differences are primarily due to genetic variation among the hosts. The loss of genetic diversity could thus render species more vulnerable to infections and extinction. (2020-11-05)

Learning disorders and Parkinson's disease: tremor predicts effects of medication
The effect of dopaminergic medication on the learning abilities of patients with Parkinson's disease turns out to be linked to the presence of tremor symptoms. In patients who do not experience tremor, dopaminergic medication improves the ability to learn from rewards (reinforcement learning). Remarkably, the medication brings no benefit in reward learning to patients who do exhibit tremor. (2020-11-05)

Biologists create "atlas" of gene expression in neurons, documenting diversity of brain cells
New York University researchers have created a ''developmental atlas'' of gene expression in neurons, using gene sequencing and machine learning to categorize more than 250,000 neurons in the brains of fruit flies. Their study, published in Nature, finds that neurons exhibit the most molecular diversity during development and reveals a previously unknown type of neurons only present before flies hatch. (2020-11-04)

Texas A&M lion genetics study uncovers major consequences of habitat fragmentation
Over the course of only a century, humanity has made an observable impact on the genetic diversity of the lion population. That's the conclusion of a recently published study by Drs. Caitlin Curry and James Derr from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. (2020-11-03)

A molecular break for root growth
The dynamic change in root growth of plants plays an important role in their adjustment to soil conditions. Depending on the location, nutrients or moisture can be found in higher or lower soil layers. This is why, depending on the situation, a short or a long root is advantageous. Caroline Gutjahr, Professor of Plant Genetics at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and her team investigate how plant hormones influence the growth of roots. (2020-10-26)

Study finds field of forensic anthropology lacks diversity
The field of forensic anthropology is a relatively homogenous discipline in terms of diversity (people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with mental and physical disabilities, etc.) and this is highly problematic for the field of study and for most forensic anthropologists. (2020-10-23)

The next generation of biodiversity conservation targets must aim higher than ever
Writing this week in Science, 40 researchers argue for a set of holistic actions for new biodiversity goals that are unambiguously clear, sufficiently ambitious, and based on the best knowledge available. Most importantly, the goals need to aim higher if they are to be successful in the face of worsening trends for the climate and life on Earth. (2020-10-22)

Tackling alarming decline in nature requires 'safety net' of multiple, ambitious goals
A ''safety net'' made up of multiple ambitious and interlinked goals is needed to tackle nature's alarming decline, according to an international team of researchers analyzing the new goals for biodiversity being drafted by the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). (2020-10-22)

Genome sequencing shows climate barrier to spread of Africanized bees
Since the 1950s, ''Africanized'' honeybees have spread north and south across the Americas until apparently coming to a halt in California and northern Argentina. Now genome sequencing of hundreds of bees from the northern and southern limits shows a gradual decline in African ancestry across hundreds of miles, rather than an abrupt shift. (2020-10-21)

Microbial diversity below seafloor is as rich as on Earth's surface
For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth's surface biomes. (2020-10-20)

Research network aims to improve learning outcomes for students underrepresented in STEM
A recent report lays out gaps in the biology education field and proposes leveraging an existing research coordination network called Equity and Diversity in Undergraduate STEM (EDU-STEM) to tackle them. (2020-10-19)

CRISPR-induced immune diversification in host-virus populations
Just like humans, microbes have equipped themselves with tools to recognize and defend themselves against viral invaders. In a continual evolutionary battle between virus and host, CRISPR-Cas act as a major driving force of strain diversity in host-virus systems. (2020-10-19)

More than 'just a fish' story
For recreational fishing enthusiasts, the thrill of snagging their next catch comes with discovering what's hooked on the end of the line. In many freshwater streams and rivers -- across the central and eastern parts of the U.S. -- anglers are often catching a popular freshwater game fish: the smallmouth bass. Now, scientists have discovered a new level of biodiversity within that species. (2020-10-19)

Bark beetle outbreaks benefit wild bee populations, habitat
Researchers found significant increases in floral abundance and wild bee diversity in outbreak-affected forests, compared to similar, undisturbed forest. (2020-10-15)

Sweetpotato biodiversity can help increase climate-resilience of small-scale farming
Sweetpotato biodiversity can help increase climate-resilience of small-scale farming, according to the findings of a study undertaken by researchers from IRD, CIRAD and the CGIAR center, the International Potato Center (CIP). The findings of this global analysis of the intraspecific diversity of the sweetpotato--one of the world's most important food crops, demonstrate the role of this genetic diversity in the productivity and resilience of food and agricultural systems in the face of climate change. (2020-10-14)

Urban daycare yards outfitted with natural forest floor boosted children's immune systems
Children who played in formerly gravel-covered urban daycare center yards renovated with natural forest floor, sod, and vegetation developed more diverse microbiomes and signs of a better-regulated immune system within one month, according to a new study with 75 children between 3 and 5 years old. The findings suggest it may be possible to improve immune. (2020-10-14)

UMaine researcher: How leaves reflect light reveals evolutionary history of seed plants
The way leaves reflect light, known as plant reflectance spectra, can illuminate the evolutionary history of seed plants, according to Dudu Meireles. The University of Maine researcher and colleagues worldwide found that by measuring the light spectrum reflected by leaves, they can identify the plant and its chemistry, evolution and place in the tree of life. (2020-10-14)

Lack of diversity among cardiovascular health-care professionals continues
Despite working for more than two decades to address underrepresentation of women in cardiology, disparities among cardiovascular professionals continue to exist. Profound inequities also exist for individuals underrepresented in medicine, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans, who constitute 32 percent of the U.S. population but only eight percent of practicing cardiologists (2020-10-13)

The number and clonality of TCRs are associated with the prognosis of colorectal cancer
This study has used a new technique called 'T-cell receptor (TCR) immuno-sequencing', which allows us to obtain both the number of T lymphocytes that infiltrate the tumor and their clonality index. (2020-10-06)

A timeline on the evolution of reptiles
A statistical analysis of that vast database is helping scientists better understand the evolution of these cold-blooded vertebrates by contradicting a widely held theory that major transitions in evolution always happened in big, quick (geologically speaking) bursts, triggered by major environmental shifts. (2020-10-06)

Genetic gains for better grains
A nutritious millet crop grown mainly in West Africa could be genetically improved for large-scale agriculture in Saudi Arabia. (2020-09-29)

Biodiversity increases plant decomposition rate; should be factored into climate models, study finds
An international team of researchers published a meta-analysis of 176 studies investigating the effect of diverse leaf litter decay on ecosystems around the world on Sept. 11 in Nature Communications. (2020-09-28)

Boys' club barriers create issues for Australian boards
Pale, male and stale - it's certainly stereotypical, but it's a saying that still holds water when it comes to Australian boards, according to new research from the University of South Australia. (2020-09-23)

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)

Women hold prominent roles, publish more in 'open science' vs. 'reproducibility' model
An international group of researchers examined the two paths that scientists are following to improve science: the movement for reproducibility and the movement for open science. They have very distinct cultures, with two distinct literatures produced by two groups of researchers with little crossover. Their investigation also suggests that one of the movements -- open science -- promotes greater equity, diversity, and inclusivity. (2020-09-16)

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