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Antarctic soil researcher awarded prestigious 2013 Tyler Environmental Prize
The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement today named Diana H. Wall, Ph.D., of Colorado State University the recipient of the 2013 Tyler Prize for her research documenting and exploring the complex and fragile soil ecosystem. Her research -- extending from more than 20 years in Antarctica's deserts, to the plains of Kansas and New York City's Central Park -- has explored the dynamics of species like nematodes, small worm-like organisms, living in the soil and their impact on life above ground. (2013-03-17)

Palaeontology: Fossil burrows point to ancient seafloor colonization by giant marine worms
Giant ambush-predator worms, possible ancestors of the 'bobbit worm', may have colonized the seafloor of the Eurasian continent around 20 million years ago. The findings, based on the reconstruction of large, L-shaped burrows from layers of seafloor dating back to the Miocene (23 million to 5.3 million years ago) of northeast Taiwan, are reported in Scientific Reports this week. (2021-01-21)

Breeding trouble: Meta-analysis identifies fishy issues with captive stocks
A meta-analysis has found patterns that may be jeopardising the long-term success of worldwide animal breeding programs, which increasingly act as an insurance against extinction in conservation, and for food security. Captive-born animals had, on average, almost half the odds of reproductive success compared to their wild-born counterparts in captivity; in aquaculture, the effects were particularly pronounced. The Sydney-based scientists were surprised by how universal the patterns were across the animal kingdom. (2018-03-13)

Tiny fish live fast, die young
Fish on coral reefs manage to thrive in isolated areas where there are very low levels of nutrients for them to use. How? The answer may lie in the tiny fish that live in the gaps in the coral structure. (2019-05-23)

Ants on the march in non-native conifer forests
A species of ant is thriving in habitats created by thousands of acres of coniferous forest planted in a UK national park in the last 60 years, according to new research by scientists from the Department of Biology at the University of York and Forest Research, the Forestry Commission's research agency. (2015-09-08)

Pinpointing natural cancer drug's true origins brings sustainable production a step closer
For decades, scientists have known that ET-743, a compound extracted from a marine invertebrate called a mangrove tunicate, can kill cancer cells. The drug has been approved for use in patients in Europe and is in clinical trials in the US. (2015-05-27)

Fisherwomen contribute tonnes of fish, billions of dollars to global fisheries
Fishing (particularly commercial fishing) is considered a male-dominated realm but it turns out that the 3 million tonnes of fish per year that women catch add up to $5.6 billion or the equivalent of 12% of the landed value of all small-scale fisheries catches globally. (2020-03-04)

Komodo even more deadly than thought: Research
The fearsome Komodo dragon is deadlier than previously thought, with new research revealing that the giant lizards weaken and immobilize their prey with a potent venomous bite before using razor sharp teeth and powerful neck muscles to kill victims. (2009-05-18)

57% of the plastic waste on the Tarragona coast is clothing fibers from washing machines
The sea water, beaches and sediments on the Tarragona coast contain quantities of plastic similar to those in a big city like Barcelona. And more than half are clothing fibres from washing machines. This is one of the main findings of a study carried out by researchers from the URV's research group Tecnatox and presented at a congress in Helsinki. (2019-06-10)

Wealth of new species discovered from the abyssal plains of the Atlantic Ocean
Preliminary findings from an expedition last year to the deep-sea of the Angola Basin are revealing a wealth of new information on biodiversity in the poorly known depths of the south Atlantic Ocean. The early results from the project Latitudinal Gradients in the Deep Sea of the Atlantic Ocean: DIVA were presented at a workshop at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, on September 18, 2001. (2001-10-31)

Frog reproduction in created ponds may be affected by disease and food availability
Food availability and disease in created habitats may affect the reproductive output of reintroduced frogs, according to a study published July 27, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kaya Klop-Toker from the University of Newcastle, Australia, and colleagues. (2016-07-27)

'Handedness' in scale-eating fish: Nature and nurture
Lateralized behaviors are thought to be strengthened during development; however, little is known about how they are acquired during development. In the scale-eating cichlid model, Nagoya University-based researchers demonstrated the attack side preference of juveniles was developed with scale-eating experience, regardless of age. They also found that kinetics of attack behavior is superior on one side by nature. Therefore, they concluded that the fish learn to use the naturally dominant side through experience. (2017-09-14)

Genetic analysis identifies proteins controlling sleep in mice
University of Tsukuba-led researchers identified roles for SIK3 and NALCN proteins in controlling sleep/wakefulness in mice, through a large-scale genetic screen. Mutations in genes encoding these proteins increased sleep need and reduced rapid eye movement sleep, respectively. Related proteins in Drosophila and roundworms had similar roles, emphasizing the need for sleep control throughout the animal kingdom. This approach of identifying genes responsible for particular phenotypes was found useful in discovering genes and pathways involved in mammalian sleep regulation. (2016-11-02)

Genetic takeover threatens crayfish
Introduced crayfish are wiping out native species in North America, which has three-quarters of the crayfish species worldwide. New research provides the first evidence that introduced crayfish are taking over native species genetically by hybridizing with them. (2001-11-30)

Study finds evidence of Deepwater Horizon oil in land-based birds
The ecological consequences of an environmental disaster can extend further than one may imagine as effects propagate through interconnected food webs. Most recently, researchers in the US have found evidence suggesting that oil from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spillage has been incorporated into birds living on land. (2016-11-15)

Flyception 2.0: New imaging technology tracks complex social behavior
An advanced imaging technology developed at UC San Diego is allowing scientists unprecedented access into brain activities during intricate behaviors. The 'Flyception2' system has produced the first-ever picture of what happens in the brain during mating in any organism, in addition to surprise findings about neuron activity during copulation. (2020-02-04)

An extinct species of scops owl has been discovered in Madeira
An international team of scientists, including some from Majorca and the Canary Islands, have described a new type of fossil scops owl, the first extinct bird on the archipelago of Madeira. Otus mauli, which was also the first nocturnal bird of prey described in the area, lived on land and became extinct as a result of humans arriving on the island. (2012-03-23)

'Vampire' plants can have positive impacts up the food chain
New research at the University of York has revealed that parasitic 'vampire' plants that attach onto and derive nutrients from another living plant may benefit the abundance and diversity of surrounding vegetation and animal life. (2015-06-04)

New information about how neurons act could lead to brain disorder advancements
Neurons are electrically charged cells, located in the nervous system, that interpret and transmit information using electrical and chemical signals. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have determined that individual neurons can react differently to electrical signals at the molecular level and in different ways -- even among neurons of the same type. This variability may be important in discovering underlying problems associated with brain disorders and neural diseases such as epilepsy. (2014-10-14)

Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature
Researchers at Griffith University's Eskitis Institute have developed a new technique for discovering natural compounds which could form the basis of novel therapeutic drugs. (2014-04-15)

Species new to science named after a 'Dungeons & Dragons' character
Focused on terrestrial gastropods, commonly known as land snails, a team of biologists from the Natural History Museum of Stuttgart, Germany and the Zoology Museum of São Paulo, Brazil, have been researching the Brazilian caves. In their latest paper, published in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution, the scientists describe the fauna from several caves in central Brazil, including a new tiny species named after a character from the popular fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. (2017-02-15)

Shifts in flowering phases of plants due to reduced insect density
A research group of the University of Jena and the iDiv has discovered that insects have a decisive influence on the biodiversity and flowering phases of plants. If there is a lack of insects where the plants are growing, their flowering behaviour changes. This can result in the lifecycles of the insects and the flowering periods of the plants no longer coinciding. If the insects seek nectar, some plants will no longer be pollinated. (2020-10-26)

Still waters? 'Clear-cutting' robs the deep-sea of ancient treasures
Deep beneath the Earth's oceans, (2002-02-15)

The mechanical switch in the ear
Max Planck scientists have discovered the elusive channel that converts mechanical energy into electrical signals in sensory hair cells. (2003-06-17)

Pollination habits of endangered Texas rice revealed to help preservation
A type of wild rice that only grows in a small stretch of the San Marcos River is likely so rare because it plays the sexual reproduction game poorly, a study led by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin has revealed. (2008-07-15)

Biologists discover a key regulator in the pacemakers of our brain and heart
Biologists have discovered how an outer shield over T-type channels change the electrochemical signaling of heart and brain cells. Understanding how these shields work will help researchers eventually develop a new class of drugs for treating epilepsy, cardiovascular disease and cancer. (2014-04-25)

Eelgrass provides a refuge from predators for some fish species
An article in the current issue of the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series describes experiments by URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) biological oceanographers Lora Harris, Betty Buckley, Scott Nixon, and Ben Allen to investigate how different habitats affect predator-prey relationships. The three habitats in the study included eelgrass Zostera marina, macroalgae, and bare sediment. (2004-11-24)

Bats change strategy when food is scarce
Bats could be more flexible in their echolocation behavior than previously thought, according to a new study into the foraging techniques of the desert long-eared bat by researchers at the University of Bristol. (2014-09-04)

Lights off? International experts call attention to dangers of exposure to light at night
World experts discussing (2012-09-11)

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