Environmental policy must respond to ever-changing conditions on the ground and in the water, but doing so requires a constant flow of information about the living world. Now, scientists propose employing emerging environmental DNA sampling techniques that could make assessing the biodiversity of marine ecosystems as easy as taking a water sample.
Figuring out how to survive on a lean-season diet of hard-to-reach ants, slugs and other bugs may have spurred the development of bigger brains and higher-level cognitive functions in the ancestors of humans and other primates, suggests new research.
A new study being presented at ICE/ENDO 2014, the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago, demonstrates that ambient temperatures can influence the growth or loss of brown fat in people. Cool environments stimulate growth, warm environments loss.
Ruminant livestock are the single largest source of methane emissions, and in a country like New Zealand, where the sheep outnumber people 7 to 1, that’s a big deal. However, not all ruminants are equal when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. It turns out that the amount of methane produced varies substantially across individual animals of the same ruminant species.
An imbalance of female sex hormones among men in Western nations may be contributing to high levels of male obesity, according to new research. The study suggest that obesity among Western men could be linked with exposure to substances containing the female sex hormone estrogen.
Infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to a new study.
A new study shows how exposure to air pollution early in life produces harmful changes in the brains of mice, including an enlargement of part of the brain that is seen in humans who have autism and schizophrenia.
Young men who use cannabis may be putting their fertility at risk by inadvertently affecting the size and shape of their sperm, according to recently published research.
As humans, how, and why, do we think and act so differently from other species? A new study suggests that the big difference between humans and other species may lie in how we use our brains for routine tasks.
The intimate interaction between a plant and its environment has sent some puzzling cues to scientists trying to determine how, at the molecular level, a plant becomes infected by bacteria. At this level, researchers have found that plants sometimes beckon the bacteria in a seemingly counterintuitive action to its health.
A newly developed fuel-cell concept will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process.
Scientists have discovered that the earliest living organisms on Earth were capable of making a mineral that may be found on Mars. The clay-mineral stevensite has been used since ancient times, but scientists had believed deposits could only be formed in harsh conditions. Researchers found living microbes create an environment that allows stevensite to form, raising new questions about the stevensite found on Mars.
A new study uses genetic information extracted from the remains of an adolescent girl to help resolve the longstanding debate about the origins of the first people to inhabit the Americas.
A new study of preschools and day care centers finds that flame retardants are prevalent indoors, potentially exposing young children to chemicals known to be hazardous.
Teenagers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion are at “significantly greater odds” of attempting suicide, being bullied and engaging in a variety of high risk behaviors, a new study has found.
Cholesterol levels fluctuate based on the time of year with more unfavorable lipid profiles seen in the colder months, a trend that may be driven by related behavior changes, according to new research.
Scientists are reporting that one compound from “third-hand smoke,” which forms when second-hand smoke reacts with indoor air, damages DNA and sticks to it in a way that could potentially cause cancer.
In the largest, most comprehensive, nationwide study to examine the prevalence of allergies from early childhood to old age, scientists from the National Institutes of Health report that allergy prevalence is the same across different regions of the United States, except in children 5 years and younger.
Nuts are in the news: a recent study has offered evidence for a big reason our bodies are so nuts for nuts. They are apparently almost all our big brains needed to survive— thus almost all we ate— from 1.4 to 2.4 million years ago.
Exposing skin to sunlight may help to reduce blood pressure by altering levels of the small messenger molecule nitric oxide (NO) in the skin and blood, thus cutting the risk of heart attack and stroke, a new study says.
An international team of researchers has sequenced the genome of the elephant shark and found new insights into the shark's bone formation and immunity.
To safely use bacteria in agriculture to help fertilize crops, it is vital to understand the difference between harmful and healthy strains. But can the microbial good and evil be told apart? Yes, life scientists and an international team of researchers report.
The controversial idea that vertebrate evolution can happen rapidly, in the merest handful of generations, has been given a boost. Harvard University evolutionary geneticist Nicolas Rohner and colleagues recently reported finding the mechanism by which some cavefish are born eyeless after the species moves from surface waters to dark caves.
An international research team has completed the first high-quality genome sequence of a Neanderthal, deepening knowledge about the genetic connections and population histories of ancient and modern humans.