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Fewer Viral Relics May Be Due to a Less Bloody Evolutionary History

February 4, 2015 2:36 pm | by University of Oxford | News | Comments

Humans have fewer remnants of viral DNA in their genes compared to other mammals.                              

Evolutionary Explanation of Walking

February 4, 2015 10:41 am | by Peter Reuell, Harvard News | News | Comments

For decades, scientists have recognized the upright posture exhibited by chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans as a key feature separating the “great apes” from other primates, but a host of questions about the evolution of that posture — particularly how and when it emerged — have long gone unanswered.

High-Speed Images Capture How Raindrops Spread Plant Pathogens

February 4, 2015 9:14 am | by MIT | News | Comments

Farmers have long noted a correlation between rainstorms and disease outbreaks among plants. Fungal parasites known as “rust” can grow particularly rampant following rain events, eating away at the leaves of wheat and potentially depleting crop harvests.

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Skin based Immunity Secrets Revealed

February 3, 2015 1:46 pm | by University of Melbourne | News | Comments

A team of international scientists has discovered a new mechanism by which immune cells in the skin function act as the body's 'border control', revealing how these cells sense whether lipid or fat-like molecules might indicate the presence of foreign invaders.

Ancient Israeli Skull May Document Migration from Africa

January 28, 2015 2:37 pm | by Malcolm Ritter - AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The skull dates from around 55,000 years ago, fitting into the period when scientists had thought the migrants inhabited the area.                      

The Winners, Losers of Ocean Acidification

January 28, 2015 10:30 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

Populations of certain types of marine organisms known collectively as the ‘biofouling community’ – tiny creatures that attach themselves to ships’ hulls and rocks – may quadruple within decades, while others may see their numbers reduced by as much as 80 percent, if the world’s oceans continue to become more acidic, according to new research.

Millions of GMO Insects Could Be Released in Florida Keys

January 26, 2015 9:26 am | by Jennifer Kay - Associated Press | News | Comments

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.              

Magnificent Blue Glow of Hong Kong Seas Also Disturbing

January 23, 2015 4:30 pm | by Seth Borenstein - AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmering off Hong Kong's seashore are magnificent, disturbing and potentially toxic.                       

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Estrogen-Producing Neurons Influence Aggression in Both Sexes

January 22, 2015 4:00 pm | by Pete Farley, UCSF | News | Comments

A miniscule cluster of estrogen-producing nerve cells in the mouse brain exerts highly specific effects on aggressive behavior in both males and females.                  

Test Results Pending on Dead Birds in Northern California

January 22, 2015 3:54 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Nearly a week after a mysterious gray gunk surfaced on shorelines in the San Francisco Bay Area, the substance has killed more than 200 seabirds.                   

Building on Biocontainment

January 22, 2015 10:56 am | by Harvard Univ. | News | Comments

The creation of genetically modified and entirely synthetic organisms continues to generate excitement as well as worry.                                                                   

New Govt Standards Target Pathogens in Poultry Products

January 22, 2015 10:41 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | News | Comments

Standards proposed by the Agriculture Department aim to reduce rates of salmonella and campylobacter, another pathogen that can cause symptoms similar to salmonella, in chicken parts, ground chicken and ground turkey. The standards would be voluntary but designed to pressure companies to take steps to reduce contamination.

“Sugar-Coated” Pill Helps The Medicine Go Down

January 22, 2015 10:22 am | by Cambridge Univ. | News | Comments

Cambridge scientists have discovered a solution for controlling one of the world’s biggest environmental and ecological pests – the zebra mussel.                                                                         

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Mysterious Goo Blamed in San Francisco Bay Area Bird Deaths

January 20, 2015 3:44 pm | by Kristin J. Bender - Associated Press | News | Comments

The death of 100 birds in the San Francisco Bay Area has baffled wildlife officials who say the feathers of the birds were coated with a mysterious substance that looks and feels like rubber cement.           

Tumor-Causing Virus Widespread in Wild Turkey

January 20, 2015 10:33 am | by Mary Esch, Associated Press | News | Comments

Wildlife biologists tracking a tumor-causing virus first diagnosed in eastern wild turkeys five years ago have found the virus is far more widespread - but less deadly - than expected.                             

Questions, Answers About Sri Lanka Mystery Kidney Disease

January 20, 2015 9:38 am | by Margie Mason, AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A mystery kidney disease is killing Sri Lankan farmers. The first cases surfaced some two decades ago in the country's North Central province, the main rice-producing area. Since then, the disease has killed up to an estimated 20,000 people on the Indian Ocean island nation.

Human Mode of Responding to HIV Vaccine Conserved from Monkeys

January 16, 2015 2:25 pm | by Duke Medicine | News | Comments

The antibody response from an HIV vaccine trial in Thailand was made possible by a genetic trait carried over in humans from an ancient ancestry with monkeys and apes.                

Measles Pops Up in Outbreak Linked to Disney Parks

January 16, 2015 1:57 pm | by Alicia Chang - AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The highly contagious respiratory illness was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but health officials have seen a surge of measles infections in the country in recent years.              

Sampling Finds More Asian Carp DNA Near Lake Michigan

January 16, 2015 1:52 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal report says genetic markers of Asian carp are still showing up in Chicago-area waterways.                           

Iron Overload Disease Causes Rapid Bacteria Growth

January 15, 2015 9:40 am | by UCLA | News | Comments

Every summer, the news reports on a bacterium called Vibrio vulnificus found in warm saltwater that causes people to get sick, or die, after they eat raw tainted shellfish or when an open wound comes in contact with seawater.                                      

California Unveils Strictest Rules on Pesticide

January 14, 2015 3:53 pm | by Scott Smith-Associated Press | News | Comments

The new regulations surpass standards required by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.                             

Five Biotech Startups to Watch in 2015

January 13, 2015 5:02 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

These companies have an interesting year ahead of them.                                   

Ancient Fossils Reveal Risk of Parasitic Infections Due to Climate Change

January 13, 2015 4:00 pm | by University of Missouri | News | Comments

Biologists found indications of a greater risk of parasitic infection due to climate change in ancient mollusk fossils.                        

New Information on Chemicals Insects Use to Communicate and Survive

January 13, 2015 3:34 pm | by UC Riverside | News | Comments

Most insects are covered with a thin layer of hydrocarbon molecules as a waterproofing barrier.                            

The Divergent Skull

January 7, 2015 4:38 pm | by Peter Reuell. Harvard Gazette | News | Comments

New study provides a detailed look at how frog and salamander skulls develop, and shows that the pattern for frogs is different than that of other vertebrates.                 

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