Biology

Seals only sleep with half their brain when they’re out at sea

Genetics - чт, 2018-06-07 18:00
Northern fur seals mostly sleep with half their brain while they’re at sea, but sleep with all their brain while on land – unlike any other animal studied
Категории: Biology

Why Richard Branson’s promises about space tourism are empty

Genetics - чт, 2018-06-07 17:26
The billionaire businessman says he'll ride into space within months, paving the way to routine suborbital passenger trips. Don't get too excited, says Paul Marks
Категории: Biology

Sour tastes may make you more adventurous and take bigger risks

Genetics - чт, 2018-06-07 16:07
A gambling experiment has found that the taste of umami seems to make us more conservative in our choices, while sour flavours may promote risk-taking
Категории: Biology

Surveillance drones can now spot violent attacks as they happen

Genetics - чт, 2018-06-07 14:02
A drone surveillance system can spot violence in a crowd, including stabbing and strangling, but some worry the consequences have not been thought through
Категории: Biology

Video: Ending the HIV epidemic

Genetics - чт, 2018-06-07 13:00
We've come a long way in treating HIV but there is still much work to be done
Категории: Biology

Kidney cancer spreads by pretending to be white blood cells

Genetics - чт, 2018-06-07 02:05
Many people with cancer die from secondary tumours, and now we know how some cancer cells are able to spread around the body and move into other organs
Категории: Biology

The bench is closer to the bedside than we think: Uncovering the ethical ties between preclinical researchers in translational neuroscience and patients in clinical trials

PLOS Biology (new articles) - ср, 2018-06-06 23:00

by Mark Yarborough, Annelien Bredenoord, Flavio D’Abramo, Nanette C. Joyce, Jonathan Kimmelman, Ubaka Ogbogu, Emily Sena, Daniel Strech, Ulrich Dirnagl

Millions of people worldwide currently suffer from serious neurological diseases and injuries for which there are few, and often no, effective treatments. The paucity of effective interventions is, no doubt, due in large part to the complexity of the disorders, as well as our currently limited understanding of their pathophysiology. The bleak picture for patients, however, is also attributable to avoidable impediments stemming from quality concerns in preclinical research that often escape detection by research regulation efforts. In our essay, we connect the dots between these concerns about the quality of preclinical research and their potential ethical impact on the patients who volunteer for early trials of interventions informed by it. We do so in hopes that a greater appreciation among preclinical researchers of these serious ethical consequences can lead to a greater commitment within the research community to adopt widely available tools and measures that can help to improve the quality of research.
Категории: Biology, Journals

<i>Vitellogenin-like A</i>–associated shifts in social cue responsiveness regulate behavioral task specialization in an ant

PLOS Biology (new articles) - ср, 2018-06-06 23:00

by Philip Kohlmeier, Barbara Feldmeyer, Susanne Foitzik

Division of labor and task specialization explain the success of human and insect societies. Social insect colonies are characterized by division of labor, with workers specializing in brood care early and foraging later in life. Theory posits that this task switching requires shifts in responsiveness to task-related cues, yet experimental evidence is weak. Here, we show that a Vitellogenin (Vg) ortholog identified in an RNAseq study on the ant T. longispinosus is involved in this process: using phylogenetic analyses of Vg and Vg-like genes, we firstly show that this candidate gene does not cluster with the intensively studied honey bee Vg but falls into a separate Vg-like A cluster. Secondly, an experimental knockdown of Vg-like A in the fat body caused a reduction in brood care and an increase in nestmate care in young ant workers. Nestmate care is normally exhibited by older workers. We demonstrate experimentally that this task switch is at least partly based on Vg-like A–associated shifts in responsiveness from brood to worker cues. We thus reveal a novel mechanism leading to early behavioral maturation via changes in social cue responsiveness mediated by Vg-like A and associated pathways, which proximately play a role in regulating division of labor.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Party drugs are here to stay, but they don’t have to be killers

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 20:00
Crack downs on psychedelic substances are failing to protect people from harm. Drug tests at festivals and nightclubs to check they are legit could be a better way
Категории: Biology

Lightning reveals where Jupiter stores its ‘missing’ water

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 20:00
Decades ago a space probe found less water on Jupiter than expected, and now astronomers have tracked some of that water down by mapping lightning storms
Категории: Biology

Why are there so many devastating volcanic eruptions right now?

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 18:57
High-profile volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala are grabbing the headlines, but geophysics isn't responsible for connecting the two disasters
Категории: Biology

Who was the Somerton Man? Solving Australia’s coldest case

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 16:00
An amateur sleuth has spent years tracing the identity of a mysterious body found on a beach 70 years ago. Finally, he is finding answers close to home
Категории: Biology

Apple’s new app is designed to help you use their tech less

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 15:00
A new app called Screen Time will show iPhone and iPad users how many notifications they receive, how often they pick up their device and how much time they spend on different apps
Категории: Biology

Anti-acne cream clears up skin without any nasty side effects

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 13:36
A new anti-acne cream that blocks inflammation is more effective and has fewer side effects than existing lotions, a clinical trial has found
Категории: Biology

AI construction worker plans the fastest way to put up buildings

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 13:22
By considering hundreds of millions of potential schedules, an AI construction manager works out the best and fastest way for builders to put up a new building
Категории: Biology

4-year-olds care more about plants and animals than sick people

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 13:16
When we’re young, we care less about people – so much so that 4-year-olds care less about teachers and police than they do about dogs, monkeys and rosebushes
Категории: Biology

Europeans now burn more palm oil in their cars than they eat

Genetics - ср, 2018-06-06 12:42
Palm oil consumption in the EU jumped by 7 per cent in 2017 because it is increasingly used as a biofuel – driving the destruction of orangutans’ habitat
Категории: Biology

Amygdala activity for the modulation of goal-directed behavior in emotional contexts

PLOS Biology (new articles) - вт, 2018-06-05 23:00

by Kazutaka Maeda, Jun Kunimatsu, Okihide Hikosaka

Choosing valuable objects and rewarding actions is critical for survival. While such choices must be made in a way that suits the animal’s circumstances, the neural mechanisms underlying such context-appropriate behavior are unclear. To address this question, we devised a context-dependent reward-seeking task for macaque monkeys. Each trial started with the appearance of one of many visual scenes containing two or more objects, and the monkey had to choose the good object by saccade to get a reward. These scenes were categorized into two dimensions of emotional context: dangerous versus safe and rich versus poor. We found that many amygdala neurons were more strongly activated by dangerous scenes, by rich scenes, or by both. Furthermore, saccades to target objects occurred more quickly in dangerous than in safe scenes and were also quicker in rich than in poor scenes. Thus, amygdala neuronal activity and saccadic reaction times were negatively correlated in each monkey. These results suggest that amygdala neurons facilitate targeting saccades predictably based on aspects of emotional context, as is necessary for goal-directed and social behavior.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Have humans been sailors for a million years?

Genetics - вт, 2018-06-05 19:00
A growing collection of bones and tools suggest early humans built boats too, which would transform our view on how smart they were
Категории: Biology

The New Horizons probe is awake and ready for its next flyby

Genetics - вт, 2018-06-05 17:07
For the last 6 months, the New Horizons spacecraft that flew past Pluto in 2015 has been in hibernation, hurtling towards a distant rock – it has just woken up
Категории: Biology