Using the power of single-cell analysis, researchers at the Babraham Institute have assessed the effects of age on egg cells (oocytes) in mice, particularly looking to identify genomic and epigenetic factors that relate to reduced developmental competence. The knowledge uncovered by this research provides new insights into the mechanisms underlying egg quality and is relevant to the development of techniques to assess the quality of human egg cells, an area of growing importance as the use of fertility treatments increases.
Last year, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, identified the early origins of neural crest cells -- embryonic cells in vertebrates that travel throughout the body and generate many cell types -- in chick embryos. Now the researchers have used a human model to figure out when neural crest cells acquire distinctive molecular and functional attributes.
Hormones are the master regulators of sexual functions in mammals. The hormone oxytocin has a well-established role in social bonding, sexual function, maternal instinct, nursing, and lactation. Researchers from Okayama University have now explored the roles of oxytocin in male sexual function for the first time. Findings from the study suggest that oxytocin-mediated control of male sexual function via the spinal cord may in fact be instrumental in treating erectile dysfunction.
A recent review of published studies in non-human mammals examines 'sexual disturbance,' or male behavior towards a female around mating that can be costly for the female -- for example, that might inflict physical harm or cause mother-offspring separation. The findings are published in Mammal Review.
A McGill University-led team of biologists found, in an article published today in Nature, that the picture of dramatically declining vertebrate populations of all kinds is driven by a small number of outlier populations whose numbers are dropping at extreme rates. Once these outliers are separated from the mix, a very different and far more hopeful picture of global biodiversity emerges.
UCLA researchers using a model of airway tissue created from human stem cells have pinpointed how smoking cigarettes causes more severe infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the airways of the lungs.
Animals that migrate 'live fast and die young', new research shows.
A new paper in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute indicates that receiving assisted reproductive technology does not increase the risk women have for developing ovarian cancer.
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigated the binding properties of several hepatitis C drugs to determine how well they inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, a crucial protein enzyme that enables the novel coronavirus to reproduce. Inhibiting, or blocking, the protease from functioning is vital to stopping the virus from spreading in patients with COVID-19.
Individuals of the solitary bee Osmia bicornis show a 24-h behavioral cycle as soon as they emerge, unlike young honeybee workers who need to perform brood care around the clock and only develop a daily cycle later in life. This is reflected in a difference in the rate of brain development: in O. bicornis, but not in honeybees, neurons producing the "pacemaker" neuromodulator PDF are already maximally active immediately upon emergence. Sociality seems to have promoted a delay in maturation of the internal clock.