Some diseases which are fatal in one species can cause only mild discomfort in another--but it's hard for scientists to predict how lethal a disease will be if it leaps across species. However, a new paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that the evolutionary relationship between infected hosts can predict the impact of diseases.
Kangaroo rats are abundant and seemingly defenseless seed-eating rodents that have to contend with a host of nasty predators, including rattlesnakes -- venomous pit vipers well known for their deadly, lightning-quick strikes. Research by a student-led team from UC Riverside, San Diego State University, and UC Davis now shows that desert kangaroo rats frequently foil snakes through a combination of fast reaction times, powerful evasive leaps, and mid-air, ninja-style kicks.
Cows always lie on their chests so that their digestion is not impaired. Rodents sometimes rest sitting down, while kangaroos sometimes lie on their backs. The larger the animal, the less often it lies down, and when it does, it is more likely to lie on its side - but there are exceptions. A team from UZH investigated the resting postures of mammals.
A comparison of seven European countries shows that the amount of antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater reflects the prevalence of clinical antibiotic resistance in the region. However, modern wastewater treatment plants seem to be able to eliminate antibiotic resistance efficiently.
The neurobiology of turtle ants differs significantly according to their specialized role within the colony, according to a study published March 27, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Darcy Greer Gordon from Boston University, USA, and colleagues.
New research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows younger groups of organisms, on average, accumulate diversity much more quickly than older groups.
Carrion crows and hooded crows are almost indistinguishable genetically, and hybrid offspring are fertile. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich biologists now show that the two forms have remained distinct largely owing to the dominant role of plumage color in mate choice.
New insight on how cells work together to control growth in the eyes of fish has been published today in eLife.
An international research team led by researchers from the University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (both Germany) have found why the giant duckweed has a low genetic diversity despite its large population size: low mutation rates contribute to low genetic diversity. The results are relevant for future studies on the evolution of plants and will accelerate the use of duckweeds both for basic research and industrial applications. The study was published in "Nature Communications".
A Costa Rican lizard species may have evolved scuba-diving qualities allowing it to stay underwater for 16 minutes, according to faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.