In a new study published in GLIA , Virginia Tech neuroscientists at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC describe how the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite prompts the loss of inhibitory signaling in the brain by altering the behavior of nearby cells called microglia.
This is the story of three bird species and how they interact. The brown-headed cowbird lays its eggs in other birds' nests and lets them raise its young -- often at the expense of the host's nestlings. To combat this threat, yellow warblers have developed a special 'seet' call that means, 'Look out! Cowbird!' In a new study, researchers report that red-winged blackbirds respond to the seet call as if they know what it means.
A variety of sea animals can take up virus particles while filtering seawater for oxygen and food. Sponges are particularly efficient. That was written by marine ecologist Jennifer Welsh from NIOZ this week, in a publication in Nature Scientific Reports. This Monday, Welsh will defend her thesis at the Free University of Amsterdam, through an online connection.
With 3,000 known species and thousands more left to describe, the wasps of the subfamily Microgastrinae are the single most important group of parasitoids attacking the larvae of butterflies and moths, many of which are economically important pests. Consequently, these wasps have a significant impact on both the world's economy and biodiversity. All currently available information about the group is now brought together in a monograph published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys.
Experts have stressed an urgent need to find alternatives to wormers and anti-ectoparasitic products used widely on cattle, following the findings of a study just published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
Researchers have found that the pathogen levels in the environment play a major role in whether bat populations are stable or experience severe declines from white-nose syndrome.
Transmitted by an insect known as the beet leafhopper, curly top disease is a viral disease affecting many crops, including melons, peppers, sugar beets, and tomatoes. Curly top can kill or stunt the plants or result in poorly developed fruit or no fruit at all.
Like most invasive species, when the soybean aphid arrived in the Midwest in 2000, it brought none of its natural enemies along for the ride. So, naturally, finding itself in the soybean capital of the world, the tiny insect went bonkers. Taking advantage of a nifty ability to reproduce without mating, populations exploded and the soybean aphid quickly became the number one insect pest affecting the crop.
Viruses have been well studied, but many mysteries linger. One such mystery is how a spherical virus circumvents energy barriers to form symmetric shells. A UC Riverside-led research team has made progress is solving this mystery. The team reports that an interplay of energies at the molecular level makes the formation of a shell possible.
In one of the first studies of its kind, bioscientists from Rice University and the University of Michigan have shown how to use the interactions between pathogens in individual hosts to predict the severity of multipathogen epidemics.