Guess what… Even prehistoric humans stored food

Oct 14, 2019 Kshitij Jadhav


While they didn’t have refrigerators, prehistoric humans also went through the pains of storing food for later consumption. This can be understood from the evidence of storage and delayed consumption... Read more

Where sea slugs get their toxic defense from

Jul 02, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Sea slugs acquire bacterial toxins that live inside algae, the food source of sea slugs, a new study shows.

Thus, this three-way symbiotic relationship between slugs, algae and bacteria pro... Read more

Keeping malaria under control with a harmless neurotoxin

Jul 01, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Scientists have discovered a unique neurotoxin that kills Anopheles mosquitoes that carries malaria. The neurotoxin is harmless for humans, vertebrate animals and even other insects.

It is ... Read more

The nervous system can transmit information across multiple generations

Jun 07, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Researchers have found that brain cells of nematodes (worms) communicate with germ cells through the release of small pieces of RNA. In this way, the information stored in the brain can be transmitted to t... Read more

Global warming speeds up early life of salmon

Jun 05, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Higher annual temperatures in Alaska’s Bristol Bay have caused lakes and rivers to warm up earlier in spring, enhancing the growth of plankton that young sockeye salmon eat. This fattens up the young... Read more

Some dinosaurs had feathers, long before birds appeared

Jun 04, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


After analyzing 250-million-year-old fossils from China, paleontologists have discovered that pterosaurs had feathers, long before birds had evolved.

The function of these early feathers wa... Read more

Does CRISPR technology increase mortality?

Jun 04, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


You may remember that a Chinese scientist has applied a gene-editing technique called CRISPR in two human baby girls in 2018. Apart from ethical issues, there is now also concern that the genetic mutation ... Read more

Tick tock goes the clock, throughout our body and not only in the brain

Jun 03, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


New research has shown that organs can detect variations in light between day and night, even when they do not receive instructions anymore from the central clock in the hypothalamus of the brain.
... Read more

Bacteria in fermented food signal to the immune system

May 27, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Lactic acid bacteria, which convert cabbage into sauerkraut and milk into yoghurt, have been found to secrete a substance (D-phenyllactic acid) that binds to a particular receptor on immune cells unique to... Read more

Billion-year-old fossil of a fungus found in Canada

May 23, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Numerous microfossils of fungi have been found in Canada, which are up to one billion years old. This find pushes the age of fungi back by 450 million years.

Fungi play an important role in... Read more

Dead cells modulate how immune cells function

May 22, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Immune cells prioritize removal of dead cells over fighting infections and healing wounds, a new study found.

While clearance of dead cells is important, during times of injury immune cells... Read more

Evolution of color revealed in fossilized mouse

May 22, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Scientists have found red pigmet in the fur of a three million year old fossilized mouse.

The chemistry of the pigment shows that the trace metals of the pigment in the mouse fur are bonded... Read more

What we can learn from algae to improve photovoltaic cells

May 15, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


As algae manage to use and store solar energy more efficiently than any other organism (up to 98%), biochemists have set out to determine how algae do this precisely.

They found that algae ... Read more

Bad news: Salmonella carries a newly discovered antibiotic resistance gene

May 08, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


When scientists analyzed the genome of Salmonella bacteria, they discovered a gene, named mcr-9, that renders bacteria resistant to the last resort antibiotic colistin.

Colistin has been de... Read more

Looking a fish in the mouth: a new species of parasite found

May 08, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Researchers from the North-West University in South Africa have discovered a new parasite of fish.

They are crustaceans (like crabs and shrimps), and attach themselves to the gills of espec... Read more

Shrinking biodiversity threatens human life, research warns

May 06, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Plant and animal species on earth are declining at such a rapid pace that human life is also threatened. This emerges from a large scientific study of the biodiversity on earth of Ipbes, an organization af... Read more

Sequencing the peanut genome, peanuts?

May 03, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


With the latest advances in genomic sequencing, researchers have succeeded to sequence the complex genome of peanuts.

This genetic analysis has revealed the evolutionary origin of the sever... Read more

Antidote found to deadly box jellyfish sting

May 01, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Researchers have discovered an antidote to the sting of the most venomous creature on Earth: the Australian box jellyfish. The tentacles of this animal can reach three meters of length, and contain enough ... Read more

Nature in the city

Apr 30, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


A US study, in which citizens could report urban plants and animals, shows that nature in the city strongly depends on the region where the city is situated.

However, while the number cosmo... Read more

Protein that sticks bacteria to our skin pictured for the first time

Apr 29, 2019 Erwin van den Burg


Bacteria produce a protein, named UpaB, that helps them stick to the human skin. In a new study, researchers have modeled this superglue protein of a pathogen that causes urinary tract infection, but simil... Read more