Rapid evolution of ants living in the city

Aug 20, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Acorn-dwelling ants living in big American cities (Cleveland and Knoxville) appear to become more heat-tolerant to adapt to their warmer environment, whereas their conspecifics living in the country nearby do not. Thei... Read more

Why salamanders can regrow organs and lizards cannot

Aug 18, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Researchers have found that neural stem cells in the spinal cord ensure that salamanders can regrow proper tails. When transplanting these cells into lizards, that can also regenerate the tail to some extent, these ani... Read more

Men take care of their spouses just as much as women do

Aug 13, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


A new study suggests that men respond to their spouse’s illness just as much as women do and as a result are better caregivers in later life than previous research suggests, according to a new Oxford University c... Read more

When rude to your co-workers their children suffer

Aug 13, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


According to a group of scientists, when people are rude to their co-workers or treat them badly, they don’t realize the unintended could be the coworkers’ children. Women who experience incivility in the w... Read more

A germinating seed has only 48 hours to become a plant and survive

Aug 05, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


A germinating seed has only two days to become a young seedling capable of photosynthesis otherwise, the plant will not survive. During these first 48 hours, it relies solely on its internal reserves, which are quickly... Read more

Want to know where a cell should go? Ask a mathematician!

Jul 23, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Scientists have long puzzled over the question of how the position of each cell is correctly specified, so that limbs, arms and other organs grow at the correct place. Biologists and mathematicians have now joined forc... Read more

Religiosity decreases sexually aggressive and coercive behaviors in men

Jul 22, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


New research shows that college men involved in religious activities are less likely to be sexually aggressive and to engage in coercive behaviors. The researchers surveyed 795 men at a large public university in their... Read more

Barnacle geese adjust migration to global warming

Jul 20, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Barnacle geese have been found to travel faster from their temperate wintering to their Arctic breeding grounds to be in time for the polar spring. The Arctic spring advances in time due to global warming, so that the ... Read more

Plant evolution: from simple 2D to complex 3D shapes with new proteins

Jul 20, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Plants find their origin in water, in string-like (2D), aquatic green algae to be precise. Their transition to land has been made possible by a genetic novelty, genes that are not found in algae but only in modern, 3D ... Read more

Mother plants steer development of the embryo by the hormone auxin

Jul 19, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Just as mammalian embryos develop on the basis of a whole battery of signals from the mother, plant embryos need a hormone, called auxin, to develop properly, a new study found. When researchers blocked the synthesis o... Read more

Discovery of natural herbicide

Jul 15, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


By studying the mechanisms microorganisms use to protect themselves from toxic effects of the chemicals it secretes to kill plants, researchers have found a compound that inhibits the function of an enzyme that is nece... Read more

Embryo’s first cell division keeps paternal and maternal chromosomes apart

Jul 13, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Using the recently developed light-sheet microscopy technique, scientists have for the very first time observed that the fertilized egg cell forms two spindles one for the paternal, and one for the maternal chromoso... Read more

Evolution of same-species partner selection lies in the brain

Jul 12, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


As for most animals, mating in flies only occurs between individuals of the same species. But how do male flies discriminate between pheromones from females from the same and from a closely related species? New researc... Read more

Pesticides disturb learning and memory in honey bees

Jul 11, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Even low doses of pesticides that occur in fields with crops reduce learning and memory abilities of honey bees, a new study reports. Learning and memory are crucial for these insects to communicate the whereabouts of ... Read more

Genes involved in aggressivity identified

Jul 10, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


Violent behavior is determined by multiple factors, including genetic ones. A new study has looked into this in detail and has identified 40 genes in humans, but also in mice, that are involved in aggressive behavior. ... Read more

Rising carbon dioxide levels are bad news for monarch butterflies

Jul 10, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Rising carbon dioxide levels can threat life in more ways than just warming up global temperature, a new study found. Carbon dioxide lowers the amount of cardenolides in the milkweed plants the caterpillars eat. Carden... Read more

Genes jump from species to species

Jul 09, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Genes are not only transferred from parent to child, but also at a large scale from species to species, a new study found. These genes are known as jumping genes, or transposable elements, and copy and paste themselves... Read more

New wasp species has a massive stinger

Jul 09, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


Amazonia is a region known for its diversity. Now, it has surprised scientists again, with the discovery of a new species of wasps that have an incredibly massive stinger. The stinger of the new parasitoid wasp called ... Read more

Genetics document amazing history of dogs in the Americas

Jul 06, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Genetic studies on old dog skeletons have revealed that the first dogs to reach the Americas came from Siberia, together with ancient humans, over a land bridge that once connected Siberia with Alaska. These dogs were ... Read more

Beak size indicate the sex of Galapagos penguins

Jun 28, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


Researchers studying the Galapagos penguins must collect a blood sample in order to accurately determine the sex of an individual. This method is, of course, invasive and time-consuming, so scientists have looked for a... Read more