Yellowstone has benefited from the reintroduction of wolves

Oct 17, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


The reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone National Park in 1995 has made the park’s ecosystem very complex and heterogeneous, a new study shows. While human interventions in the park are kept minimal, the prese... Read more

Imaging the 3D structure of leaves

Oct 16, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Scientists have succeeded in imaging leaves in their three-dimensional structure by using new technology. The images are created from biological specimens, by integrating two-dimensional measurements to create the 3D p... Read more

Dissolving snails due to acidification of seawater

Oct 15, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Biologists have found that increased CO2 levels in seawater harms the shell of the snail Charonia lampas, or triton shell. The research was conducted off the coast of Shikinejima in Japan, where CO2 bubbles up from the... Read more

Atlantic salmon uses Earth’s magnetic field for navigation

Oct 10, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


Similar to their relatives, the Pacific salmon, the Atlantic salmon uses Earth’s magnetic field as a navigational tool, according to a new study.

Interestingly, the study showed that the fish do n... Read more

Education improves economic decision-making

Oct 08, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Education support and laboratory experiments that mimicked real-life situations improved economic decision-making in a group of nearly 3,000 girls in secondary schools in Malawi. The students received one year of finan... Read more

Our viral defenses are inherited from Neanderthals

Oct 05, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


New research has shown that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred and exchanged viruses. The Neanderthal DNA ended up in our DNA, and helps us to protect ourselves against viruses. This DNA-based adaptation was part... Read more

Pseudo-embryos from stem cells created in the lab

Oct 04, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


A new research study reports that mouse stem cells have the ability to produce pseudo-embryos, similar in many aspects to real embryos of 6 to 10 days.

The study showed that the three main embryonic axes were formed using around 300 stem cells, according... Read more

Genetics do not contribute much to forming a social society

Oct 04, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

Research in sweat bees (Lasioglossum baleicum) revealed that social behavior is relatively independent of genetic similarities between the individuals. Fitness, i.e. an organism’s reproductive success and propaga... Read more

How do baby giraffes get their spots? From their mothers!

Oct 03, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


The spotted pattern of a giraffe is complex and important, ensuring efficient camouflage and protection from predators. But what determines the shape of the spots?

A new study showed that their shape is... Read more

Making wild groundcherry suitable for agriculture by DNA editing

Oct 02, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


To make wild groundcherry suitable for agriculture, scientists have edited its genome with the CRISPR technique to incorporate some characteristics of tomatoes. This makes the groundcherry grow in a more “organiz... Read more

Gene stealing algae may survive climate change

Sep 28, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Some green algae appear to have taken genes from bacteria, which allows them to survive hostile and fluctuating conditions in salt marshes. These algae, known as Picochlorum, are expected to survive climate change as w... Read more

Finally some good news for corals: reefs can be rehabilitated

Sep 28, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Researchers have attached coral fragment to hexagonal structures called “spiders” in the center of Indonesia’s Coral Triangle to test whether it is possible to restore coral reefs. Indeed, live coral ... Read more

Collapse of killer whale populations from PCBs expected

Sep 28, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Scientists found that killer whales are amongst the most highly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminated mammals in the world. PCB contamination affects reproduction and immune function, and threatens viability o... Read more

How does a plant know when to flower?

Sep 27, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu

Correct timing for flowering is extremely important for pollination and reproduction of plants. But, how does a plant know when it is the best moment to produce flowers? A component of the sunlight, called the UV-B rad... Read more

Climate change not the main culprit of amphibian decline

Sep 26, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Years worth of data collected in the US and Canada show that climate change is not the main factor that is causing the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. While it is true that local effects of climate change c... Read more

Gene drive technique eradicates malaria mosquito population in the laboratory

Sep 25, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Scientists are well on their way to specifically change the genome of malaria mosquitos to bring about their extinction. By introducing a mutation by the CRISPR – Cas9 gene drive technique in a part of the gene t... Read more

Glyphosate, a common herbicide, contributes to the dying of bees

Sep 25, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


The commonly used herbicide glyphosate has been found in a new study to have a profound effect on the microbiota living the intestines of honeybees. At least four out of eight common bacteria species are severely affec... Read more

Light pollution makes fish more courageous during the day

Sep 24, 2018 Erwin van den Burg


Artificial light at night alters the behavior of fish (guppies) during the day, a new study shows. Fish leave their shelter faster, and spend more time in open, potentially dangerous, waters. It thus seems that fish ar... Read more

Children more likely to try marijuana younger if their mothers smoke it

Sep 24, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu


A new study showed a correlation between mothers using marijuana during the first 12 years of their child's life and the age at which the children start using cannabis themselves. Maternal marihuana use was associated with children trying it at an earlier age. "Earl... Read more

Gut feeling, the sixth sense

Sep 21, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

The but-brain connection is not only hormonal, but also neural, new research shows. There is a direct communication from the gut to the brain via the vagal nerve, carrying sensory information about food and nutrition to the brain... Read more