May 2018
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Biology News!

This a list of selected articles about a wide range of topics. They are here because I consider them interesting, even for general biology students! You can sort the table by name, topic, or date published by just clicking the header of each column. If you find an article you consider interesting enough just send me the link and I will add it to this page.

Search by topic: Animal Adaptations, Climate Change, Diseases, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, Human Health, Human Impacts, Molecular Biology, Sustainable food, Technology

Go!Article NameGeneral TopicDate Published
ReadFirst feathers on dinosaurs were for mating, not flightEvolution10/25/2012
ReadAir Pollution a Culprit in Worsening Drought and Flooding...Human Impacts11/14/2011
ReadCan Fish Really Fly?..Animal Adaptations7/5/2011
ReadCasanova Gene Might Explain Female Finches’ Cheating Ways...Genetics6/15/2011
ReadCells may stray from ‘central dogma...Molecular Biology5/19/2011
ReadClimate Change Increasing Detrimental Low-Oxygen Zones in Oceans...Climate Change6/19/2011
ReadConserving Threatened Species Despite Habitat Fragmentation...Conservation5/19/2011
ReadFirst known photosynthetic animal!...Animal Adaptations1/11/2010
ReadFirst Teeth Grew on Outside of Body...Evolution11/18/2011
ReadFrog without lungs found in Indonesia...Animal Adaptations4/11/2008
ReadFukushima Nuclear Disaster: It’s much worse than you think...Human Impacts6/16/2011
ReadFungus causing epidemic among amphibians...Ecology/Parasites5/2/2011
ReadHow Animals Get Drunk on Fruit..Ecology9/9/2011
ReadGut Bacteria May Influence Our Personalities: Study...Ecology/Symbiosis5/17/2011
ReadHeavy Metal-Eating “Superworms” Unearthed in UK...Weird!10/7/2008
ReadHow the Archerfish Hunts...Animal Adaptations7/11/2011
ReadHow Baby Plants Switch to Being Green...Genetics5/19/2011
ReadIndia’s Vulture Population Has Plummeted from 40 Million to 60,000 – Poisoned by Drug Diclofenac...Human Impacts7/24/2009
ReadLast stand of the Asian Elephant...Human Impacts3/20/2011
ReadNasty fungus may be killing thousands of bats...Ecology/Parasites5/19/2011
ReadPeacock Mantis Shrimps...Animal Adaptations7/27/2011
ReadScientists create cow that produces ‘human’ milk...Molecular Biology6/11/2011
ReadScientists discover the largest genome of them all!...Genetics10/5/2010
ReadSubterranean worms from hell...Animal Adaptations6/1/2011
ReadUK Cattle Affected by Climate Change: Study...Climate Change6/13/2011
ReadYeti crab grows its own food...Animal Adaptations12/2/2011
ReadZombie Ant Manipulation Method Revealed in Detail: Study...Ecology/Parasites5/9/2011
ReadPythons apparently wiping out Everglades mammalsInvasive Species1/30/2012
ReadBacteria on Skin Affects Attractiveness to MosquitoesEcology/Symbiosis4/4/2012
ReadHoney Bees’ Breeding Strategy May Protect From DeclineEcology4/4/2012
Read400,000-Year-Old Human Remains Found in IsraelEvolution4/4/2012
ReadSome Dinosaurs Were Already Declining Before Mass ExtinctionEvolution5/1/2012
ReadBiodiversity Protected Prehistoric Mammals From Climate ChangeEvolution4/23/2012
ReadTasmanian Tigers Threatened by Low Genomic DiversityEvolution4/18/2012
ReadNorfolk rooftop dog becomes a celebrityWeird!6/5/2012
ReadWorld cancer incidence will grow 75% by 2030, WHO saysHuman Health6/1/2012
ReadStudy: Diabetes drug Actos doubles the risk of bladder cancerHuman Health6/1/2012
ReadParalyzed rats run again: Could method help humans?Human Health5/31/2012
ReadBirds may be dinosaurs that never grew upEvolution5/29/2012
ReadBluefin tuna carried a little radiation from Japan to California, study saysHuman Impacts5/28/2012
ReadMagnesium infusions provide no benefit after bleeding strokeHuman Health5/25/2012
ReadScientists find what made some whales the largest animals on EarthEvolution5/24/2012
ReadCalcium supplements increase risk of heart attacks, study findsHuman Health5/23/2012
ReadBirds\' evolution led to disappearance of giant insects, study findsEvolution6/4/2012
ReadArctic has undergone unexpectedly warm periods, core data showsClimate Change6/22/2012
ReadGut bacteria: Each species may need its own kindHuman Health6/21/2012
ReadEaster Island has stone heads, but little else. What happened?Invasive Species6/20/2012
ReadUnderground carbon dioxide storage likely would cause earthquakesClimate Change6/18/2012
ReadTrial of artificial pancreas gives diabetes patients a breakHuman Health6/12/2012
ReadEarth may be near tipping point, scientists warnClimate Change6/7/2012
ReadFukushima’s Contamination Produces Some Surprises at SeaHuman Impacts9/28/2011
ReadNew approach to fighting malaria targets parasite, not mosquitoesEcology/Parasites7/21/2012
ReadMale Cheetah Bark Triggers Female OvulationEcology/Behavior1/9/2009
ReadCheetah Breaks Speed Record—Beats Usain Bolt by SecondsAnimal Adaptations8/2/2012
ReadCaffeinated Seas Found off U.S. Pacific NorthwestHuman Impacts7/30/2012
ReadGreenland Ice Melt: Global Warming or Just Heat Wave?Climate Change7/25/2012
ReadRecord loss of Arctic ice may trigger extreme weatherClimate Change9/13/2012
ReadSix Republicans who need science lessonsWeird!9/13/2012
ReadMen without testicles might live longer, study suggestsHuman Health9/24/2012
ReadHow to change a person\'s ethical beliefs in five minutesHuman Behavior9/21/2012
ReadNew material efficiently turns heat into electricityTechnology9/13/2012
ReadNew gene therapy method replaces mitochondrial DNA, study saysMolecular Biology10/24/2012
ReadStudy links cooked food to early humans\' growing brainsHuman Evolution10/23/2012
ReadHuman populations expanded before agriculture: studyHuman Evolution10/18/2012
ReadBaby wrens must chirp a secret password to be fedEcology/Behavior11/8/2012
ReadWhen seaweed attacks, corals call on goby fish to bite backEcology/Behavior11/9/2012
ReadGender differences in autoimmune diseases: Blame them on bacteria?Human Health1/18/2013
Read2012 was among the 10 hottest years on record globallyClimate Change1/15/2013
ReadMen more likely than women to commit research fraud, study findsHuman Behavior1/22/2013
ReadDinosaurs Wiped Out by Volcanoes, Not Asteroid?Earth & Environment1/16/2013
ReadBlind sled dog thrives with brother\'s helpAnimal Adaptations1/25/2013
ReadAids: Origin of pandemic 'was 1920s Kinshasa'Diseases10/2/2014
ReadStrange but True: Komodo Dragons Show that "Virgin Births" Are PossibleAnimal Adaptations12/28/2006
ReadArctic Reindeer Go Off the Circadian ClockAnimal Adaptations03/11/10
ReadA cause for pause? Scientists offer reasons for global warming 'hiatus'Climate Change02/26/2015
ReadResearchers find new reason to drink coffee: It may reduce risk of MSHuman Health02/26/2015
ReadCoffee consumption linked to lower melanoma riskHuman Health01/22/2015
ReadDaily coffee habit linked to lower risk of liver cancer, study saysHuman Health04/10/2014
ReadCoffee as medicine? Japanese scientists show how it helps the heartHuman Health11/20/2013
ReadCoffee: Good for us? Or bad for us? Two new studies disagreeHuman Health08/19/2013
ReadPenguins have only two types of taste genes; no wonder they gulp their foodAnimal Adaptations02/16/2015
ReadMillions of tons of trash dumped into world's oceansHuman Impacts02/13/2015
ReadOcean's nasty plastic garbage is disappearing: What's going on?Human Impacts07/01/2014
ReadFrom Icky bugs to good grub: Why more people are eating insectsSustainable food09/07/2015
ReadPsychologists Push For Smartphone Warning LabelsHuman Health10/09/2015
Candle Soot May Be The Key To A Better Battery For Electric CarsTechnology10/09/2015
ReadMan who failed paternity test for his child is shocked to discover the DNA in his sperm came from his TWIN who was 'lost' in the womb in first-of-its-kind caseGenetics10/25/2015
ReadScientists Have Found Bacteria Resistant To 'Last Resort' DrugHuman Health11/19/2015
Read11 Science Facts That Seem More Like Science FictionScientific facts11/28/2013
ReadHow do electric eels generate a voltage and why do they not get shocked in the process?Animal Adaptations12/05/2005
ReadThis Technology Can Fight Cancer And Create Adorable Mini Pigs. So Why Are Scientists So Worried?Molecular Biology11/23/2015
ReadWhy Blue Origin's Rocket Landing Is Big News For Space TravelTechnology11/24/2015
ReadWhy Some Conservatives Can't Accept That Climate Change Is RealClimate Change11/23/2015
ReadScientists Map Acorn Worm DNA, And Learn A Lot About Humans In The ProcessGenetics - Molecular Biology11/20/2015
ReadHere's Why Turkeys Have Become So Friggin' HumongousSelective Breeding11/26/2015
ReadScience Has Determined How Not To Look StupidHuman Behavior11/27/2015
ReadHow Controversial Gene Editing Could Lead To Groundbreaking CuresGenetics - Molecular Biology11/28/2015
Read8 Fascinating Things We Learned About The Mind In 2015Human Health12/26/2015
ReadThe 62 Richest People On Earth Now Hold As Much Wealth As The Poorest 3.5 BillionSociety01/17/2016
ReadAnimals Kept In Deep Freeze For 30 Years Brought Back To LifeAnimal Adaptations01/17/2016
Read" target="_blank">Read2015 Was By Far The Hottest Year In Recorded HistoryClimate Change01/20/2016
ReadThe Oceans Will Contain More Plastic Than Fish By 2050Human Impacts01/19/2016
ReadYour Spit Could Tell You How Long You’re Going To LiveTechnology12/27/2015
ReadBees Are Dying And That Could Be Devastating For Food SecurityHuman Impacts02/26/2016
ReadHere’s Why Getting More Sleep Helps You Appear More Intelligent To OthersHuman Health 03/09/2016
ReadThe Main Reason Women Make Less Money Than MenSociety03/23/2016
ReadWorld-Renowned Climate Scientist Makes Dire Warning About Sea Level Rise, StormsClimate Change03/22/2016
ReadMalaria Researchers Reveal ‘Time Bomb’ BreakthroughDiseases04/21/2016
ReadCollege Could Be Free In America If Corporations Paid Reagan-Era TaxesSociety04/21/2016
ReadScientists Have Created A Fuel Cell That Runs On Urine — Yep, UrineTechnology04/19/2016
ReadLarge Swaths Of The Pacific Ocean May Actually Suffocate In Just 15 YearsClimate Change04/28/2016
Read‘Biodegradable’ Plastics Are A Big Fat LieHuman Impacts05/23/2016
ReadOh Gee, Another Terrible Consequence Of Antibiotics In Farm AnimalsHuman Impacts05/25/2016
Read‘Do or Decline’: An athlete’s age may be less important to performance than persistent practiceHuman Health02/03/2017
ReadA Genetic Oddity May Give Octopuses and Squids Their SmartsMolecular Biology04/06/2017
ReadLatinos age slower than other ethnicities, UCLA study showsHuman Health08/16/2016
ReadStrange but True: Komodo Dragons Show that "Virgin Births" Are PossibleAnimal Adaptations12/28/2006
ReadThe Importance of Enzymes for Health, Longevity and Chronic Disease PreventionHuman Health01/30/2017
ReadA Genetic Oddity May Give Octopuses and Squids Their SmartsMolecular Biology04/06/2017
ReadBizarre bivalve: first living giant shipworm discovered in PhilippinesAnimal Adaptations04/17/2017
Drinking coffee may help prevent liver cancer, study suggestsHuman Health05/26/2017
ReadThe Secret to Turtle Hibernation: Butt-BreathingAnimal Adaptations11/25/2017
ReadAntarctic Microbes Can Survive on Air AloneMicrobes adaptations12/14/2017
ReadThe World's Largest Organism Is DyingHuman Impacts12/06/2017
ReadHere's Why the Ventura Wildfire Is So ExplosiveCimate Change12/06/2017

Air Pollution a Culprit in Worsening Drought and Flooding...

Increases in air pollution and other particulate matter in the atmosphere can strongly affect cloud development in ways that reduce precipitation in dry regions or seasons. This while increasing rain, snowfall and the intensity of severe storms in wet regions or seasons, according to results of a new study. The research provides the first clear evidence of how aerosols–soot, dust and other particulates in the atmosphere–may affect weather and climate... Read more...

Can Fish Really Fly?

Flying fish belong to the family Exocoetidae and are recognizable for their large pectoral fins, which enable them to avoid predators, such as dolphins, tuna, and birds, by leaping out of the water. The longest-known "flight" attained by a flying fish was filmed off the coast of Japan and lasted 45 seconds. You can watch the video here. The fish are actually gliding, rather than flying. Powerful tail strokes beneath the water allow them to reach up to 20 miles per hour before they break the surface and then glide with their wing-like fins... Read more...

Casanova Gene Might Explain Female Finches' Cheating Ways

Female zebra finches that cheat on their mates may have inherited a "Casanova gene" from their fathers. Most bird species were believed to be monogamous, pairing up with one mate for life. However, molecular genetics has revealed that offspring are often unrelated to the father that raises them... The team found that females tendency to be unfaithful is actually inherited from their fathers with cheating males producing cheating daughters... Read more...

Cells may stray from 'central dogma'

All science students learn the 'central dogma' of molecular biology: that the sequence of bases encoded in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that makes up the corresponding proteins. But now researchers suggest that human cells may complicate this tidy picture by making many proteins that do not match their underlying DNA sequences! ... Read More...

Climate Change Increasing Detrimental Low-Oxygen Zones in Oceans

Climate change may be expanding low-oxygen zones in the oceans and making some marine ecosystemsless habitable, according to a new study in Science published online on June 9. "The growth of low-oxygen regions is cause for concern because of the detrimental effects on marine populations—entire ecosystems can die off when marine life cannot escape the low-oxygen water,"... Read more...

Conserving Threatened Species Despite Habitat Fragmentation

Plant species spread by birds may need a helping hand from humans due to fragmentation of forest habitats, according to a new study published in the April edition of the journal Ecology. Deforestation creates forest fragments that can be separated by large tracts of inhospitable land. Some birds help to propagate certain plants by eating seeds and defecating them at a distance from the parent plant... Read More...

First known photosynthetic animal!

It’s easy being green for a sea slug that has stolen enough genes to become the first animal shown to make chlorophyll like a plant... Read More...

First Teeth Grew on Outside of Body

The fictional Cheshire cat's smile seemed to have a life of its own, outside of the cat's body, and now new research suggests the world's first teeth grew outside of the mouth before later moving into the oral cavity. The study, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, supports what is known as the "outside-in" hypothesis of tooth evolution. The first teeth and smile, however, did not belong to a cat, but likely were flashed by small and spiny shark-like fishes...Read More...

Frog without lungs found in Indonesia
A frog has been found in a remote part of Indonesia that has no lungs and breathes through its skin, a discovery that researchers said Thursday could provide insight into what drives evolution in certain species. The aquatic frog Barbourula kalimantanensis was found in a remote part of Indonesia's Kalimantan province on Borneo island during an expedition in August 2007...Read More...
Fukushima: It's much worse than you think

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera. Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.
"We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl," said Gundersen. "The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl." ...Read more...

Fungus causing epidemic among amphibians

A deadly and contagious fungal disease first struck Mexican salamanders in the 1970s, found a new study. From there, it spread through Guatemala and Costa Rica. over the next two decades... Read More...

How Animals Get Drunk on Fruit

A Swedish moose was found trapped in an apple tree on Tuesday after becoming intoxicated on fermented fruit. Gothenburg local Per Johanssonreturned home from work to strange roaring sounds coming from his vacationing neighbor's garden... Read More...

Gut Bacteria May Influence Our Personalities: Study

The type of bacteria colonizing people’s guts could have a significant effect on mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, according to a study published online in the journal Gastroenterology. In a healthy individual, the gut forms a reservoir of ‘friendly’ flora that aid nutrition and help prevent infections by harmful bacteria. However, several common gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), are often associated with depression or anxiety, and certain psychiatric disorders, like late-onset autism, may also be linked with an abnormal complement of gut bacteria... Read More...

Heavy Metal-Eating "Superworms" Unearthed in U.K.

These hardcore heavy metal fans, unearthed at disused mining sites in England and Wales, devour lead, zinc, arsenic, and copper. The earthworms excrete a slightly different version of the metals, making them easier for plants to suck up. Harvesting the plants would leave cleaner soil behind... Read More...

How the Archerfish Hunts

As their name implies, archerfish exhibit a remarkable strategy for hunting food, using their mouths as a bow to spit out a jet of water like an arrow. The fish aims the jet at objects that move or glow, and is able to knock insects off overhanging branches down into the water for consumption... Read More...

How Baby Plants Switch to Being Green

Genes inside plant chloroplasts, the structures that house the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll, help an embryonic plant to begin photosynthesizing, according to a study published in the May issue of the journal Current Biology... Read More...

India’s Vulture Population Has Plummeted from 40 Million to 60,000 – Poisoned by Drug Diclofenac

As recently as the early 1980?s, there were approximately 40 million vultures in India, comprised of nine species. Now there are only 60,000 of these important scavengers left. Captive breeding efforts are in progress, the last hope of saving these birds from extinction. Read more...

Last stand of the Asian elephant

"...Here, in India's northeast state of Assam, is one of the hottest fronts of a heart-rending, escalating conflict. It is waged daily in villages, fields and plantations of 13 countries across Asia where forests and grasslands continue to shrink, igniting a turf war between one-time friends: land-hungry man and a simply hungry Elephas maximus, the Asian elephant..." Read more...

Nasty fungus may be killing thousands of bats

Geomyces destructans is a fungus that is fairly new to science, yetresearchers believe it is killing an alarming number of bats. Bats play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems and in agricultural systems. A recent analysis published in Science magazine revealed that pest control services provided by insect-eating bats save the U.S. agricultural industry at least $3 billion a year...Read more

New Bacteria Makes DNA With Arsenic

A new species of bacteria found in California's Mono Lake is the first known life-form that uses arsenic to make its DNA and proteins, scientists announced today...Read more

Peacock Mantis Shrimps

The peacock mantis shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus, is a burrowing crustacean living near the bases of coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean from Guam to East Africa. They are the only known animals with hyperspectral vision, meaning they can perceive light from infrared through to ultraviolet wavelengths. It repeatedly smashes its victims using club-shaped raptorial appendages to break through the exoskeleton and access the flesh. The punch is powerful, reportedly reaching more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, making it the fast known punch of the animal kingdom. They have even been known to punch holes in the glass of an aquarium. ...Read more

Scientists create cow that produces 'human' milk

Scientists in Argentina have created the world’s first cow to boast two human genes that will enable it to produce human-like milk... Read more...

Scientists discover the largest genome of them all!

Scientists at Kew’s Jodrell Laboratory have discovered that Paris japonica, a striking rare native plant of Japan, has the largest genome of them all – bigger than the human genome... Read more

Subterranean worms from hell

New species of nematode discovered more than a kilometre underground. The discovery of multicellular creatures from the deepest mines sounds like something from the pages of J. R. R. Tolkien. But scientists have now found four species of nematode, or roundworm, lurking in South Africa's gold mines at depths where only single-celled bacteria were thought to reside... Read more...

UK Cattle Affected by Climate Change: Study

Climate change is affecting when Chillingham cattle breed and the survival of their calves in the UK, according to a new study in the Journal of Animal Ecology published on June 14. Ecologists looked at data from the past 60 years regarding Chillingham cattle (Bos taurus), a small population of cows found only in Northumberland, England...Read more...

Yeti crab grows its own food

In the deep ocean off the coast of Costa Rica, scientists have found a species of crab that cultivates gardens of bacteria on its claws, then eats them. The yeti crab — so-called because of the hair-like bristles that cover its arms — is only the second of its family to be discovered. The first — an even hairier species called Kiwa hirsuta — was found in 2005 near Easter Island... Read more

Zombie Ant Manipulation Method Revealed in Detail: Study

Just how exactly parasitic fungi turn their ant hosts into zombies has been unveiled in a new study, to be published in the journal BMC Ecology. Scientists looked at the carpenter ant Camponotus leonardi, which inhabits the rainforest canopy in Thailand. They found that the ant’s behavior changes significantly after infection by the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis for a number of reasons... Read more