The Brain Searches for the Best Way to Move the Body

Summary: When learning how to coordinate a new movement, the nervous system first explores and evaluates many different coordinated patterns. With experience, the nervous system then adapts specific aspects of movements and simultaneously decreases pattern variability. Source: Simon Fraser University Research that examines how the body adapts to new movements is shedding new light on … Read more

These Bats Scare Off Predators by Buzzing Like Hornets

Greater mouse-eared bats. Scientists have discovered the first case of acoustic Batesian mimicry in mammals: greater mouse-eared bats imitate the buzzing sound of a stinging insect to deter predatory owls from eating them. In Batesian mimicry, a harmless species imitates a more dangerous one in an evolutionary “ruse” that protects the mimic from would-be predators. … Read more

Why It’s So Hard for Most Joggers to Burn a Lot of Calories

Source: Halfpoint/Shutterstock Humans evolved with the ability to run long distances using relatively little fuel while chasing animal prey across the savannas millenniums ago. As hunters, early Homo sapiens developed spectacular endurance that allowed our ancestors to outrun other species who may have been faster sprinters but didn’t have as much stamina over the long … Read more

Genetic Limit on Cell Division Could Explain COVID-19 Deaths Among Elderly

This illustration represents the core theory in a new modeling study led by the University of Washington: The circles represent the immune system’s aging, in which its ability to make new immunity cells remains constant until a person (represented by the human figures) reaches middle- age or older and then falls off significantly. The central … Read more

Biologists investigate what happens when traits jump between branches of the tree of life

The single-celled Paramecium bursaria hosts a symbiotic green algae that enables it to photosynthesize. This opens up new lifestyles for the otherwise heterotrophic species. Credit: Anatoly Mikhaltsov via Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA 4.0 We all must play the game of life with the cards we’re dealt, so the common aphorism goes. In biology, this means organisms must … Read more

Henderson State to cut history, biology, art and other programs in plan to stay afloat

The dreaded cuts the Henderson State University community has been bracing for were announced Monday, and they’re deep. Chancellor Chuck Ambrose revealed a plan that would do away with undergraduate degree programs in geography, history, political science, public administration, social science, justice, early childhood development, criminal sciences, human services, biology, radiography, chemistry, mathematics, nuclear medicine … Read more

Molecular Cage Reveals Near-Atomic Level Details of Cancer Proteins

A detailed cryo-EM reconstruction of KIX proteins (magenta) surrounding the central apoferritin shell (cyan). The outer MBP shell is not shown. Credit: Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Sandwiching wiggly proteins between two other layers allows scientists to get the most detailed images yet of a protein that’s key to the spread of acute myeloid leukemia. … Read more

Discovery of aberrant protein that kills bacterial cells could help unravel mechanism of certain antibiotics

Light microscope images of E. coli cells in transmitted light (left) and reflected light that picks up the red fluorescence of a dye staining the cells’ DNA (right). In normal cells (upper panel), the DNA is spread throughout the cells. But in cells expressing the aberrant plant protein identified in this study (bottom panel) all … Read more

Started Out as a Fish. How Did It End Up Like This?

Tiktaalik first became known to humans in 2004, after skulls and other bones of at least 10 specimens turned up in ancient stream beds in the Nunavut Territory of the Arctic. The discoverers, a team of paleontologists including Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago, Ted Daeschler at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, … Read more

Gigantic New Beast – One of the Largest Animals Ever – Discovered High in the Alps

200 million-year-old deposits of the precursor of the Mediterranean Sea have been preserved in the Swiss High Alps. Whale-sized ichthyosaurs came from the open sea only occasionally into shallower water. Credit: © Jeannette Rüegg/Heinz Furrer, University of Zurich Largest ever ichthyosaur tooth is among fossil discoveries including remains of a new beast, sized longer than … Read more