Birds use a thumb-like structure on the wing to create a small vortex which makes their turns and landings smooth, new research shows. This is the first time that researchers have found evidence that the effect of the alula is due to a small vortex formed at the tip of the alula feathers.
Biochemists have devised a new technique that will make the job of blueprinting certain proteins considerably faster, cheaper and easier. The breakthrough will make a big splash in the field of drug discovery and development, where protein blueprints help researchers understand how individual proteins work and allow drug developers to draw up specific battle plans in the fight against diseases and infections.
Researchers have used a gene editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas to modify the genome of a tree species for the first time. Their research opens the door to more rapid and reliable gene editing of plants. By mutating specific genes in Populus — a genus of deciduous trees that includes poplar, aspen and cottonwood — the researchers reduced the concentrations of two naturally occurring plant polymers.
New research introduces a promising new tool to combat the rapid, extensive spread of antibiotic resistance around the world. It nukes antibiotic resistance in selected bacteria, and renders other bacteria more sensitive to antibiotics. The research, if ultimately applied to pathogens on hospital surfaces or medical personnel’s hands, could turn the tide on untreatable, often lethal bacterial infections.
A new study has revealed that the Central African country of Gabon is providing an invaluable nesting ground for a vulnerable species of sea turtle considered a regional conservation priority.
Continent-wide bird surveys play an important role in conservation, says an avian ecologist, but they can miss rare or isolated species whose habitat is off the beaten path, such as at high elevation or in a dense bog. Now the researchers are combining data from local point counts to know how birds in hard-to-reach habitats are faring report for the first time how birds in hard-to-reach habitats are faring.
Scientists have undertaken to map the neural circuitry involved in the conversion of olfactory inputs into navigational behaviors in the fruit fly larva. The work is a new example on how systems biology allows scientists to approach complex questions such as brain functions.
About 34 million years ago, global temperatures took a dive, causing a sudden wave of extinctions among European mammals. In North America, however, life went on largely unscathed. A new study explains why: the rise of the Rocky Mountains had forced North American mammals to adapt to a colder, drier world.
New research has found that the 6 gram brown thornbill mimics the hawk alarm calls of neighboring species to scare a nest predator by convincing it that a much bigger and scarier predator — the brown goshawk — is on its way.
A newer and more complex model incorporating data from both environmental factors and field observations of coral responses to stress provides a better forecasting tool than the more widely used models and a more positive future for coral reefs, according to a new study.