Star Trek technology is coming true; modern medicine has borrowed the idea of the tricorder. There’s currently a $10 million X Prize to produce a working model. The goal is take doctors out of the picture and allow consumers to assess their own health status. To win the money, ten teams have developed hand held devices that can diagnose 16 diseases and monitor half a dozen vital signs in real time. ... Read more »
Fridman GY, Tang H, Feller-Kopman D, & Hong Y. (2015) MouthLab: A Tricorder Concept Optimized for Rapid Medical Assessment. Annals of biomedical engineering. PMID: 25605586
Chandler, D. (2014) A Doctor in the Palm of Your Hand: How the Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize could help to revolutionize medical diagnosis. IEEE Pulse, 5(2), 50-54. DOI: 10.1109/MPUL.2013.2296803
Gulec SA, Daghighian F, & Essner R. (2006) PET-Probe: Evaluation of Technical Performance and Clinical Utility of a Handheld High-Energy Gamma Probe in Oncologic Surgery. Annals of surgical oncology. PMID: 16865592
by Piter Kehoma Boll Last week I introduced a land planarian that feeds on land snails, Obama ladislavii, or, as I called it, the Ladislau’s flatworm. Therefore, today, I thought it would be great to present a similar situation occurring … Continue reading →... Read more »
Lemos, V., Canello, R., & Leal-Zanchet, A. (2012) Carnivore mollusks as natural enemies of invasive land flatworms. Annals of Applied Biology, 161(2), 127-131. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2012.00556.x
Nematodes cause horrible diseases, but they way they reproduce is the most fascinating thing about them. Their sperm aren’t shaped like typical animal male gametes. They crawl instead of swimming, and they have a type of cytoskeleton not seen in any other cell type on Earth. Yet, the nematode is the most numerous type of animal on Earth.... Read more »
H. Ferris. (2009) The beer mat nematode, Panagrellus The beer mat nematode, Panagrellus redivivus: A study of the connectedness of scientific discovery . J. Nematode Morphol. Syst., 12(1), 19-25. info:/
McKnight, K., Hoang, H., Prasain, J., Brown, N., Vibbert, J., Hollister, K., Moore, R., Ragains, J., Reese, J., & Miller, M. (2014) Neurosensory Perception of Environmental Cues Modulates Sperm Motility Critical for Fertilization. Science, 344(6185), 754-757. DOI: 10.1126/science.1250598
Morgan, E., Azam, D., & Pegler, K. (2013) Quantifying sources of environmental contamination with Toxocara spp. eggs. Veterinary Parasitology, 193(4), 390-397. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.12.034
Sepsenwol S, Ris H, & Roberts TM. (1989) A unique cytoskeleton associated with crawling in the amoeboid sperm of the nematode, Ascaris suum. The Journal of cell biology, 108(1), 55-66. PMID: 2910878
In 1923, Jean Delacour discovered a new species of Pheasant in Vietnam. But things were not as they seemed...... Read more »
HENNACHE, A., RASMUSSEN, P., LUCCHINI, V., RIMONDI, S., & RANDI, E. (2003) Hybrid origin of the imperial pheasant Lophura imperialis (Delacour and Jabouille, 1924) demonstrated by morphology, hybrid experiments, and DNA analyses. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 80(4), 573-600. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2003.00251.x
by Piter Kehoma Boll Friday fellow is back! After almost a year, I decided to go on with it. Actually, I interrupted it because of several other activities there were requiring my attention. Now let’s move on! Today I will … Continue reading →... Read more »
Boll, P., & Leal-Zanchet, A. (2014) Predation on invasive land gastropods by a Neotropical land planarian. Journal of Natural History, 1-12. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2014.981312
Some men like to dress up like females. But do you find drag queens in other species? It turns out Nature has some surprises up her sleeves.... Read more »
Norman, M., Finn, J., & Tregenza, T. (1999) Female impersonation as an alternative reproductive strategy in giant cuttlefish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266(1426), 1347-1349. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1999.0786
Slagsvold, T. . (1991) Evolution of Plumage Color in Male Pied Flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca): Evidence for Female Mimicry. Evolution, 45(4), 910-917. info:/
SUMMARY: A recent study by a research team in Scotland reveals that birds intentionally choose colour-matching materials to camouflage their nests thereby reducing predation risk. Read more... Read more »
Plants can be moved by wind and water. Their pollen and seeds can be moved by insects, wind, gravity, but plants themselves don't have motile cells. Well – that’s not always true. Some trees have swimming cells; they take the plunge in order to find a mate.... Read more »
Suinyuy, T., Donaldson, J., & Johnson, S. (2013) Patterns of odour emission, thermogenesis and pollinator activity in cones of an African cycad: what mechanisms apply?. Annals of Botany, 112(5), 891-902. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mct159
Vaughn, K., & Renzaglia, K. (2006) Structural and immunocytochemical characterization of the Ginkgo biloba L. sperm motility apparatus. Protoplasma, 227(2-4), 165-173. DOI: 10.1007/s00709-005-0141-3
Murch, S., Cox, P., & Banack, S. (2004) A mechanism for slow release of biomagnified cyanobacterial neurotoxins and neurodegenerative disease in Guam. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101(33), 12228-12231. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0404926101
Amphibians are some of the most vulnerable animals on Earth. Their numbers have been crashing for years. The reasons for this are several, but one fungal infection is a big contributor. This fungus teaches us about evolution, common descent, and phylogenetics – but hopefully it’ll be eaten up by a newly discovered water flea!... Read more »
Martel, A., Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A., Blooi, M., Bert, W., Ducatelle, R., Fisher, M., Woeltjes, A., Bosman, W., Chiers, K., Bossuyt, F.... (2013) Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(38), 15325-15329. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307356110
Buck, J., Truong, L., & Blaustein, A. (2011) Predation by zooplankton on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: biological control of the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus?. Biodiversity and Conservation, 20(14), 3549-3553. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-011-0147-4
SUMMARY: A “halfsider” -- half male and half female bird -- has been mentioned in the news over the holidays. More properly known as bilateral gynandromorphs or tetragametic chimæras, these unusual birds are actually two genetically distinct individuals -- twins -- fused into one being. But what is it like to be such an individual? A recently published paper shares observations of the behaviour and social life of one such individual living in the wild.... Read more »
Peer Brian D. (2014) Observations of a Bilateral Gynandromorph Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) . The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 126(4), 778-781. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1676/14-025.1
Agate R. J., J. Wade, S. Mann, J. Wingfield, C. Schanen, A. Palotie, & A. P. Arnold. (2003) Neural, not gonadal, origin of brain sex differences in a gynandromorphic finch. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(8), 4873-4878. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0636925100
Chue Justin. (2011) Sex determination and sexual differentiation in the avian model. FEBS Journal, 278(7), 1027-1034. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2011.08032.x
There are about 200 species of caecilians (pronounced ‘seh-SILL-yuns’) but it's highly unlikely you have or will ever encounter one. Why? Because they live underground, burrowing through loose soil and ground litter with their long, snake-like bodies.
Read on to learn 9 weird and interesting facts about these unusual creatures.
Bombay caecilian (Ichthyophis bombayensis)
Credit - Wikicommons... Read more »
Mohun, S., Davies, W., Bowmaker, J., Pisani, D., Himstedt, W., Gower, D., Hunt, D., & Wilkinson, M. (2010) Identification and characterization of visual pigments in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), an order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(20), 3586-3592. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.045914
Kupfer, A., Müller, H., Antoniazzi, M., Jared, C., Greven, H., Nussbaum, R., & Wilkinson, M. (2006) Parental investment by skin feeding in a caecilian amphibian. Nature, 440(7086), 926-929. DOI: 10.1038/nature04403
The popular phrase is, “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” Many organisms get to have both. We can learn a lot from studying old organisms, but perhaps the biggest question to answer is what constitutes a single life. Many living things seem to cheat; they have more than one life.... Read more »
Munro D, Pichaud N, Paquin F, Kemeid V, & Blier PU. (2013) Low hydrogen peroxide production in mitochondria of the long-lived Arctica islandica: underlying mechanisms for slow aging. Aging cell, 12(4), 584-92. PMID: 23566066
Seim I, Ma S, Zhou X, Gerashchenko MV, Lee SG, Suydam R, George JC, Bickham JW, & Gladyshev VN. (2014) The transcriptome of the bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus reveals adaptations of the longest-lived mammal. Aging, 6(10), 879-99. PMID: 25411232
Holland, H., Schöne, B., Marali, S., & Jochum, K. (2014) History of bioavailable lead and iron in the Greater North Sea and Iceland during the last millennium – A bivalve sclerochronological reconstruction. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 87(1-2), 104-116. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.08.005
Penis, the primary sexual organ that male and hermaphrodite animals use to inseminate sexually receptive mates (usually females and hermaphrodites respectively) during sex. Almost all species use some variation of the organ to transfer sperm into females' eggs in order to create more offsprings.
However, thanks to evolution, some species have come up with some really remarkable and weird ... Read more »
McCracken, K. (2000) The 20-cm Spiny Penis of the Argentine Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata). The Auk, 117(3), 820. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2000)117[0820:TCSPOT]2.0.CO;2
Sueur, J., Mackie, D., & Windmill, J. (2011) So Small, So Loud: Extremely High Sound Pressure Level from a Pygmy Aquatic Insect (Corixidae, Micronectinae). PLoS ONE, 6(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021089
Yoshizawa, K., Ferreira, R., Kamimura, Y., & Lienhard, C. (2014) Female Penis, Male Vagina, and Their Correlated Evolution in a Cave Insect. Current Biology, 24(9), 1006-1010. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.022
Engh, A., Van Horn, R., Szykman, M., Holekamp, K., & Boydston, E. (2007) Courtship and mating in free-living spotted hyenas. Behaviour, 144(7), 815-846. DOI: 10.1163/156853907781476418
The transition from water to land is well documented in the fossil record, but genetic support is still scarce. Until now.... Read more »
Gehrke, A., Schneider, I., de la Calle-Mustienes, E., Tena, J., Gomez-Marin, C., Chandran, M., Nakamura, T., Braasch, I., Postlethwait, J., Gómez-Skarmeta, J.... (2014) Deep conservation of wrist and digit enhancers in fish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420208. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420208112
Credit: Dorit Hockman from the University of Cambridge
This cute alien-like thing is actually a bat embryo of the species Molossus rufus, the black mastiff bat. Adorable, ain't it?
The photo was taken by Dorit Hockman from the University of Cambridge during a study on the species' embryonic development. It was one of the finalists in the Nikon Small World 2012 photomicrography ... Read more »
Nolte, M., Hockman, D., Cretekos, C., Behringer, R., & Rasweiler, J. (2009) Embryonic Staging System for the Black Mastiff Bat,(Molossidae), Correlated With Structure-Function Relationships in the Adult. The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, 292(2), 155-168. DOI: 10.1002/ar.20835
Credit: Dr. Devi Stuart Fox
A new study by researchers at the University of Melbourne suggests that Draco Cornutus, a species of gliding lizard from Borneo, mimicks the red and green colors of the falling leaves to avoid falling prey to birds whilst gliding.
According to the study, D. cornutus have evolved extendable gliding membranes, like wings, which closely match the ... Read more »
Klomp, D., Stuart-Fox, D., Das, I., & Ord, T. (2014) Marked colour divergence in the gliding membranes of a tropical lizard mirrors population differences in the colour of falling leaves. Biology Letters, 10(12), 20140776-20140776. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0776
If you should ever get this question, the answer is rather short: “according to recent findings, birds are descended from maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs.” Makes sense, right?... Read more »
Xu, X., Zhou, Z., Dudley, R., Mackem, S., Chuong, C., Erickson, G., & Varricchio, D. (2014) An integrative approach to understanding bird origins. Science, 346(6215), 1253293-1253293. DOI: 10.1126/science.1253293
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are known to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate with each other still remain a mystery.
A new study by Susan Parks, assistant professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with a consortium of other researchers examined the importance of specific auditory cues that these whales emit... Read more »
Parks SE, Cusano DA, Stimpert AK, Weinrich MT, Friedlaender AS, & Wiley DN. (2014) Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales. Scientific reports, 7508. PMID: 25512188
Pseudis paradoxa in a pond
Credit: Mauricio Rivera Correa
Species: Pseudis paradoxa
Common Name(s): Paradoxical frog or Shrinking frog
Conservation Status: Least Concern (Not Threatened)
Looks like a pretty much regular frog, doesn't it? Well.. it's not! Meet P. paradoxa, a frog that grows down ... Read more »
Abdel-Wahab YH, Power GJ, Ng MT, Flatt PR, & Conlon JM. (2008) Insulin-releasing properties of the frog skin peptide pseudin-2 and its [Lys18]-substituted analogue. Biological chemistry, 389(2), 143-8. PMID: 18163889
Arias, M., Peltzer, P., & Lajmanovich, R. (2002) Diet of the giant tadpole Pseudis paradoxa platensis (Anura, Pseudidae) from Argentina. Phyllomedusa: Journal of Herpetology, 1(2), 97. DOI: 10.11606/issn.2316-9079.v1i2p97-100
by Sandra Bosshard in genome ecology evolution etc
Gibbons (Hylobatidae) are small arboreal apes that form a key node in primate evolution. One of the most distinctive phenotype is their high genome plasticity involving large-scale chromosomal rearrangements and karyotype changes. The four gibbon genera (Nomascus, Hylobates, Hoolock, Symphalangus) … Continue reading →... Read more »
Carbone, L., Alan Harris, R., Gnerre, S., Veeramah, K., Lorente-Galdos, B., Huddleston, J., Meyer, T., Herrero, J., Roos, C., Aken, B.... (2014) Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes. Nature, 513(7517), 195-201. DOI: 10.1038/nature13679
Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.
If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.
Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.
To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.