Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

National Institutes of Health

NSU researcher part of a flagship study on vertebrate genomes

(Nova Southeastern University) Today, the G10K sponsored Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP) announces their flagship study and associated publications focused on genome assembly quality and standardization for the field of genomics. This study includes 16 diploid high-quality, near error-free, and near complete vertebrate reference genome assemblies for species across all taxa with backbones (i.e., mammals, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and fishes) from five years of piloting the first phase of the VGP project.

How did 500 species of a fish form in a lake? Dramatically different body clocks

(Florida Atlantic University) Despite the dramatic difference between day and nightlife, how fish exploit different times of day has not been studied systematically. Scientists explored alterations in the circadian timing of activity and the duration of rest-wake cycles in Lake Malawi’s cichlids and identified the first single nocturnal species. Timing and duration of rest and activity varies dramatically, and continuously, between populations of Lake Malawi cichlids, providing a system for exploring the molecular and neural basis underlying variation in nocturnal activity.

Surprising disconnect between physical characteristics and genetic ancestry in certain

(Stanford University) Stanford biologists have built a model examining the relationship between physical traits and genetic ancestry in populations formed from the mixture of multiple founding groups. They found that the relationship dissipates over generations.

Undetected coronavirus variant was in at least 15 countries before its discovery

(University of Texas at Austin) A highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 variant had spread across the globe undetected for months when scientists discovered it, according to a new study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Does selfishness evolve? Ask a cannibal

(Rice University) Biologists have used one of nature’s most prolific cannibals to show how social structure affects the evolution of selfish behavior. Researchers showed they could drive the evolution of less selfish behavior in Indian meal moths with habitat changes that forced larval caterpillars to interact more often with siblings.

Penguin hemoglobin evolved to meet oxygen demands of diving

(University of Nebraska-Lincoln) Webbed feet, flipper-like wings and unique feathers all helped penguins adapt to life underwater. But by resurrecting two ancient versions of hemoglobin, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln team has shown that the evolution of diving is also in their blood, which optimized its capture and release of oxygen to ensure that penguins wouldn’t waste their breath while holding it.

Georgia Lab Experiments Shows CBD Reduces Plaque And Improves Cognition in Early Onset Alzheimer’s

A two-week course of high doses of CBD helped restore the function of two proteins key to reducing the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaque, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, and improved cognition in an experimental model of early onset familial Alzheimer’s—a form of Alzheimer’s that doctors know for certain is linked to genes—investigators report. The proteins […]

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SARS-CoV-2 jumped from bats to humans without much change

(PLOS) How much did SARS-CoV-2 need to change in order to adapt to its new human host? In a research article published in the open access journal PLOS Biology Oscar MacLean, Spyros Lytras at the University of Glasgow, and colleagues, show that since December 2019 and for the first 11 months of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic there has been very little ‘important’ genetic change observed in the hundreds of thousands of sequenced virus genomes.

Humans evolved to be the water-saving ape

(Duke University) An ancient shift in our body’s ability to conserve water may have enabled early humans to venture farther from lakes and streams in search of food. So say the authors of a study that, for the first time, measures precisely how much water humans lose and replace each day compared with our primate cousins. The research shows that the human body uses 30% to 50% less water per day than chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans.

A plant’s nutrient-sensing abilities can modulate its response to environmental stress

(Carnegie Institution for Science) Understanding how plants respond to stressful environmental conditions is crucial to developing effective strategies for protecting important agricultural crops from a changing climate. New research led by Carnegie’s Zhiyong Wang, Shouling, Xu, and Yang Bi reveals an important process by which plants switch between amplified and dampened stress responses.