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Biology
Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Neuron
How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away
Newly discovered types of neurons in the animals' brain help to compensate for self-motion.

Contact: Dr. Herwig Baier
hbaier@neuro.mpg.de
49-898-578-3200
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Drought and fire in the Amazon lead to sharp increases in forest tree mortality
Ongoing deforestation and fragmentation of forests in the Amazon help create tinderbox conditions for wildfires in remnant forests, contributing to rapid and widespread forest loss during drought years, according to a team of researchers.
National Science Foundation, NASA, Packard Foundation, Max Planck Institute of Biogeochemistry

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
PLOS ONE
East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now
Several parasites and pathogens that devastate honeybees in Europe, Asia and the United States are spreading across East Africa, but do not appear to be impacting native honeybee populations at this time, according to an international team of researchers.
US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Scientific Reports
Fear of the cuckoo mafia
For fear of retaliation, birds accept and raise brood parasites' young.

Contact: Dr. Maria Abou Chakra
abouchakra@evolbio.mpg.de
49-452-276-3237
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
European Journal of Human Genetics
Researcher looks at public perceptions around newborn testing
Public opinion should matter when deciding extent of genetic tests, according to a new study.
Canadian Institutes for Health Research

Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Structure of sodium channels different than previously believed
Sodium channels are implicated in many serious conditions such as heart disease, epilepsy and pain, making them an important potential target for drug therapies. Unfortunately, there is still much scientists do not know about the molecules. New Cambridge research provides fresh and unexpected insight into the structure of sodium channels and, specifically, one of its components -- β-subunit molecules -- which are responsible for 'fine-tuning' the activity of the channel. The research is published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Contact: Communications Office
communications@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-012-233-32300
University of Cambridge

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Journal of Applied Crystallography
More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale
Researchers in France have hit on a novel method to help kidney stone sufferers ensure they receive the correct and most effective treatment possible.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Contact: Dr. Jonathan Agbenyega
ja@iucr.org
44-124-434-2878
International Union of Crystallography

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Lancet Infectious Diseases
More research called for into HIV and schistosomiasis coinfection in African children
Researchers from LSTM have called for more research to be carried out into HIV and schistosomiasis coinfection in children in sub-Saharan Africa. In a paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases LSTM's Professor Russell Stothard looked at previous research into the joint burden of HIV/AIDS and schistosomiasis of children, and found that while disease-specific control interventions are continuing, potential synergies in the control efforts for the two diseases have not been investigated.

Contact: Clare Bebb
c.bebb@liv.ac.uk
44-015-170-53135
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Nature Geoscience
Methane climate change risk suggested by proof of redox cycling of humic substances
Disruption of natural methane-binding process may worsen climate change.

Contact: Press Office
press@goldschmidt2013.org
European Association of Geochemistry

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The story of animal domestication retold
A review of recent research on the domestication of large herbivores for 'The Modern View of Domestication,' a special feature of PNAS, suggests that neither intentional breeding nor genetic isolation were as significant as traditionally thought.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Genetic study tackles mystery of slow plant domestications
Did domesticating a plant typically take a few hundred or many thousands of years? Genetic studies often indicate that domestication traits have a fairly simple genetic basis, which should facilitate their rapid evolution under selection. On the other hand, recent archeological studies of crop domestication have suggested a relatively slow spread and fixation of domestication traits. An article in 'The Modern View of Domestication,' a special issue of PNAS, tries to resolve the discrepancy.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Current Biology
In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises
Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but related species in the genus Neotrogla, are the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.

Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
moleary@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Biomedical Optics Express
New technique detects microscopic diabetes-related eye damage
Indiana University researchers have detected new early-warning signs of the potential loss of sight associated with diabetes. This discovery could have far-reaching implications for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, potentially impacting the care of over 25 million Americans.
NIH/National Eye Institute

Contact: Tracy James
traljame@iu.edu
812-855-0084
Indiana University

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
34th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation
PLOS ONE
Declining catch rates in Caribbean green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing
A 20-year assessment of Nicaragua's legal, artisanal green sea turtle fishery has uncovered a stark reality: greatly reduced overall catch rates of turtles in what may have become an unsustainable take, according to conservation scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Florida.

Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Neuron
Researchers track down cause of eye mobility disorder
In a paper published in the April 16 print issue of the journal Neuron, University of Iowa researchers Bernd Fritzsch and Jeremy Duncan and their colleagues at Harvard Medical School, along with investigator and corresponding author Elizabeth Engle, describe how their studies on mutated mice mimic human mutations.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Steve Kehoe
steve-kehoe@uowa.edu
319-335-1050
University of Iowa

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
eLife
For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes
Caltech researchers discover that a cell's unique shape results from an internal tug-of-war: the cell needs to maintain structural integrity while also dynamically responding to the pushes and pulls of mechanical stress.
US Department of Energy, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges
debwms@caltech.edu
626-395-3227
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Ageing Research Reviews
Researchers: Obesity can amplify bone and muscle loss
Florida State University researchers have identified a new syndrome called 'osteosarcopenic obesity' that links the deterioration of bone density and muscle mass with obesity.

Contact: Kathleen Haughney
khaughney@fsu.edu
850-644-1489
Florida State University

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Annals of Human Biology
Study: The trials of the Cherokee were reflected in their skulls
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors -- from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War -- led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people. The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics.

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Aquatic Toxicology
Fish exposed to antidepressants exhibit altered behavioral changes
Fish exposed to the antidepressant Fluoxetine, an active ingredient in prescription drugs such as Prozac, exhibited a range of altered mating behaviours, repetitive behaviour and aggression towards female fish, according to new research published on in the latest special issue of Aquatic Toxicology: Antidepressants in the Aquatic Environment.

Contact: Kitty van Hensbergen
c.hensbergen@elsevier.com
31-204-852-291
Elsevier

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Freshwater Invasives: Networking for Strategy (FINS) Conference
Management of Biological Invasions
EU must take urgent action on invasive species
The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen's University Belfast. The threats posed by these species cost an estimated €12 billion each year across Europe. Professor Jaimie Dick, from the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's is calling on the EU to commit long-term investment in a European-wide strategy to manage the problem.

Contact: Anne-Marie Clarke
comms.officer@qub.ac.uk
44-028-909-75320
Queen's University Belfast

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature
Why your nose can be a pathfinder
Waves in your brain make smells stick to your memories and inner maps.
Kavli Foundation

Contact: Kei Igarashi
kei.igarashi@ntnu.no
47-977-63776
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Physical Review Letters
At the origin of cell division
Movement and the ability to divide are two fundamental traits of living cells. The origin of these abilities could rely on very simple physical mechanisms, which have been simulated by scientists of the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste in a study just published in Physical Review Letters. Luca Giomi and Antonio DeSimone have reproduced motility in their models, by acting on a single parameter until they caused the 'cells' to divide spontaneously without the action of external forces.

Contact: Federica Sgorbissa
pressroom@sissa.it
39-040-378-7644
International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
PLOS ONE
Earliest ancestor of land herbivores discovered
New research from the University of Toronto Mississauga demonstrates how carnivores transitioned into herbivores for the first time on land.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Contact: Nicolle Wahl
nicolle.wahl@utoronto.ca
905-569-4656
University of Toronto

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature
Scientists re-define what's healthy in newest analysis for Human Microbiome Project
As scientists catalog the trillions of bacteria found in the human body, a new look by the University of Michigan shows wide variation in the types of bacteria found in healthy people.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll
smkirk@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature
Ancient shark fossil reveals new insights into jaw evolution
The skull of a newly discovered 325-million-year-old shark-like species suggests that early cartilaginous and bony fishes have more to tell us about the early evolution of jawed vertebrates -- including humans -- than do modern sharks, as was previously thought. The new study, led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, shows that living sharks are actually quite advanced in evolutionary terms, despite having retained their basic 'sharkiness' over millions of years.
Herbert & Evelyn Axelrod Research Chair in Paleoichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History