A family of proteins that sense mechanical force--and enable our sense of touch and many other important bodily functions--also are essential for proper root growth in some plants, according to a study led by scientists at Scripps Research and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
A team of evolutionary biologists has shown that Anolis lizards, or anoles, are able to breathe underwater with the aid of a bubble clinging to their snouts. Some anoles are stream specialists, and these semi-aquatic species frequently dive underwater to avoid predators, where they can remain submerged for as long as 18 minutes. The researchers termed the process 'rebreathing' after the scuba-diving technology.
The wild California condor population dropped to 22 before rescue and captive breeding allowed reintroduction into the wild. A new assembly of the complete genome of the bird reveals some inbreeding as a result, but overall high genomic diversity attesting to large populations of condors in the past, likely in the tens of thousands. Comparison to Andean condor and turkey vulture genomes reveals declines in their populations also, and lower genomic diversity than California condor.
Free from human disturbance for a century, an inland island in Central America has nevertheless lost more than 25% of its native bird species since its creation as part of the Panama Canal's construction, and scientists say the losses continue.
A new WCS study looks at the prevalence of human consumption of lemur and fossa (Madagascar's largest predator) in villages within and around Makira Natural Park, northeastern Madagascar, providing up-to-date estimates of the percentage of households who eat meat from these protected species.
The first study to analyze snake removals in a social-ecological context was recently published by an Arizona State University conservation biologist working with a local rattlesnake removal company."I think one of the surprises was that people don't hate snakes," said researcher Heather Bateman of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. "A lot of them responded that the snakes are important to the desert ecosystem and the snake belongs in the desert, just not in my garage."
Wild orangutans are known for their ability to survive food shortages, but scientists have made a surprising finding that highlights the need to protect the habitat of these critically endangered primates, which face rapid habitat destruction and threats linked to climate change.
Australian-first research by Monash University discredits the theory that rivers and underground water supplies eventually replenish following droughts or floods. Following the Australian Millennium Drought, one-third of Victoria's water catchments still had not recovered from drought nearly eight years later. For those water catchments not recovered, roughly 80 per cent showed no evidence of recovering anytime soon.
Scientists help protect sharks by developing aquarium breeding programs that pair up individuals in ways that increase genetic diversity. In a new study in Scientific Reports, scientists undertook the largest-ever effort to artificially inseminate sharks.Their work resulted in 97 new baby sharks, including ones whose parents live on opposite sides of the country and a few that don't have fathers at all.
Radical changes to the food system are needed to safeguard our food supply and combat malnutrition in the face of climate change, environmental degradation and epidemics, says new report.