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Metabolism may have started in our early oceans before the origin of life

Eureka Alert! - 5 hours 39 min ago
(Wellcome Trust) The chemical reactions behind the formation of common metabolites in modern organisms could have formed spontaneously in the earth's early oceans, questioning the events leading to the origin of life. Wellcome-Trust funded researchers reconstructed the chemical make-up of the earth's earliest ocean and found the spontaneous occurrence of reaction sequences which in modern organisms are essential for the synthesis of organic molecules critical for the cellular metabolism seen in all living organisms.
Categories: Eureka Alert!, General

Reconstructed ancient ocean reveals secrets about the origin of life

Eureka Alert! - 5 hours 39 min ago
(European Molecular Biology Organization) A reconstruction of Earth's earliest ocean in the laboratory reveals the spontaneous occurrence of the chemical reactions used by modern cells to synthesize many of the crucial organic molecules of metabolism.
Categories: Eureka Alert!, General

Pilot study suggests ways to widen access to fecal transplants for C. diff infections

Biology News - Thu, 2014-04-24 20:09

Using frozen stool from healthy, unrelated donors was safe and effective in treating patients with serious, relapsing diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile, according to a new pilot study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online. Known as fecal microbiota transplantation, the treatment was equally effective whether given via a colonoscope or a nasogastric tube. The findings suggest approaches that may make this promising treatment more readily available to patients.

Categories: Biology News, General

Genome yields insights into golden eagle vision, smell

Biology News - Thu, 2014-04-24 20:09


This is a golden eagle. Purdue and West Virginia University researchers are the first to sequence the genome of the golden eagle, providing a bird's-eye view of eagle features that could lead to more effective conservation strategies.

Categories: Biology News, General

Autism Genome Project delivers genetic discovery

Biology News - Thu, 2014-04-24 20:09

A new study from investigators with the Autism Genome Project, the world's largest research project on identifying genes associated with risk for autism, has found that the comprehensive use of copy number variant (CNV) genetic testing offers an important tool in individualized diagnosis and treatment of autism.

Categories: Biology News, General

A scourge of rural Africa, the tsetse fly is genetically deciphered

Biology News - Thu, 2014-04-24 20:09


This is an image of tsetse fly. An international team of researchers led by the Yale School of Public Health has successfully sequenced the genetic code of the tsetse fly, opening the door to scientific breakthroughs that could reduce or end the scourge of African sleeping sickness in sub-Saharan Africa. The study is published in the journal Science.

Categories: Biology News, General

Two new river turtle species described

Science Daily: New Species - Thu, 2014-04-24 10:20
The alligator snapping turtle is the largest river turtle in North America, weighing in at up to 200 pounds and living almost a century. Now researchers have discovered that it is not one species -- but three. By examining museum specimens and wild turtles, the scientists uncovered deep evolutionary divisions in this ancient reptile.
Categories: General, Science Daily

What’s in a name? Emmett Reid Dunn and the Oedipus salamanders

Ernst Mayr Library Blog - Thu, 2014-04-17 15:07

When scientists describe a new animal species, they give it a name, according to rules of the ICZN, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.   Species names can honor a person or the place where the animal lives, or reflect the personality of the describer, as in the case of the beetle Gelae donut (Miller and Wheeler 2004).  Emmet Reid Dunn (1894-1956), who earned his PhD at Harvard under Thomas Barbour, expressed his sense of humor when naming salamanders.  Dunn’s 1921 dissertation on the Plethodontidae was expanded and published in 1926 as The Salamanders of the Family Plethodontidae.   Of the eight Oedipus salamanders that Dunn described there, two stand out: Oedipus rex and Oedipus complex.

Because names change as scientific knowledge advances, both of these names have been revised into ordinariness.   In 1944, E.H. Taylor reassigned the species within the genus Oedipus to eight separate genera, including Oedipina(Keferstein 1868) and the new genus Pseudoeurycea.

Below are references for the type descriptions, the Taylor 1944 and the Encyclopedia of Life entries for both.   The new names are more accurate, but not as clever!

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Oedipus rex, sp.nov. described by E.R. Dunn in 1921.

Common name, Royal False Brook Salamander.

E.R. Dunn, “Two new Central American salamanders”, Proceedings of the Biology Society of Washington vol. 34, pg. 143-146 (1921)

EOL record for Pseudoeurycea rex:   http://eol.org/pages/1019116/overview

Pseudoeurycea rex © 2006 Sean Michael Rovito Source: CalPhotos

 

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E.H. Taylor, “The genera of Plethodont Salamanders in Mexico, Pt. 1.”, Univ. of Kansas Science Bulletin vol. 30, pg. 189-232 (1944).

Oedipus complex, sp.nov. described by E.R. Dunn in 1924.

Common name, Gamboa worm salamander.

E.R. Dunn, “New Amphibians from Panama”, Occasional Papers of the Boston Society of Natural History vol. 5, pg 93-95 (1924).

EOL record for Oedipina complex:  http://eol.org/pages/2815206/overview/

Oedipina complex © STRI

 

 

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