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How lizards regenerate their tails: researchers discover genetic 'recipe'

Biology News - 1 hour 13 min ago


The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis), when caught by a predator, can lose its tail and then grow it back. By understanding the secret of how lizards regenerate their tails, researchers may be able to develop ways to stimulate the regeneration of limbs in humans. Now, a team of researchers from Arizona State University is one step closer to solving that mystery. The scientists have discovered the genetic "recipe" for lizard tail regeneration, which may come down to using genetic ingredients in just the right mixture and amounts.

Categories: Biology News, General

Signs of deforestation in Brazil

Biology News - 1 hour 13 min ago


Multiple fires are visible in in this image of the Para and Mato Grosso states of Brazil. Multiple fires are visible in in this image of the Para and Mato Grosso states of Brazil. Many of these were most likely intentionally set in order to deforest the land. Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use. The herringbone-patterned tan lines cutting through the dark green of the Amazon Rainforest in the middle of the image are evidence of deforestation in the Brazilian state of Pará. The deforestation in Pará follows the Brazialian national motorway BR 163, passing by cities such as Novo Progresso. The lower half of the image shows the state of Mato Grosso.

Categories: Biology News, General

Pain treatments less effective for those with irritable bowel

Biology News - 1 hour 13 min ago

University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that the immune system is defective in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, which is a major reason why sufferers have ongoing issues with pain.

Categories: Biology News, General

Oceans need saving before science is nailed

Nature Newsblog - Fri, 2014-08-15 09:21

Mohammed Al Momany/NOAA

Don’t just gather data, do something. Scientists need to stop using a lack of knowledge as an excuse for not doing more to protect threatened species, a major gathering of marine conservationists has been warned.

“Science matters deeply, but we can’t let ourselves be trapped by the need to gather more data,” Amanda Vincent, a marine researcher at the University of British Columbia, told delegates at the opening of the International Marine Conservation Congress, which kicked off on 14 August in Glasgow, UK.

Vincent’s work with seahorses has involved fighting for better control of the international trade in these animals, many of which are endangered. Trade in seahorses is now restricted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). If scientists had waited until they knew everything about every species – or even until they had enough data to propose detailed plans for managing catches in individual countries – this protection would never have arrived, she says.

Vincent told the meeting that every speaker who called for more data on a conservation issue should also be prepared to present a recommendation for something that could actually be done now.

Making an analogy with the medical profession, she told the meeting that doctors use all available evidence when deciding how to treat their patients, but when there is a lack of evidence for a particular condition they don’t generally stand by and do nothing. The oceans are under threat, says Vincent, and “you don’t do research while your patient is dying”.

She warned the gathering of conservation researchers that “we’re a bit weasely sometimes in hiding behind our lack of knowledge” and told them to “just get going”.

Follow the meeting on twitter via @dpcressey and #IMCC3

Categories: General, News

In Memoriam Woody Hastings

Ernst Mayr Library Blog - Wed, 2014-08-13 13:54

We were saddened to hear of the passing last week of J. Woodland “Woody” Hastings. He was a consummate scientist who did pioneering work in bioluminescence, quorum sensing, circadian rhythms, and more. But he was also a warm and generous human being, and he will be sorely missed.
The Library exhibit on Bioluminescence that was on display in the lobby of the Northwest Building last year was inspired by Woody’s work. The accompanying webguide (http://guides.library.harvard.edu/Bioluminescence) is dedicated to him.

For more information about Woody, visit the MCB webpage.

 

 

 

Categories: General
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