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Latest and Breaking Biology News

Rumors of southern pine deaths have been exaggerated, UGA researchers say
(University of Georgia) Researchers at the University of Georgia have a message for Southern tree farmers worried about unexplainable pine tree deaths: don't panic.A new study published in Forest Ecology and Management analyzed growth in thousands of pine tree plots across the Southeast and indicates that 'southern pine decline' isn't happening on a large scale.

Infection with Wolbachia bacteria curbs fighting among fruit flies
(American Society for Microbiology) Male fruit flies infected with the bacterium, Wolbachia, are less aggressive than those not infected, according to research published in the July Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. This is the first time bacteria have been shown to influence aggression, said corresponding author Jeremy C. Brownlie, Ph.D., Deputy Head, School of Natural Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Seahorse tails could inspire new generation of robots
(Clemson University) Inspiration for the next big technological breakthrough in robotics, defense systems and biomedicine could come from a seahorse's tail, according to a new study reported Thursday in the journal Science.The research centers on the curious shape of seahorse tails and was led by Clemson University's Michael M. Porter, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

'Déjà vu all over again:' Research shows 'mulch fungus' causes turfgrass disease
(Penn State) Inadvertently continuing a line of study they conducted about 15 years ago, a team of Penn State researchers recently discovered the causal agent for an emerging turfgrass disease affecting golf courses around the world.

Do you really think you're a foodie?
(Cornell Food & Brand Lab) Think you're a foodie? Adventurous eaters, known as 'foodies,' are often associated with indulgence and excess. However, a new Cornell Food and Brand Lab study shows just the opposite -- adventurous eaters weigh less and may be healthier than their less-adventurous counterparts.

Long-term memories are maintained by prion-like proteins
(Columbia University Medical Center) Research from Eric Kandel's lab has uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time.

New measurements reveal differences between stem cells for treating retinal degeneration
(St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) By growing two types of stem cells in a '3-D culture' and measuring their ability to produce retinal cells, a team lead by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital researchers has found one cell type to be better at producing retinal cells.

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine
(Rockefeller University) The conventional flu vaccine requires annual shots to protect against only a few specific strains. However, researchers at Rockefeller University and their colleagues have shown that by including modified antibodies within the vaccine it may be possible to elicit broad protection against many strains simultaneously.

First comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome completed
(University of Chicago Medical Center) The first comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome reveals extensive genetic changes that allowed mammoths to adapt to life in the arctic. Newly-identified mammoth genes played roles in skin and hair development, fat metabolism, insulin signaling and numerous other traits -- even physical ones such as skull shape, small ears and short tails. As a test of function, a mammoth gene involved in temperature sensation was resurrected in the laboratory and its protein product characterized.

Genetic testing in kids is fraught with complications
(University of Utah Health Sciences) The American Society of Human Genetics Workgroup on Pediatric Genetic and Genomic Testing has issued guidelines for genetic testing in children and adolescents that are based on a thorough review of studies on ethical, legal, and social implications. The recommendations were published in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

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