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Latest Organism Stories

2010-11-16 18:47:04

Linnaean taxonomy is still a cornerstone of biology, but modern DNA techniques have erased many of the established boundaries between species. This has made identifying species difficult in practice, which can cause problems, as shown by a researcher from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. "If you can't recognise a species by looking at it, this can have serious consequences," says Emma Vodoti from the Department of Zoology at the University of Gothenburg. "For example, there is a species...

2010-09-21 11:04:36

The scientists who put an innovative tree of life online last year now have made that same resource available -- free -- for smartphones. The new "TimeTree" application lets anyone with an Apple iPhone harness a vast Internet storehouse of data about the diversity of life, from bacteria to humans. The intuitive interface is designed to answer a simple question, quickly and authoritatively: how long ago did species A and species B share a common ancestor? "Our new iPhone app can be fun for...

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2010-09-04 08:28:52

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have revealed new details about how cannibalistic bacteria identify peers suitable for consumption. The work, which employed imaging mass spectrometry, is a first step toward a broader effort to map all signaling molecules between organisms."These are the molecules that control biology," said Pieter C. Dorrestein, PhD, associate professor at UC San Diego's Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and corresponding author of a...

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2010-08-07 10:30:00

The sponge, which was not recognized as an animal until the 19th century, is now the simplest and most ancient group of animals to have their genome sequenced. In a paper appearing in the August 5 issue of the journal Nature, a team of researchers led by Daniel Rokhsar of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI), report the draft genome sequence of the sea sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and several insights the genome gives into the...

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2010-07-21 11:31:31

Study on guppies sheds light on long-term costs of early rapid growth and weight gain University of California, Riverside biologists working on guppies "“ small freshwater fish that have been the subject of long-term studies "“ report that rapid growth responses to increased food availability after a period of growth restriction early in life have repercussions in adulthood. Based on their experiments, the biologists found that female guppies that grew rapidly as juveniles...

2010-06-23 01:18:38

Researchers at Virginia Tech, New York University (NYU), and the University of Milan, Italy, have created a data mining algorithm they call GOALIE that can automatically reveal how biological processes are coordinated in time. Biological processes such as cell division, metabolism, and development must be carefully synchronized for proper cell function. How such events are coordinated in time is a complex problem in the field of systems biology. While researchers can gather temporal data...

2010-06-16 21:42:59

Findings released during the annual Goldschmidt Conference at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville How do we begin to understand what early life was like on Earth about 700 million years ago as our planet shifted from an oxygen-free and probably ice-covered realm to the oxygen-rich world that we know today? One geochemist who decodes the early record of life on Earth has found a method featuring a combination of chemical analyses for a significantly clearer picture of this dynamic...

2010-06-11 13:38:50

The transition from colonies of individual cells to multicellular organisms can be achieved relatively rapidly, within one million generations, according to a new mathematical model, published June 10 in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology, that simplifies our understanding of this process. Biological organisms are highly complex and are comprised of many different parts that function together to ensure the survival and reproduction of the whole. How and why complexity...

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2010-05-13 09:25:38

First large-scale formal quantitative test confirms Darwin's theory of universal common ancestry More than 150 years ago, Darwin proposed the theory of universal common ancestry (UCA), linking all forms of life by a shared genetic heritage from single-celled microorganisms to humans. Until now, the theory that makes ladybugs, oak trees, champagne yeast and humans distant relatives has remained beyond the scope of a formal test. This week, a Brandeis biochemist reports in Nature the results of...

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2010-05-04 09:05:00

Microbes have among smallest genomes, plus unusual interactions with other Archaea In the depths of a former copper mine in Northern California dwell what may be the smallest, most stripped-down forms of life ever discovered. The microbes "“ members of the domain of one-celled creatures called Archaea "“ are smaller than other known microorganisms, rivaled in size only by a microbe that can survive solely as a parasite attached to the outside of other cells. Their genomes,...


Latest Organism Reference Libraries

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2014-01-12 00:00:00

Biology is the study of living organisms. Before the 19th century, biology was known as natural history (the study of all living things). Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus was the first person to coin the term biology. Biology comes from the Greek words bios (meaning "life") and logia (meaning "study of"). It is a common science that is a standard subject in schools and universities around the world. Over a million papers are published annually in biology and medicinal journals. Not just a...

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Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.