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A topic often left out of discussions about the promise of personalized medicine that science and society offers for the future is whether or not ordinary people want that extra responsibility. Does everyone want to know if they are susceptible to certain diseases?

A two-day showcase called Genomics and Society: Today’s Answers, Tomorrow’s Questions – is taking place in London on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 October 2007. This gathering brings together policymakers, researchers and natural scientists with what is becoming the world’s largest concentration of social scientific research in this field - the ESRC Genomics Network (EGN).

Stars in dwarf spheroidal galaxies behave in a way that suggests the galaxies are utterly dominated by dark matter, University of Michigan astronomers state.

Astronomy professor Mario Mateo and post-doctoral researcher Matthew Walker measured the velocity of 6,804 stars in seven dwarf satellite galaxies of the Milky Way: Carina, Draco, Fornax, Leo I, Leo II, Sculptor and Sextans. They found that, contrary to what Newton's law of gravity predicts, stars in these galaxies do not move slower the farther they are from their galaxy's core.

"These galaxies show a problem right from the center," Mateo said. "The velocity doesn't get smaller. It just stays the same, which is eerie."

An international team of scientists has overturned an ecological study on how some animals search for food. Previously it was believed that wandering albatrosses and other species forage using a Lévy flight strategy - a cluster of short moves connected by infrequent longer ones. Published this week in the journal Nature, the team discovered that further analyses and new data tell a different story for the albatrosses and possibly for other species too.

Biologists and physicists identified ‘Lévy flights’, which are named after the French mathematician Paul Pierre Lévy and are a type of random walk in which increments are distributed according to a probability distribution with a heavy power law tail, as an efficient way for animals to search for sparse food.

Can sounds alter how masculine or feminine a person looks?

A new study by neuroscientists from Northwestern University focuses on the brain’s processing of such sensory information about another’s gender to examine whether hearing fundamentally changes visual experience.

The study concludes that it does, weighing in with findings that contribute to provocative evidence about multi-sensory processing of our world that has been emerging in recent years.

“Researchers have long thought that one part of the brain does vision and another does auditory processing and that the two really don’t communicate with each other,” said Grabowecky.

Much of today’s conservation strategies focus on “charismatic mega fauna” such as pandas, tigers, and whales or on vascular plants such as giant redwoods and orchids. Ricardo Rozzi (University of North Texas and Universidad de Chile) and colleagues from Chile are pushing for the integration of other less conspicuous but not less important organisms in regional biological inventories.

When it comes to conservation and understanding biodiversity, a biome or regional approach to identify suitable ecosystem indicator groups can be more useful than a set of global indicator species. This, say the authors, should allow for new hotspots of biological diversity to be uncovered and conserved.

It's not just humans with a tendency for political maneuvering and nepotism. Rhesus macaques do it also, according to research by Dario Maestripieri, an expert on primate behavior and an Associate Professor in Comparative Human Development and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago.

“After humans, rhesus macaques are one of the most successful primate species on our planet; our Machiavellian intelligence may be one of the reasons for our success” wrote Maestripieri in his new book "Machiavellian Intelligence: How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World."

Maestripieri has been studying monkeys for more than 20 years and has written extensively on their behavior.