Biology

Two scapulae of Homo antecessor, found during the excavation campaigns of 2005, 2006 and 2007, belonged to a boy or girl about three years old (ATD6-116), and a minor of unknown sex, and age equivalent to that of a modern adolescent (ATD6-118). It shows that this species from the European Lower Pleistocene at the Sierra de Atapuerca had already completely lost its ability to climb easily, and suggests that it had the skeleton of a hominin that habitually walked. In the entire hominin fossil record, there are only four complete specimens of this part of the skeleton for the period between six…
Could Lyme disease in the U.S. be the result of an accidental release from a secret bioweapons experiment? Could the military have specifically engineered the Lyme disease bacterium to be more insidious and destructive – and then let it somehow escape the lab and spread in nature? Is this why 300,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with this potentially debilitating disease? It’s an old conspiracy theory currently enjoying a resurgence with lots of sensational headlines and tweets. Even Congress has ordered that the Pentagon must reveal whether it weaponized ticks. And it’s not…
After exposing more than 70 million grain amaranth seeds to a soil-based herbicide, researchers were not able to find a single herbicide-resistant mutant, according to a report in the journal Weed Science. The findings suggest that the mutation rate in amaranth is very low, and that low-level herbicide application contributes little - if anything - to the onset of new mutations conferring resistance, researchers say. Any major stress that does not kill a plant can contribute to genetic mutations in its seeds and pollen, said University of Illinois crop sciences professor Patrick Tranel, who…
Stretching the day beyond what nature provides has provided numerous cultural benefits for humans but a new study has linked nighttime illumination caused by people to decreased amphibian reproduction. The authors of a recent experiment exposed wood frogs to a control and two anthropogenic light conditions: intensified daytime illuminance and artificial light at night. They found that both the intensified daytime illuminance treatments and the light at night treatment decreased hatching success in tadpoles. Tadpoles that were reared in the light at night treatment were larger, less…
Researchers have shown that circadian oscillations in the influx of immune cells into the damaged tissue play a crucial role in exacerbating the effects of an acute heart attack in the early morning hours. The extent of the inflammatory reaction triggered by an acute heart attack, and of the resulting damage to the heart muscle, varies depending on the time of day at which the infarct occurs. In a new study, researchers led by Sabine Steffens, Professor of Clinical Pathobiochemistry in the Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention (IPEK) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich…