Tag Archives | natural


Cockatoo makes his own tools

A Goffin’s cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana) named Figaro has been observed spontaneously making and using tools for reaching food and other objects. Figaro, who lives in Vienna, was reared in captivity and animal behaviorists are unclear as to how he acquired his DIY skills. The researchers that documented his tool making abilities, from the Universities of […]

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Bird poo and manta rays: nature’s intricate connectivity revealed

One of the longest ecological interaction chains ever documented sheds light on how human disturbance of the natural world may lead to widespread, yet largely invisible, disruption of ecosystems. The research, by Stanford scientists Douglas McCauley and Paul DeSalles, appears in the journal Scientific Reports. McCauley and DeSalles were working around the remote Palmyra Atoll […]

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Alzheimer’s may be transmissible a la mad cow disease

Alzheimer’s disease may originate in a form similar to that of infectious prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; suggests new research published in Molecular Psychiatry that shows an infectious spreading of Alzheimer’s disease in animal models. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of progressive dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. The plaques caused by misshapen […]

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Fish vision evolution observed at molecular level

Emory University researchers have identified the first fish known to have switched from ultraviolet vision to violet vision (the ability to see blue light). The discovery links molecular evolution to functional changes in the organism and the environmental factors that drive those changes. Evolutionary geneticist and study leader Shozo Yokoyama says the findings, reported in […]

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Menopause Exclusively Human

Wild chimpanzees do not routinely experience menopause, suggests a Harvard University study, rebutting previous studies of captive individuals which had postulated that female chimpanzees reach reproductive senescence at 35 to 40 years of age. Together with recent data from wild gorillas and orangutans, the finding – described in Current Biology – suggests that human females […]

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Focus Of Genetic Research Narrowed

Today, details of an important new way of determining proof of natural selection at the single gene level were published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS). The new statistical method will replace what is known as the standard neutral model, which many scientists say is less than ideal. According to them, the commonly used […]

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Fertilization Of Phytoplankton Not A Solution For CO2 Removal

The idea of fertilizing the ocean with iron to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere gained momentum in the 1980s. Ocean scientists saw potential for a low-cost method for reducing greenhouse gases and possibly enhancing fisheries. Plankton take-up carbon in surface waters during photosynthesis, creating a bloom that other animals feed upon. Carbon from the […]

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Clay May Have Been Catalyst For Life

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have discovered that clays may have been the catalysts that spurred the spontaneous assembly of fatty acids into the small sacs that ultimately evolved into the first living cells. HHMI investigator Jack W. Szostak and colleagues Martin M. Hanczyc and Shelly M. Fujikawa at Massachusetts General Hospital also demonstrated […]

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Doctors Not So Keen When Treating Bioterror Agents

Eighty percent of U.S. doctors say they’re willing to care for patients during a bioterror outbreak of an unknown but potentially deadly illness – provided it’s not too dangerous. But apart from this general willingness, very few feel prepared to help respond to a bioterror attack. According to a survey of 526 physicians by G. […]

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