From snail to man, one of the most common features in behavior is arguably the variability of motor acts--for example, a soccer player evading an opponent. By studying how the marine snail Aplysia produces variable feeding behavior, researchers have found that variable motor outputs stem from a complex interplay of synaptic variability and the strengths of the synaptic contacts between specific neuronal elements in a feedforward motor network.
In 2003, Heiko Braak proposed that Parkinson's disease is caused by a pathogen in the gut that could pass through the intestinal mucosal barrier and spread to the brain through the nervous system. Until now, no evidence of a specific pathogen that may trigger PD was found; now researchers report for the first time a significant overabundance of a cluster of opportunistic pathogens in the PD gut.
A research team led by a University of Rhode Island ornithologist had birds fly in a wind tunnel to simulate migration and found that birds that consume dietary antioxidants before and during fall migration can reduce the endocrine stress response triggered by long-duration flights.
Fungi producing cyclosporins exist as two reproducing stages: asexual -- soil fungi from which cyclosporin was initially extracted, and sexual -- parasitic fungi close to a popularly known genus Cordyceps. Unlike most polypeptides synthesized on ribosomes following the information directly encoded in nucleic acid, cyclosporins are produced on a special enzyme, cyclosporin synthetase.
Scientists develop AI-based tool to predict adverse drug events. Such events are responsible for some 2 million U.S. hospitalizations per year. The free, open-source system could enable safer drug design, optimize drug safety
Not a lot is known about the importance of crocodilians to the health of their freshwater environments. An extensive literature review recently published in the journal Biological Reviews takes stock of existing knowledge relating to the role these predators play in stabilizing aquatic ecosystems, with far-reaching conservation implications.
A new study of researchers at IMT School for Advanced Study Lucca demonstrates for the first time that the slow waves of NREM-sleep travel and propagate in the brain through "anatomical highways". The scientists have investigated in particular the role of the corpus callosum, the bundle of nervous fibers that connects the two brain emispheres, by enrolling in the research a group of "split brain" patients.
An analysis led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin has found that a mysterious fossil discovered in 2011 is a giant, soft-shell egg from about 66 million years ago. Measuring in at more than 11 by 7 inches, the egg is the largest soft-shell egg ever discovered and the second-largest egg of any known animal.
Adult Tibetan antelope have overcome oxygen deprivation on the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau through an unusual adaptation in which they permanently express a form of hemoglobin (the iron-containing oxygen transport protein in red blood cells) that other members of the cattle family only express as juveniles or when under extreme oxygen deprivation.
When two betta fish are fighting for dominance, not only do their attacks mirror each other, but the gene expression in their brain cells also starts to align. The new findings, published June 17th in PLOS Genetics by Norihiro Okada of Kitasato University, Japan, may explain how the fish synchronize their fighting behavior.