Climate change is exacerbating problems like habitat loss and temperatures swings that have already pushed many animal species to the brink. But can scientists predict which animals will be able to adapt and survive? Using genome sequencing, researchers from McGill University show that some fish, like the threespine stickleback, can adapt very rapidly to extreme seasonal changes. Their findings could help scientists forecast the evolutionary future of these populations.
Rodents and pigs share with certain aquatic organisms the ability to use their intestines for respiration, finds a study publishing May 14th in the journal Med. The researchers demonstrated that the delivery of oxygen gas or oxygenated liquid through the rectum provided vital rescue to two mammalian models of respiratory failure.
A team of evolutionary biologists has shown that Anolis lizards, or anoles, are able to breathe underwater with the aid of a bubble clinging to their snouts. Some anoles are stream specialists, and these semi-aquatic species frequently dive underwater to avoid predators, where they can remain submerged for as long as 18 minutes. The researchers termed the process 'rebreathing' after the scuba-diving technology.
The wild California condor population dropped to 22 before rescue and captive breeding allowed reintroduction into the wild. A new assembly of the complete genome of the bird reveals some inbreeding as a result, but overall high genomic diversity attesting to large populations of condors in the past, likely in the tens of thousands. Comparison to Andean condor and turkey vulture genomes reveals declines in their populations also, and lower genomic diversity than California condor.
When Ram Raghavan heard from a former colleague at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a 7-year-old girl had died from Rocky Mountain spotted fever as the result of a tick bite, he thought of his own daughter, also 7 years old at the time, and the potentially fatal danger posed to vulnerable populations by tick-borne diseases.
A new WCS study looks at the prevalence of human consumption of lemur and fossa (Madagascar's largest predator) in villages within and around Makira Natural Park, northeastern Madagascar, providing up-to-date estimates of the percentage of households who eat meat from these protected species.
The relevance of pet dog biobanking in molecular research and the initiative to make pioneering steps in this field. The Hungarian Canine Brain and Tissue Bank (CBTB) was established by the research team of the Senior Family Dog Project in 2017, following the examples of human tissue banks. In a recent paper, the team reports findings, which would not have been possible without the CBTB, and may augment further progress in dog aging and biomarker research.
The first study to analyze snake removals in a social-ecological context was recently published by an Arizona State University conservation biologist working with a local rattlesnake removal company."I think one of the surprises was that people don't hate snakes," said researcher Heather Bateman of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. "A lot of them responded that the snakes are important to the desert ecosystem and the snake belongs in the desert, just not in my garage."
Wild orangutans are known for their ability to survive food shortages, but scientists have made a surprising finding that highlights the need to protect the habitat of these critically endangered primates, which face rapid habitat destruction and threats linked to climate change.
University of Massachusetts Amherst neuroscientists examining genetically identified neurons in a songbird's forebrain discovered a remarkable landscape of physiology, auditory coding and network roles that mirrored those in the brains of mammals.