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Bioscience News
Today's biological science headlines from the sources selected by our team:

How ferns adapted to one of Earth's newest and most extreme environments
Ferns are believed to be 'old' plant species -- some of them lived alongside the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. However, a group of Andean ferns evolved much more recently: their completely new form and structure (morphology) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years. This novel morphology seems to have been advantageous when colonising the extreme environment of the high Andes.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:27 GMT

Designer 'barrel' proteins created
Designer proteins that expand on nature's own repertoire, created by a team of chemists and biochemists, are described in a new paper. Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, and the transport of oxygen in blood.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:27 GMT

Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generations
Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species -- in as little as 15 years -- as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:27 GMT

NJIT hosts the NJ mayors' Summit on Resilient Design
(New Jersey Institute of Technology) Local mayors and state and federal experts will gather at New Jersey Institute of Technology to discuss how the state has recovered from two of the worst natural disasters ever to hit New Jersey: Hurricanes Sandy and Irene.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:27 GMT

Some like it loud
(National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)) Species of poison frogs that utilize bright warning coloration as protection from predators are more likely to develop louder, more complex calls than relatives that rely on camouflage. New research indicates that because these visual cues establish certain species as unsavory prey, they are free to make noisy calls in plain sight and better attract possible mates.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:27 GMT

Law of the Sea authorizes animal tagging research without nations' consent
(Duke University) Scientists who study migratory marine animals can rarely predict where the animals' paths will lead. In a new paper, Duke researchers argue that coastal nations don't have precedent under the law of the sea to require scientists to seek advance permission to remotely track tagged animals who may enter their waters. Requiring advance consent undermines the goals of the law, which is meant to encourage scientific research for conservation of marine animals.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:27 GMT

Tarantula venom illuminates electrical activity in live cells

Researchers have created a cellular probe that combines a tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound to help scientists observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells. The probe binds to a voltage-activated potassium ion channel subtype, lighting up when the channel is turned off and dimming when it is activated.

Biology News Net, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:28 GMT

Physicists solve longstanding puzzle of how moths find distant mates

The way in which male moths locate females flying hundreds of meters away has long been a mystery to scientists.

Biology News Net, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:28 GMT

Amphibians being wiped out by emerging viruses

Scientists tracing the real-time impact of viruses in the wild have found that entire amphibian communities are being killed off by closely related viruses introduced to mountainous areas of northern Spain.

Biology News Net, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:28 GMT

Climate change impacts countered by stricter fisheries management
A new study has found that implementing stricter fisheries management overcame the expected detrimental effects of climate change disturbances in coral reef fisheries badly impacted by the 1997/98 El Niño, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. Biology News, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:28 GMT

Cat dentals fill you with dread?
A survey published this year found that over 50% of final year veterinary students in the UK do not feel confident either in discussing orodental problems with clients or in performing a detailed examination of the oral cavity of their small animal patients. Once in practice, things don't always improve and, anecdotally, it seems many vets dread feline dental procedures. Biology News, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:28 GMT

Mycologist promotes agarikon as a possibility to counter growing antibiotic resistance
( —Mycologist Paul Stamets is espousing the health benefits of agarikon, a fungus that grows on trees in old growth forests in North America and Europe. He's written and published a blog piece in the Huffington Post, describing the known antibacterial and antiviral abilities of the fungus and suggesting we take better care of our old growth forests as a means of survival in an uncertain future. Biology News, Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:28 GMT

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