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

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones
Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) distinguish between heavier and lighter peanuts without opening the nuts. The birds do it by shaking the nuts in their beaks, which allows them to 'feel' nut heaviness and to listen to sounds produced by peanuts during handling.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:34 GMT

From chicken to dinosaur: Scientists experimentally 'reverse evolution' of perching toe
A unique adaptation in the foot of birds is the presence of a thumb-like opposable toe, which allows them to grasp and perch.  However, in their dinosaur ancestors, this toe was small and non- opposable, and did not even touch the ground, resembling the dewclaws of dogs and cats. Remarkably, the embryonic development of birds provides a parallel of this evolutionary history: The toe starts out like their dinosaur ancestors, but then its base (the metatarsal) becomes twisted, making it opposable.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:34 GMT

Vaccines developed for H5N1, H7N9 avian influenza strains
Researchers have developed vaccines for H5N1 and H7N9, two new strains of avian influenza that can be transmitted from poultry to humans. The strains have led to the culling of millions of commercial chickens and turkeys as well as the death of hundreds of people.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:34 GMT

Biodiversity: 11 new species come to light in Madagascar
(Université de Genève) Madagascar is home to extraordinary biodiversity, but in the past few decades, the island's forests and associated biodiversity have been under greater attack than ever. Rapid deforestation is affecting the biotopes of hundreds of species, including the panther chameleon, a species with spectacular intra-specific color variation. A new study by Michel Milinkovitch, professor of genetics, evolution, and biophysics at the University of Geneva, led in close collaboration with colleagues in Madagascar.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

In study, new swab reveals one-third of babies with severe diarrhea had undiagnosed, treatable infection
(Terry Collins Assoc) In an African study supported by the Canadian government, a new tool -- the 'flocked swab' -- helped reveal that one-third of babies hospitalized with severe diarrhea were discharged with an undiagnosed, treatable infection.The results could prompt global rethink of how to manage diarrhea diseases, the world's 2nd leading cause of death of children under 5.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones
(Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution at Seoul National University) A study carried out in Arizona by an international research team from Poland and Korea revealed that the Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) distinguish between heavier and lighter peanuts without opening the nuts. The birds do it by shaking the nuts in their beaks, which allows them to 'feel' nut heaviness and to listen to sounds produced by peanuts during handling.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

Lowly 'new girl' chimps form stronger female bonds


Chema and Rumumba, two low-ranking immigrant female chimpanzees, take turns grooming each other in Gombe National Park, Tanzania.
Low-ranking "new girl" chimpanzees seek out other gal pals with similar status, finds a new study of social relationships in the wild apes.

Biology News Net, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

Tara Oceans expedition yields treasure trove of plankton data


The Tara Oceans expedition collected these small zooplanktonic animals in the Indian Ocean: a molluscan pteropod on the right, and 2 crustacean copepods. On the left is a fragment of...
In five related reports in this issue of the journal Science, a multinational team of researchers who spent three and a half years sampling the ocean's sunlit upper layers aboard the schooner Tara unveil the first officially reported global analyses of the Tara Oceans consortium. Planktonic life in the ocean is far more diverse than scientists knew, these reports show. They provide new resources for cataloguing the ocean's numerous planktonic organisms, which -- though critical to life on Earth, providing half the oxygen generated annually through photosynthesis, for example -- have largely been uncharacterized. The reports also reveal how planktonic life is distributed and how planktonic species interact, and they suggest that these organisms' interactions, more so than environmental conditions, help explain their community structures.

Biology News Net, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

Phages transducing antibiotic resistance detected in chicken meat


Phages infect bacteria and are able to transfer genes during this process.
Bacteria resistant to antibiotics are on the rise. There are different explanations for how resistances are transferred. Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna found phages in chicken meat that are able to transfer antimicrobial resistance to bacteria. Phages are viruses that exclusively infect bacteria. They can contribute to the spread of antimicrobial resistance. The findings may also be relevant for clinical settings. The study was published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Biology News Net, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

11 new species come to light in Madagascar
Madagascar is home to extraordinary biodiversity, but in the past few decades, the island's forests and associated biodiversity have been under greater attack than ever. Rapid deforestation is affecting the biotopes of hundreds of species, including the panther chameleon, a species with spectacular intra-specific colour variation. A new study by Michel Milinkovitch, professor of genetics, evolution, and biophysics at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), led in close collaboration with colleagues in Madagascar, reveals that this charismatic reptilian species, which is only found in Madagascar, is actually composed of eleven different species. The results of their research appear in the latest issue of the Molecular Ecology journal. They also discuss the urgent need to protect Madagascar's habitats.
Phys.org: Biology News, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

Saved from Sandy: Shorebird efforts are declared a success
A crash program to restore New Jersey bay and ocean beaches wrecked by Superstorm Sandy appears to have succeeded in saving tens of thousands of shorebirds that otherwise might have died after the 2012 storm wiped out their feeding grounds.
Phys.org: Biology News, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

Thousands worldwide march against Monsanto and GM crops
Thousands of people hit the streets in cities across the world Saturday to protest against the American biotechnology giant Monsanto and its genetically modified crops and pesticides.
Phys.org: Biology News, Mon, 25 May 2015 05:53:35 GMT

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SciCentral picks

The top 5 resources
selected by our team
for biological science
news coverage:


EurekAlert!
rank:1
white line spacer BiologyNewsNet
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Science Daily
rank:3
white line spacer The Scientist
rank:4
white line spacer BioSpace
rank:5
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