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Bonobo makes stone tools like early humans did

Hannah Krakauer - New Scientist - 21 August 2012 Comments

Kanzi the bonobo continues to impress. Not content with learning sign language or making up "words" for things like banana or juice, he now seems capable of making stone tools on a par with the...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

Scientists Discover Previously Unknown Cleansing System in Brain

- - URMC - 21 August 2012 Comments

An artery in the brain of a mouse. The green shows cerebrospinal fluid in a channel along the outside of the artery. A previously unrecognized system that drains waste from the brain at a rapid...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

Grey parrots use reasoning where monkeys and dogs can’t

- - The Royal Society - 15 August 2012 Comments

Research suggesting that grey parrots can reason about cause and effect from audio cues alone- a skill that monkeys and dogs lack- is presented in Proceedings of the Royal Society B today. ...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, BIOLOGY

Why do organisms build tissues they seemingly never use?

- - Science Blog - 13 August 2012 Comments

Why, after millions of years of evolution, do organisms build structures that seemingly serve no purpose? A study conducted at Michigan State University and published in the current issue of The...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

New flat-faced human species possibly discovered

Charles Choi - CBS News - 12 August 2012 Comments

Thanks to rod-the-farmer for the link Four decades ago, in 1972, the Koobi Fora Research Project (KFRP) discovered the enigmatic fossilized skull known as KNM-ER 1470, or "1470" for short,...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

A New Species Discovered ... On Flickr

Adam Cole - NPR - 12 August 2012 Comments

Guek Hock Ping/ZooKeys One day in May of 2011, Shaun Winterton was looking at pictures of bugs on the Internet when something unusual caught his eye. It was a close shot of a green lacewing —...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

Prisoners pitch in to save endangered butterfly

Ed Yong - Nature News - 10 August 2012 Comments

At the Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women in Belfair, Washington, inmates are helping to save the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori). Under the supervision...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, SCIENCE

Paddlefish's Doubled Genome May Question Theories On Limb Evolution

-- - Science Daily - 08 August 2012 Comments

Thanks to rod-the-farmer for the link The American paddlefish -- known for its bizarre, protruding snout and eggs harvested for caviar -- duplicated its entire genome about 42 million...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

Bacteria transform the closest living relatives of animals from single cells into colonies

Ed Yong - Discover Magazine Blogs - 07 August 2012 Comments

In Nicole King’s lab, a bacterium is making a group of tiny cells stick together. That might seem a little humdrum for a group whose members can build electric grids, create snow, and cripple...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

Newly discovered goblin spider is named after Sir David Attenborough

Emma Clark - Daily Mail - 04 August 2012 Comments

Thanks to Michael for the link Sir David Attenborough with a photograph of the 'Prethopalpus attenboroughi' spider at the museum of Western Australia in Perth A tiny new species of...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

Suicidal termites use chemical weapons to defend colony

Jessica Griggs - New Scientist - 28 July 2012 Comments

Old-aged termites go out with a bang, it appears. While ageing, the insects brew a backpack of deadly chemicals, which they use to self-destruct when under attack, taking out any enemies with them....

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

First Prehistoric Snake Slithered Out on Land–Not at Sea

Katherine Harmon - Scientific American - 27 July 2012 Comments

Lizard jaw, Coniophis jaw and a snake jaw; courtesy of Nick Longrich Sorry, sea serpents. Snakes, it seems, slithered off their lizard legs on land. A new analysis of a primitive snake fossil...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

Superfast evolution in sea stars

-- - UC Davis News - 26 July 2012 Comments

The sea stars Cryptasterina hystera and C. pentagona are close relatives with very different ways of reproducing but difficult to tell apart. A new study shows the species separated just a few...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

Evolutionary leap over 500 million years ago gives new insights into human diseases

S Hussain - University of Dundee - 26 July 2012 Comments

An evolutionary leap made at the bottom of the ocean over 500 million years ago gives new insights into the causes of human diseases such as diabetes, cancer and neurological disorders, according to...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

Human Stem Cells Found to Restore Memory

Susan Young - Technology Review - 26 July 2012 Comments

Last week, a California biotech company announced that its human stem cells restored memory in rodents bred to have an Alzheimer's-like condition—the first evidence that human neural stem cells...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

Artificial jellyfish built from rat cells

Ed Yong - nature - 23 July 2012 Comments

Bioengineers have made an artificial jellyfish using silicone and muscle cells from a rat’s heart. The synthetic creature, dubbed a medusoid, looks like a flower with eight petals. When placed...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

The Mystery of the Missing Chromosome

Carl Zimmer - Discover Magazine Blogs - 21 July 2012 Comments

There’s something fascinating about our chromosomes. We have 23 pairs. Chimpanzees and gorillas, our closest living relatives, have 24. If you come to these facts cold, you might think this...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

For Chimps, Tool Choice Is A Weighty Matter

Jason G. Goldman - Scientific American - 20 July 2012 Comments

A juvenile chimpanzee in the Ivory Coast’s Tai Forest watches as her mother carefully places a soft coula nut onto a hard, flat rock. In her other hand, mom has a chunk of hard wood. Mom smashes...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, BIOLOGY

Free online course: Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

Dr. Mohamed Noor - Duke University - 20 July 2012 Comments

About the Course Introduction to Genetics and Evolution gives interested people a very basic overview of the principles behind these very fundamental areas of biology. We often hear about new...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EDUCATION, EVOLUTION

SNAREs at the Synapse

Megan Scudellari - TheScientist - 18 July 2012 Comments

Using tiny lipid discs, scientists resolve contradictory evidence about how many proteins are required for neurotransmitter release. EDITOR’S CHOICE IN NEUROSCIENCE There is very little about...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY