Articles about biology

Magnetic medicine

Magnetic medicines hit the cancerous spot

A team of researchers in Australia and Scotland has designed an iron core for the anti-cancer drug Cisplatin, so that it can be dragged by magnets to wherever in your body it can do its best work. The team’s work is detailed in a new paper,Cisplatin drug delivery using gold-coated iron oxide nanoparticles for enhanced tumour …
A moss carder bumblebee

Insect vision a template for computer ‘sight’

Computers aren’t yet good at making complex, ad-hoc decisions from visual inputs. However, the discovery at Melbourne’s RMIT that bees' brains are big enough to do so could set the direction for future computer vision research. According to RMIT Associate Professor Adrian Dyer, of RMIT’s school of media and communication, the …
Human_brain_SM

Intelligence a genetic mistake

It’s not quite the “key to intelligence”, but a study published in the journal Cell at least offers a hint to how human brains changed post-hominid: a miscopied gene that seems to let the brain form more connections, faster. The paper finds that a gene dubbed SRGAP2 has, during cell divisions, been incompletely copied three …
The Register breaking news

GCSE, A-level science exams ARE dumbed down - watchdog

Questions expecting short answers and the use of multiple choice have made biology and chemistry exams easier in the UK, according to assessment assessor Ofqual. The examinations watchdog analysed GCSE and A-level exams for the two science subjects - comparing papers taken by thousands of youngsters between 2003 and 2008 - and …
Anna Leach, 2 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Higher ground: plants seeking colder temperatures

A study conducted by the University of Vienna and published in Science has found that all across Europe, plants are moving to higher altitudes. Billed as the first pan-continental study of the impact of climate change on Europe’s flora, the research warns that while the scientists found more species being observed on mountain …
The Register breaking news

Corny conversations prove plants 'talk'

Setting aside any jokes about Prince Charles and talking to plants, an Australian scientist has turned up evidence that plants can use sound for rudeimentary communication. In a wonderful example of “why not test it” science, a University of Western Australia researcher decided to listen to growing corn plants – and yes, they …
The Register breaking news

Squirrelled away: seeds survive 30,000-year winter

About 30,000 years ago, a squirrel saved some fruits in a burrow that was frozen over, and stayed that way ever since. Now, Russian scientists have not only recovered the seeds – they’ve grown viable plants from them. According to Discovery, the fruits survived at a depth of 38 meters (125 feet), at -7°C until they were …
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Boffins hack evolution, create SUPERSOLDIER ANTS

Researchers in Canada have created a new type of supersoldier ant by activating genetic material from long-dead forms of life. The team, led by professor Ehab Abouheif of the Department of Biology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, were studying ants from the genus pheidole. There are nearly 1,200 diferent species …
Iain Thomson, 7 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Parasites spark swarm of ZOMBIE BEES

Researchers have found a type of parasite that turns bees into zombies, causing them to exhibit strange behavior before dying. The discovery was made by accident, after San Francisco State University professor of biology John Hafernik collected some bees he found outside his office so that he could feed them to a praying …
Iain Thomson, 5 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Boffins drill into human language by terrifying chimps with vipers

Chimps don't just blurt out whatever is on their mind - they consider who's listening, says an article published in Current Biology that could reveal an important stage in the development of language. In a test with 33 chimpanzees and plastic models of vipers, the research team, led by Catherine Crockford from the School of …
Anna Leach, 30 Dec 2011
The Register breaking news

Humans, insects set to OBLITERATE frankincense supply

Scientists are warning that frankincense supplies are failing fast, and that 90 per cent of the world’s supply could be gone in the next 50 years, thanks to some spectacularly unwise men. Teams from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Ethiopia have published results from the first large scale study of frankincense …
Iain Thomson, 21 Dec 2011
The Register breaking news

British garbage worms survive in space without human help

A worm family that originated in a rubbish dump in Bristol has successfully returned from a space mission, proving for the first time that worms can survive untended in space. Studying the effect of space travel on worms has big implications for understanding how humans can survive in space – if and when we have to flee our …
Anna Leach, 30 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

SHARKS tempted by BIKINI CLAD Thanksgiving BABES

Half-naked women will swim with great white sharks in an experiment conducted by a marine biologist to understand the fish's hunting patterns. Dr Ryan Johnson told ABC News's Nightline programme that he wanted to dispel what he considers to be rotten myths about the powerful sea creatures. He has dived with sharks countless …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Drag queening for the birds say Spanish boffins

Fetch out the sequins: Spanish biologists working in western France have explained a curious characteristic of a bird called the marsh harrier: some males “dress” as females in their permanent plumage to win chicks and territory. The boffins, led by Audrey Sternalski of the Instituto de Investigacion en Recursos Cingeticos in …
The Register breaking news

Gulf of California terrorized by ONE-EYED MUTANT SHARK!

Scientists have decided that the “Cyclops shark” caught in the Gulf of California back in June is the real deal: a mutant rather than a hoax. First coming to light on the Pisces Fleet Sportfishing Blog, the images of the one-eyed dusky shark – actually a fetus found inside someone’s catch – were originally dismissed as a hoax …
The Register breaking news

Beer bottle shagging beetles with HUGE MEMBERS win prize

Aussie beetles who mistake the brown bobbly bit round the rim of beer bottles for an alluring female have landed two entomologists this year's Ig Nobel prize for biology. Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz witnessed the misguided insects trying to do the nasty with the traditional "stubbies" in Western Australia, setting them on …
The Register breaking news

Human 'alarm clock' enzyme discovered

When your alarm clock doesn't go off, you can thank a humble enzyme for getting you out of bed, scientists at the Salk Institute reveal in research published today. Researchers examining the mechanisms that control our sleep have found the chemical reaction that makes us stir abruptly, throw the cat off the bed and stumble …
Anna Leach, 30 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

Oz Territory terrorized by MUTANT CANE TOADS!

Northern Territory News, usually famous for a daily diet of crocodile stories and close to Weekly World News for credibility, has unleashed a new horror on the world: the five-legged cane toad. Cane toads are already a serious pest in Australia: released into the wild in the 1930s to protect sugar cane against a beetle, they’ …

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