Study reveals coordinated carbon fixation strategies in deep-sea vent symbionts

In the deep-sea environment of the East Pacific Rise, where sunlight does not penetrate and the surroundings are known for their extreme temperatures, skull-crushing pressures, and toxic compounds, lives Riftia pachyptila, a giant hydrothermal vent tubeworm. Growing up to 6 feet tall with a deep-red plume, Riftia does not have a digestive system but thrives … Read more

New genus of fossil goby sheds light on fish evolution

Gobies or Gobioidei are one of the most species-rich groups of marine and freshwater fish in Europe. Spending most of their lives on the bottom of shallow waterbodies, they make substantial contributions to the functioning of many ecosystems. With the identification of a new genus of a fossil freshwater goby, students of the international master … Read more

New pterosaur species discovered in western Queensland

Curtin University-led research has unveiled a groundbreaking discovery in paleontology: fossilized bones unearthed in western Queensland, Australia, have been identified as belonging to a newly recognized species of pterosaur, a formidable flying reptile that coexisted with dinosaurs. The detailed study, titled “Haliskia peterseni, a new anhanguerian pterosaur from the late Early Cretaceous of Australia,” has … Read more

Fish brains from 290 million years ago found in Brazil

Recent discoveries in Brazil have significantly advanced our understanding of the evolutionary history of ray-finned fish brains. Research led by Rodrigo Tinoco Figueroa, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, has unearthed remarkably well-preserved brains in late Paleozoic ray-finned fishes. These findings, which include other rare soft tissues like fragments of the heart, eyes, … Read more

CRISPR increases gene expression for better photosynthesis

A team from the Innovative Genomics Institute at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) has produced an increase in gene expression in a food crop by changing its upstream regulatory DNA. While other studies have used CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing to knock out or decrease the expression of genes, new research published in Science Advances is the … Read more

Hungarian research revives paradise fish as a model for behavioral genetics

Ethological research in Hungary is most often associated with studies on dogs, largely due to the extensive work conducted by researchers at ELTE Eötvös Loránd University. However, recent methodological advancements are shifting the focus towards a less conventional model: the paradise fish. These small, vibrant fish offer unique advantages, such as ease of handling and … Read more

Researchers discover skull of Australia’s megafauna bird

After 128 years of exploration, fossil excavation and investigation, Flinders University researchers have finally uncovered the skull of Australia’s own giant and charismatic megafauna bird—Genyornis newtoni. The only previously known skull for this species, reported in 1913, was heavily damaged and with little of the original bone remaining, not much could be deduced about the … Read more

Puddle frog study reveals how climate change threatens genetically uniform species

Scientists have studied puddle frogs to identify genetic variation hotspots and places where the climate crisis could wipe out populations too homogenous to adapt. Even widespread species could be genomically vulnerable to the climate crisis, scientists warn. By studying the DNA of puddle frogs living in central African rainforests, the scientists found that areas of … Read more

Researchers discover mechanism disrupting cell signaling pathways

A group of researchers at University of California San Diego has identified the cause of a “short-circuit” in cellular pathways, a discovery that sheds new light on the genesis of a number of human diseases. The recent study, published in the journal Science Signaling, explores the biochemical mechanism that can interrupt the cellular communication chain—a … Read more

Frequent mowing may enhance resilience in silverleaf nightshade

A study published in Scientific Reports has uncovered that frequent mowing of Solanum elaeagnifolium, commonly known as silverleaf nightshade, may inadvertently promote the development of a more resilient “superweed.” The problem with silverleaf nightshade Silverleaf nightshade, a pervasive weed with distinct purple flowers, is notorious for its prickly spines and toxic berries. Its presence spans … Read more

Climate change to worsen devastation by Xylella fastidiosa, wine regions most at risk

Xylella fastidiosa, the deadly disease-causing bacterium that has already wiped out millions of plants of emblematic Mediterranean crops, like grapevines, olive-trees and almond-trees, by clogging their ducts and plant tissues, will get a boost from climate change in relevant wine-producing regions where the risk is low at present. Researchers at the Institute of Cross-disciplinary Physics … Read more

New plant species discovered in Malaysian rainforests

A distinctive plant that steals nutrients from underground fungi has been identified as a new species by botanists from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), working alongside local naturalists and stakeholders. The findings were recently published in the journal PhytoKeys. Discovery and classification Discovered in the tropical rainforests of Peninsular Malaysia, the plant, named Thismia … Read more

Giant Jurassic pterosaur unearthed in UK

A groundbreaking discovery by a team of paleontologists has unearthed the fossil of a colossal flying reptile from the Jurassic period, boasting an impressive wingspan exceeding three meters. This extraordinary find, unearthed in a gravel pit near Abingdon-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, ranks among the largest pterosaurs from that era ever discovered. The fossil, which comprises part … Read more

3D-printed photonic lantern enables compact spatial mode (De-)multiplexing

Optical waves propagating through air or multi-mode fiber can be patterned or decomposed using orthogonal spatial modes, with far-ranging applications in imaging, communication, and directed energy. Yet the systems that perform these wavefront manipulations are cumbersome and large, restricting their utilization to high-end applications. The development of a free-standing microscale photonic lantern spatial mode (de-)multiplexer … Read more

Celtic burial mounds yield DNA evidence of dynasty and trade links

The Celtic culture of the pre-Roman Iron Age in Western and Central Europe has left numerous traces to this day, not least in the form of enormous burial mounds and spectacular archaeological artifacts. Despite this rich legacy, much about this civilization remains hidden from us. In a collaboration between the State Office for the Preservation … Read more

Ancient hunters shifted to specialized tools as elephants disappeared

A new study from Tel Aviv University identified the earliest appearance worldwide of special stone tools, used 400,000 years ago to process fallow deer. The tools, called Quina scrapers (after the site in France where they were first discovered), were unearthed at the prehistoric sites of Jaljulia and Qesem Cave. They are characterized by a … Read more

New confocal microscopy technique enables 3D visualization of colloidal crystal interiors

A team of New York University researchers has created a new way to visualize crystals by peering inside their structures, akin to having X-ray vision. Their new technique—which they aptly named “Crystal Clear”—combines the use of transparent particles and microscopes with lasers that allow scientists to see each unit that makes up the crystal and … Read more

Azole antifungals trigger self-destruction in pathogens, study reveals

Scientists have discovered that the most widely-used class of antifungals in the world causes pathogens to self-destruct. The University of Exeter-led research could help improve ways to protect food security and human lives. Fungal diseases account for the loss of up to a quarter of the world’s crops. They also pose a risk to humans … Read more

Scientists develop innovative termite control method

Researchers at UC Riverside have unveiled a groundbreaking approach to controlling termite infestations that is both highly effective and environmentally friendly. This new method leverages a naturally occurring chemical to lure termites to their demise, offering a promising alternative to traditional pest control strategies. The research, published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, centers around … Read more

Biomolecular analysis of fragmented bones sheds light on North American megafaunal extinction

50,000 years ago, North America was ruled by megafauna. Lumbering mammoths roamed the tundra, while forests were home to towering mastodons, fierce saber-toothed tigers and enormous wolves. Bison and extraordinarily tall camels moved in herds across the continent, while giant beavers plied its lakes and ponds. Immense ground sloths weighing over 1,000 kg were found … Read more