Archives for December, 2012

Crows show ability to reason

Dr. Alex Taylor from The University of Auckland has demonstrated that New Caledonian crows have the ability to perform causal reasoning, which is the ability to infer that something you cannot see may be the cause of something. According to the article, this is the first study to experimentally demonstrate this ability in a species…

Christmas Tree Worms

Here are some images of Christmas Tree worms (Spirobranchus giganteus), just in time for the holidays: These are tube-dwelling worms that live in coral reefs and use their spiral plumes for feeding and respiration. Christmas Tree Worm Identification — powered by ehow Happy holidays! Sources: MarineBio Images: Ryan Photographic

What makes Rudolph’s nose so red?

Scientists have discovered just what makes Rudolph’s nose turn red:

Training dogs to smell bacteria

Researchers have actually trained a beagle named Cliff to detect the intestinal bacteria Clostridium difficile on patients and in stool samples that were collected from infected patients in the Netherlands. This infection is common in hospitals and long-term treatment facilities. Infection with the contagious C. diff results in diarrhea that has been responsible for the deaths…

CURIOUS Young Writers

I just came across a neat blog called “CURIOUS Young Writers” from the New Jersey Assocation for Biomedical Research. The blog features articles written by high school students on how animals are helping scientists answer biomedical research questions. I found the article on how rainbow trout are being used as a model to study liver…

    With an estimated 6.7 million bat deaths related to white nose syndrome, understanding this devastating disease is more important than ever.  Wildlife Pathologist Carol Meteyer, from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, has been studying the carcasses of bats that survived white nose syndrome infections, only to succumb to their own immune systems. The overactive immune response…

Researchers Suárez-Rodríguez et al., observed house finches (C. mexicanus) and sparrows (P. domesticus) on the National University of Mexico campus in Mexico City routinely pulling apart cigarette butts to obtain the filters. The birds were found to incorporate the filters in their nests leaving researchers to speculate the purpose of used cigarette butts. Using heating elements to attract parasites, they…