Archives for June, 2013

Ancient Horse Genome Sequenced

Researchers have successfully created a draft sequence of the complete genome of a 700,000 year old horse from a bone fragment extracted from permafrost in the Yukon Territory (Canada). This is the oldest specimen ever sequenced by almost 10-fold. Prior sequencing of the whole genome from a hominid from Siberia who lived 80,000 years ago…

Dogs, like people, are susceptible to a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) known as canine compulsive disorder (CCD). In fact, the news story at the end of this blog describes CCD and also discusses a form of OCD in Siamese and Persian cats that is related to stress. A prior study suggested that dogs…

I am thrilled that Comparative Physiologist Dr. Jessica Meir, who was featured in a prior post, has been chosen as a 2013 Astronaut Candidate by NASA! I really enjoyed learning more about her life story in this video and I am looking forward to hearing more about her accomplishments as an Astronaut in the years…

  A recent article posted in the BBC News provided a good explanation of why scientists commonly study these organisms as models for human diseases and conditions. Model organisms are chosen because their physiology is similar to other animals, including humans, in addition to other reasons: Visit the BBC News to see why researchers most often use flies, fish, mice and worms…

Fluorescent sushi?

Dr. Miyawaki from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Wako, Japan and colleagues have identified the first example of a muscle protein in Japanese freshwater eels (Anguilla japonica) that fluoresces under special circumstances that may lead to improved medical testing (photo above).  The researchers have isolated the protein they named UnaG (after “unagi”, the term…

Dr. Liz Phular and colleagues at the University of Minnesota have been testing an experimental cancer treatment for brain tumors in dogs that also offers hope to humans with brain tumors: KMSP-TV

Find out why most species of birds do not have a penis in this video abstract of new research published yesterday in Current Biology: Source Herrera AM, Shuster SG, Perriton CL, Cohn MJ. Developmental basis of phallus reduction during bird evolution. Current Biology Published online June 6, 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.062

City birds are early to rise

A recent study has provided some evidence supporting the hypothesis that light and noise pollution alters the biological clocks of birds living in cities (compared to birds living in rural areas).   Dr. Dominoni (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany) and colleagues used radio-pulse transmitters attached to European blackbirds (Turdus merula) living in Munich, Germany…