Archives for December, 2014

Scientists have now determined the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Aoluguya reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). I wonder if the sequence will hold any more clues as to why Rudolph’s nose is so red and bright. Although according to this prior blog entry perhaps it was the other 8 reindeer who were different… Source: Ju Y, Liu H, Rong M,…

Can you hear me now?

New research shows that pearlfish (Onuxodon fowleri) not only reside in black-lip pearl oyster shells, they also use the shells to amplify sounds created by vibrating their swimbladders. According to lead study author Dr. Loic Kéver, “amplification probably improves the efficiency of communication by increasing the propagation distance of the sounds.” Following high resolution CT scans,…

Life under Arctic ice

Ever wonder what lies beneath the polar ice? Turns out several researchers did as well. This past July a team of scientists led an expedition designed to image life under sea ice. The video below was captured with the Nereid Under Ice (NUI) vehicle and shows brown algae living on the bottom of sea ice…

Will bees save us from baldness?

  Propolis is a resin-like compound honeybees collect to coat their hives. New research suggests that this compound may increase hair growth as observed in studies of mice. Although the researchers did not test propolis on balding mice, they did find faster hair growth in mice that had been shaved or waxed, which is somewhat…

New research from Vanderbilt University shows that hummingbirds and insects have a lot in common…when it comes to flying at least. The researchers placed nontoxic paint on the wing of a ruby-throated hummingbird at 9 different spots then videotaped the animal flying at 1,000 frames per second with 4 cameras simultaneously. Using 3D simulations of…

The physics of dogs drinking water

I have to be honest. I have always wondered whether my dog actually got any water in his mouth. It always seemed to me that the majority of water ends up on my floor. High speed video collected and analyzed by a team of researchers from Virginia Tech (Sean Gart, Jake Socha and Sunghwan Jung)…

Granted this is not comparative physiology, I thought this study was really interesting. Research has shown that exposure of developing embryos to caffeine in utero can alter the expression of genes in the heart leading to changes in how the heart develops and functions in adult animals. New research from the University of Florida published in…