Life Science

Category archives for Life Science

Check out the tiny new species of frogs discovered in the cloud forests of Brazil. Images from LiveScience.

Dr. Walter Arnold (University of Vienna) and colleagues were interested in studying how Northern ungulates cope (physiologically) with limited food supplies during the winter months. Ungulates are known to reduce energy expenditure during the winter. A new study published Wednesday in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology describes how these animals adjust their nutritional intake. Dr. Arnold’s team examined intestinal transport…

Octopus-inspired robotic device

Speaking of octopuses, the ability for the animals to squeeze through narrow openings has inspired the creation of a new surgical robotic device that can squeeze into a patient’s body. An EU team created STIFFness controllable Flexible and Learnable manipulator for surgical OPerations, dubbed “STIFF-FLOP”, made from silicone. Unlike conventional robots used during surgeries, the…

New research shows how octopus skin is able to respond to variations in light

I am thrilled to see Dr. Stan Lindstedt’s review article published in the April 2015 issue of American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology from his 2013 August Krogh lectureship at the annual Experimental Biology conference. My original blog from the lecture can be found here. Dr. Lindstedt and co-author Dr. Niisa Nishikawa (Northern…

Ever wonder how flies navigate?

Dr. Vivek Jayaraman and colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus discovered that the ellipsoid body located in the middle of a fly’s brain acts like a compass to help navigate flight even in darkness. By placing the flies into a small virtual reality arena and having the flies walk on a…

The opah (Lampris guttatus), otherwise known as a moonfish, lives in the deep sea where warm blood can be advantageous. According to a quote from Nicholas Wegner (NOAA) posted in Live Science, “Increased temperature speeds up physiological processes within the bod. As a result, the muscles can contract faster, the temporal resolution of the eye is…

Many species of ants are known for being rather clean by disposing of their dead outside of the nest and placing other wastes, like bits of food, in refuse chambers. Dr. Tomer J. Czaczkes (University of Regensburg) was surprised therefore to see “dark patches” build up in plaster nests that housed black garden ants (Lasius niger).…

Professor Wayne Vogl and colleagues at the University of British Columbia discovered that rorqual whales can gulp volumes of water that are bigger than their body. Nerves in the mouth and tongue make this amazing feat possible as they can actually stretch to twice their resting length without sustaining damage. Dr. Vogl was quote in CBC News…

Dr. Frank van Breukelen is an Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was invited to tell us about a new research project in this laboratory about some really cool mammals called tenrecs. Here is the post: In a recent post, Dr. Dolittle mentioned a talk…