Life Science

Category archives for Life Science

How zebrafish sense calcium

Calcium is very important for the normal development, growth and survival of most vertebrates. Therefore, regulation of calcium intake and disposal is well-controlled. Mammals obtain most of their calcium from the diet, whereas fish obtain calcium by absorbing it from the external environment. For adults, this occurs in the gills and for larvae it is…

Crickets are the first insect to now be farmed for human consumption in the United States. I’ll admit the thought of snacking on cricket flour-based chips is not exactly appetizing. But the process of farming insects over more traditional livestock seems to be less wasteful. Insect farming is a more efficient way of producing dietary protein as…

Baby Macaque

While we are on the topic of cute animal stories, here is a family portrait with a newborn baby macaque at the Trentham Monkey Forest in Staffordshire, United Kingdom.  

The BLT is not just a sandwich

Check out the unique bond between this bear, lion and tiger (i.e. BLT) at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove, Ga: Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Battling ion loss

Freshwater fish are in a constant battle with their environment when it comes to maintaining their electrolyte balance as they are continuously losing ions to the surrounding water. Therefore, they have to actively absorb ions such as sodium, calcium and chloride from the water (see figure below). Prior research has shown that acidic environments cause…

Heroic cats

Just in case you have not seen this viral YouTube video of the family cat saving a boy from a vicious dog attack, I have embedded it below. I think this kitty deserves a nice fresh fish for dinner…every day. An article was posted today in NBCNews featuring the heroics of other house cats. Here…

Rare fatty antifreeze

I have heard of some animals using sugars as antifreeze (check out the prior blog on wood frogs that freeze and survive!), but never lipids. Researchers have discovered that larva of the Goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis) shown above survive nearly freezing solid as well, which they hypothesize may be accomplished by accumulating acetylated triacylglycerol,…

Dancing frogs

Scientists in the jungles of southern India have discovered 14 new species of “dancing frogs” many of which are unfortunately already endangered. DNA analyses have shown that these new species are members of an ancient genus that has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, Micrixalus. There are now 24 known species of dancing…

Here is a neat video that I watched at the David Bruce Undergraduate Poster session at the Experimental Biology conference last week. It describes the amazing physiology of the avian lung and was created by an undergraduate student researcher, Peter Luu for the Physiology Video Contest sponsored by the American Physiological Society. This video won…

Additional highlights from the Comparative Physiology posters presented at the 2014 Experimental Biology conference in San Diego, CA: TA White, G Evans, GC Verzosa, T Pirtskhalava, T Tchkonia, JD Miller, JL Kirkland, and NK LeBrasseur. “Aging and cellular senescence and disease: The influence of diet and exercise” Not surprisingly, mice consuming a fast food diet…