human

Tag archives for human

Amazing longevity of Greenland sharks

      A multi-national team of scientists sought to determine the age of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus). These animals grow rather slowly (about 1cm per year) and are the largest fish in the arctic (>500 cm long), but their longevity was not yet known. The team used radiocarbon dating of crystalline proteins found within the nuclei…

Super-sniffing elephants

Like Aesop’s fable, rats have another reason to be envious of elephants. Elephants also have significantly more genes that can detect different smells (i.e. olfactory receptor genes) than other super-sniffers like rats and dogs. In fact, compared to 13 other species, African elephants have 1,948 genes related to smell putting them ahead of the previous…

New discovery about dog eyes

I came across this really interesting press release from the University of Pennsylvania that I just had to share. Despite having a close relationship with dogs for thousands of years, we are still making new discoveries about our canine friends. Drs. William Beltran (School of Veterinary Medicine), Artur Cideciyan (Perelman School of Medicine), and colleagues…

A paper published in Current Biology describes research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the sound processing regions of brains in humans and dogs (border collies and golden retrievers). The subjects listened to almost 300 sounds (vocalizations from dogs and humans as well as non-vocal sounds) or no sound as a control. They…

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…

Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh at Uppsala University (Sweden) who specializes in comparative genomics and Dr. Åke Hedhammar, SLU (Sweden) recently identified a novel gene in German shepherd dogs, PKP-2, that encodes a protein (plakophilin-2) important for regulating proper skin structure and function. This protein was found to be associated with canine atopic dermatitis (i.e. doggy eczema), a…

Humans vs. Dogs

I just watched a funny entry submitted for the 2012 American Physiological Society’s (APS) video contest on some of the differences betweens humans and dogs. The authors of the video were Nate Brault and Thomas Szamocki from Beloit College. It is also available in the APS Archive of Teaching Resources, a searchable archive of teaching…

One step closer to restoring hearing

Damage to the auditory nerve connecting the inner ear and brain causes hearing loss in some individuals. Researchers Dr. Marcelo Rivolta from the University of Sheffield and colleagues have shown that human embryonic stem cells that were differentiated into auditory nerve cells can improve overall by ~45% hearing in gerbils that were treated with ouabain to damage the…

You may recall a prior post in which I talked about how intelligent crows are. In fact, there was a special on PBS demonstrating their ability to solve problems and even recognize human faces (HIGHLY recommended if you haven’t yet had a chance to see it): Watch A Murder of Crows on PBS. See more from Nature. In a…

The uniqueness of humans

I just watched this neat presentation given a few years back by Dr. Robert Sapolsky from Stanford University on the differences and similarities between humans and animals: