My Picks from ScienceDaily

Genes From The Father Facilitate The Formation Of New Species:

The two closely related bird species, the collared flycatcher and the pied flycatcher, can reproduce with each other, but the females are more strongly attracted to a male of their own species. This has been shown by an international research team directed by Anna Qvarnström at Uppsala University and published in Science. They demonstrate that the gene for this sexual preference is found on the sex chromosome that is inherited from the father and that only females have a copy of. The discovery sheds new light on how new species are formed.

Primitive Plants Use Heat And Odor To Woo Pollinating Insects:

University of Utah scientists discovered a strange method of reproduction in primitive plants named cycads: The plants heat up and emit a toxic odor to drive pollen-covered insects out of male cycad cones, and then use a milder odor to draw the bugs into female cones so the plants are pollinated.

When Taking A Long Time Is Seen As A Good Thing:

Consumers often use the length of time a service takes as a measure of its quality. The longer a session lasts, the better the value. Indeed, a new study shows that this holds true even when judging something primarily by its duration can backfire -- for example when a longer exercise program is actually less effective than a shorter regimen or for a lock-picking service.

Brain Images Make Cognitive Research More Believable:

People are more likely to believe findings from a neuroscience study when the report is paired with a colored image of a brain as opposed to other representational images of data such as bar graphs, according to a new Colorado State University study.

New Insights Into The Evolution Of The Human Genome:

Which came first, the chicken genome or the egg genome? Researchers have answered a similarly vexing (and far more relevant) genomic question: Which of the thousands of long stretches of repeated DNA in the human genome came first? And which are the duplicates?

Elephants' Fear Of Angry Bees Could Help To Protect Them:

At a time when encroaching human development in former wildlife areas has compressed African elephants into ever smaller home ranges and increased levels of human-elephant conflict, a study in Current Biology, suggests that strategically placed beehives might offer a low-tech elephant deterrent and conservation measure.

Malaria Research Booming, But Scientific And Technical Gaps Apparent, Report Shows:

Malaria drug and vaccine research is booming. According to a new report launched in the UK by Australian researchers at The George Institute for International Health, 16 new malaria vaccine candidates are now in clinical trials; six new malaria drugs are about to reach the market; and by 2011 we will have up to 12 new anti-malarial drug product registered. However, this unprecedented level of malaria R&D activity is not necessarily all good news. The report's authors found that the high number of malaria vaccine candidates was the result of scientific and technical gaps and lacking policy coordination rather than a reflection of cohesive global activity. Lack of coordination and planning mean that invested funding and efforts are not delivering as much as they should, and may be costing donors tens of millions of dollars.

How Do Cells Sense And Respond To Messages? Major Signal Transduction Discovery Made:

The chemical process known as acetylation plays a central role in cytokine receptor signal transduction - a fundamental biochemical cascade inside cells that controls the activity of antiviral and tumor-suppressing genes.

In Birds, Expecting To Mate Leads To Higher Fertilization Rates:

From an evolutionary perspective, the primary task of an organism is to pass along its genes to future generations. Such genetic transmission is usually assumed to be instinctive. However, a new study shows that species also learn to adapt to their surroundings in order to increase their "reproductive fitness"-- the likelihood that they will successfully reproduce.

For Honey Bee Queens, Multiple Mating Makes Her Attractive To Workers:

The success of the "reign" of a honey bee queen appears to be determined to a large degree by the number of times she mates with drone bees.That is what research by scientists in the Department of Entomology and W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology at North Carolina State University suggests. Dr. Freddie-Jeanne Richard, a post-doctoral research associate; Dr. David Tarpy, assistant professor and North Carolina Cooperative Extension apiculturist; and Dr. Christina Grozinger, assistant professor of insect genomics, found that the number of times a honey bee queen mates is a key factor in determining how attractive the queen is to the worker bees of a hive.


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