Many birds are arriving earlier each spring as temperatures warm along the East Coast of the United States. However, the farther those birds journey, the less likely they are to keep pace with the rapidly changing climate. Scientists at Boston University and the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences analyzed changes in the timing of spring migrations of 32 species of birds along the coast of eastern Massachusetts since 1970. Researchers at Manomet gathered this data by capturing birds in mist nets, attaching bands to their legs, and then releasing them. Their findings show that eight out of 32 bird species are passing by Cape Cod significantly earlier on their annual trek north than they were 38 years ago. The reason? Warming temperatures. Temperatures in eastern Massachusetts have risen by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1970.
Researchers have found that female red squirrels showed high levels of multimale mating and would even mate with males that had similar genetic relatedness, basically mating with their relatives.
In studying genomes, the word 'selfish' does not refer to the human-describing adjective of self-centered behavior but rather to the blind tendency of genes wanting to continue their existence into the next generation. Ironically, this 'selfish' tendency can appear anything but selfish when the gene does move ahead for selfless and even self-sacrificing reasons. For instance, in the honey bee colony, a complex social breeding system described as a 'super-organism,' the female worker bees are sterile. The adult queen bee, selected and developed by the worker bees, is left to mate with the male drones.
The Stowers Institute's PourquiÃ© Lab has shed light on the mechanism causing animals to develop the appropriate number of vertebrae. Vertebrae are formed from their embryonic precursors, called somites. The number of somites is consistent within a species, but varies significantly across species. By comparing the developing embryos of zebrafish, chicken, mice, and corn snakes, the team established an understanding of how an organism regulates the number of somites formed.
In the internet world of sites, pages, lounges and whatever else is out there, most of us have found ourselves 'lost in hyperspace', a frustrating experience of having lost track of where we are, where we're going, or where to find what we're looking for. However, hope is at hand, through a recent study by a PhD Student at the University of Leicester, Kine Dorum. Based on the notion that people create images or maps in their heads to represent the world around them, designers and developers often attempt to help people find their way by working on the principle that virtual environments should be made to look and feel as similar to the real world as possible. One example is the computer desktop with its files, folders, and 'trash can'.