Tag Archives: survival

MU Researcher’s Study of African Forest Elephants Helps Guide Research Efforts in the U.S.

Study finds that human occupation of an area may not contribute to population decline of an endangered species

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Conservation of a protected or endangered species requires frequent monitoring and the dynamic techniques biologists utilize to ensure the survival of threatened animals. Often, scientists study biodiversity at all levels—from genes to entire ecosystems. Currently, researchers at the University of Missouri are employing genotyping to study movement patterns of African forest elephants in protected and unprotected regions of Gabon to better understand how human occupation of these areas might affect elephants on the African continent. Genotyping is helping conservation biologists determine the best course of action to ensure biodiversity and the preservation of various species in the U.S. and abroad. (more…)

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Evolution picks up hitchhikers

In a twist on “survival of the fittest,” researchers have discovered that evolution is driven not by a single beneficial mutation but rather by a group of mutations, including ones called “genetic hitchhikers” that are simply along for the ride. These hitchhikers are mutations that do not appear to have a role in contributing to an organism’s fitness and therefore its evolution, yet may play an important role down the road.

Researchers from Princeton University found in a study of 1,000 generations of adaptation in 40 yeast populations that about five to seven specific mutations, rather than just a one, are needed for an organism to succeed. The knowledge of how mutations drive evolution can inform our understanding of how tumors resist chemotherapeutics and how bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics. The study was published July 21 in the journal Nature. (more…)

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Researchers Find Genetic Diversity Key to Survival of Honey Bee Colonies

When it comes to honey bees, more mates is better. A new study from North Carolina State University, the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that genetic diversity is key to survival in honey bee colonies – a colony is less likely to survive if its queen has had a limited number of mates.

“We wanted to determine whether a colony’s genetic diversity has an impact on its survival, and what that impact may be,” says Dr. David Tarpy, an associate professor of entomology at North Carolina State University and lead author of a paper describing the study. “We knew genetic diversity affected survival under controlled conditions, but wanted to see if it held true in the real world. And, if so, how much diversity is needed to significantly improve a colony’s odds of surviving.” (more…)

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Django Unchained (2012)

Synopsis

Django is a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz. Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles — dead or alive. Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda, the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago. Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie, the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen, Candie’s trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival… (more…)

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Yale Senior Shines Light on the ‘French Anne Frank’

The story of Hélène Berr, a young French Jewish woman who chronicled her life in Paris during the German occupation and died in a concentration camp, had a certain poignancy for Yale senior Zoe Egelman.

A New Yorker, Egelman shares with Berr the experience of growing up in a world capital with a long-established Jewish population. Just as Berr was when she began to record her journal in 1942, Egelman is a 21 year old completing her studies in the literature of a foreign language at a prestigious university. Berr, a student in the English studies department at the Sorbonne, was doing her master’s thesis on John Keats; Egelman, a French major at Yale who has studied literature at the Sorbonne, is doing her senior thesis on Berr. (more…)

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Degraded Military Lands To Get Ecological Boost From CU-led Effort

Some arid lands in the American West degraded by military exercises that date back to General George Patton’s Word War II maneuvers in the Mojave Desert should get a boost from an innovative research project led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Headed up by CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Nichole Barger, the research team is focused on developing methods to restore biological soil crusts — microbial communities primarily concentrated on soil surfaces critical to decreasing erosion and increasing water retention and soil fertility.  Such biological soil crusts, known as “biocrusts,” can cover up to 70 percent of the ground in some arid ecosystems and are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, fungi and bacteria, she said. (more…)

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Berkeley Lab Scientists Help Develop Promising Therapy for Huntington’s Disease

Initial results in mice could lead to new way to fight neurodegenerative diseases

There’s new hope in the fight against Huntington’s disease. A group of researchers that includes scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed a compound that suppresses symptoms of the devastating disease in mice.

The compound is a synthetic antioxidant that targets mitochondria, an organelle within cells that serves as a cell’s power plant. Oxidative damage to mitochondria is implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s. (more…)

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Sharks: Bad Creatures or Bad Image?

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Historically, the media have been particularly harsh to sharks, and it’s affecting their survival.

The results of a Michigan State University study, appearing in the current issue of the journal Conservation Biology, reviewed worldwide media coverage of sharks – and the majority isn’t good.

Australian and U.S. news articles were more likely to focus on negative reports featuring sharks and shark attacks rather than conservation efforts. Allowing such articles to dominate the overall news coverage diverts attention from key issues, such as shark populations are declining worldwide and many species are facing extinction, said Meredith Gore, MSU assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife and the School of Criminal Justice. (more…)

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