Here’s what we are reading today:
“Moreover, animals with the most varied diets showed the most self-restraint, according to the study published April 21 in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The study levels the playing field on the question of animal intelligence,” said UC Berkeley psychologist Lucia Jacobs, a co-author of this study and of its precursor, a 2012 paper in the journal, Animal Cognition.”
“It’s a little-known fact that MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines can show you the inside of an apple just as it can show you the insides of your brain.
MRI technologist Andy Ellison used his professional training and access to advanced medical technology to capture cross-sections of various types of fruits and vegetables just like he normally would a human brain. From corn to starfruit, Ellison left no organic matter untouched.”
“”The more we study the club of this tiny crustacean, the more we realize its structure could improve so many things we use every day,” said David Kisailus, a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Science and the Winston Chung Endowed Chair of Energy Innovation at the UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering.
The peacock mantis shrimp, or stomatopod, is a 4- to 6-inch-long rainbow-colored crustacean with a fist-like club that accelerates underwater faster than a 22-calibur bullet. Researchers, led by Kisailus, an associate professor of chemical engineering, are interested in the club because it can strike prey thousands of times without breaking.”
“Kazue Hasimoto-Torii, PhD, Principal Investigator of the Center for Neuroscience, Children’s National Health System, and a Scott-Gentle Foundation investigator, is lead author of the paper. Torii was previously at Yale, whose researchers were co-authors in the report. The research was funded primarily through National Institutes of Health grants.”
“People aren’t the only ones who raise their voices at each other; fish can shout, too. After catching some blacktail shiners—little minnows characterized by a big black splotch on their tail fin—fishery biologists placed them in tanks equipped with underwater speakers to see if noisy conditions affect communication. While females of Cyprinella venusta (pictured) don’t make noise, males produce two types of sound: growls and knocks. The growl is similar to a cat’s purr and is made when courting a female, while the knocks are more like popping sounds, typically made when males are fighting or defending their nests from another male.”
“Neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone of Harvard Medical School in Boston and her colleagues had already taught three rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in the lab to associate the Arabic numbers 0 through 9 and 15 select letters with the values zero through 25. When given the choice between two symbols, monkeys reliably chose the larger to get a correspondingly larger number of droplets of water, apple juice, or orange soda as a reward. To test whether the monkeys could add these values, the researchers began giving them a choice between a sum and a single symbol rather than two single symbols. Within 4 months, the monkeys had learned how the task worked and were able to effectively add two symbols and compare the sum to a third, single symbol.”
“Reactive oxygen species are important intracellular signaling molecules, but their mode of action is complex: In low concentrations they regulate key aspects of cellular function and behavior, while at high concentrations they can cause “oxidative stress”, which damages organelles, membranes and DNA. To analyze how redox signaling unfolds in single cells and organelles in real-time, an innovative optical microscopy technique has been developed jointly by the teams of LMU Professor Martin Kerschensteiner and TUM Professor Thomas Misgeld, both investigators of the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy).”
“New research published today out of the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) uncovers a mechanism to promote growth in damaged nerve cells as a means to restore connections after injury. Dr. Doug Zochodne and his team have discovered a key molecule that directly regulates nerve cell growth in the damaged nervous system. His study was published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, with lead authors Drs. Kim Christie and Anand Krishnan.”
“Professor Richard Sharpe said: “There is increasing evidence that a mother’s diet, lifestyle and exposure to drugs and chemicals can have a significant impact ontestosterone levels in the womb. We need a better grasp of these factors so that we can give reliable advice to pregnant women to protect the health of her unborn child.””