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8 December 2017

Viruses share genes with organisms across the tree of life [Phys]

A new study finds that viruses share some genes exclusively with cells that are not their hosts. The study, reported in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, adds to the evidence that viruses swap genes with a variety of cellular organisms and are agents of diversity, researchers say.

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8 December 2017

Climate change: can hummingbirds take the heat ? [Phys]

Extreme heat sometimes forces hummingbirds to seek shade instead of foraging for food, researchers said Wednesday, warning that global warming could test the tiny birds’ capacity to adapt.
With hearts beating more than 1,000 times a minute, hummingbirds need to feed constantly, which means they can ill afford to spend time dodging sunshine, according to a report in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

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8 December 2017

Les abeilles bruxelloises sur les traces des sources polluantes de l’air [Bx1-Médias de Bruxelles]

Un projet pilote canadien mené à Vancouver sur le miel d’abeille inspire Bruxelles, Paris et Grenoble. L’expérience permet de détecter les sources de pollution de l’air grâce à l’analyse chimique et isotopique du miel. La bruxelloise Dominique Weis, ancienne chercheuse du FNRS à l’ULB et actuelle directrice du Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research de Vancouver, a démontré que le miel contient des traces (en très petites et inoffensives quantités) de chaque source polluante à proximité de la ruche.

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7 December 2017

Lemurs’ gut microbiomes influenced heavily by social circles, study says [Phys]

Social group membership is the most important factor in structuring gut microbiome composition, even when considering shared diet, environment and kinship, according to research on lemurs at The University of Texas at Austin.

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7 December 2017

Alerte : le tigre de Sumatra est en danger d’extinction ! [Futura-planète]

La déforestation liée aux plantations de palmiers à huile risque de provoquer la disparition du tigre de Sumatra : en 20 ans, l’île a ainsi perdu 40 % de sa forêt primaire, poussant les tigres à se retrancher dans des poches isolées.

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