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8 mars 2016

Even plant-supporting soil fungi affected by global warming, study finds [Phys]

On a cool, fog-shrouded mountain of Costa Rica, University of California, Irvine biologist Caitlin Looby is finding that warming temperatures are becoming an increasing problem for one of the most ecologically diverse places on Earth.
Seeking to determine how shifts in the tropical mountain cloud forest ecosystem would affect resident fungal species in Monteverde, Looby and fellow ecology & evolutionary biology graduate student Mia Maltz and their adviser, Kathleen Treseder, found that as the moist mountain soil dries out due to a warming climate, the fungi infrastructure that supports the abundant plant life also will change.

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8 mars 2016

Zombifiés par un champignon, des grenouilles se transforment en funestes don Juan [Sciences et Avenir - Animaux]

Un champignon parasite des amphibiens favorise sa dispersion en modifiant les appels d’accouplement de ses victimes.

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7 mars 2016

Missing genes not always a problem for people [ScienceNews]

Many genes may be dispensable.
Each of 3,222 British people with Pakistani heritage carries, on average, mutations in 140 genes that stop those genes from working, researchers report online March 3 in Science. Examination of those people’s exomes, the small portion of the genome that encodes proteins, revealed that among a subset of 821 participants, a total of 781 genes were rendered obsolete by “loss-of-function” mutations. Those genes include 422 that scientists didn’t know people could live without and still be healthy.

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7 mars 2016

Un rite mystérieux chez les chimpanzés [Futura-sciences]

En Afrique de l’ouest, et seulement là, des chimpanzés ont une drôle d’habitude : ils jettent de lourdes pierres contre un arbre, toujours le même. La signification de ce comportement est énigmatique. Les chercheurs qui l’ont découvert pensent qu’il est peut-être de la même nature que les rituels humains.

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5 mars 2016

Rare Australian bird farms nourishing manna from trees [New Scientist]

An endangered Tasmanian songbird doesn’t have to wait for manna from heaven : it goes out and gathers its own.
The forty-spotted pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus) is the first Australian bird found to deliberately encourage trees to release manna, a sugary crystallised sap. In doing so it not only provides food for its young but might also engineer the environment in a way that benefits other Tasmanian animals.

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