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21 novembre 2017

Biology’s Beloved Amphibian—the Axolotl—Is Racing Toward Extinction [Scientific American]

Although abundant in captivity, the salamander has nearly disappeared from its natural habitat—and that is a problem.

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21 novembre 2017

Une nouvelle menace plane sur les insectes pollinisateurs [Sciences & Avenir - Animaux]

Des chercheurs américains ont mis en évidence le rôle d’un fongicide dans le déclin des bourdons.

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21 novembre 2017

Meet the Spiders That Completely Defy What We Know as Jet Lag [Scientific American]

A serendipitous discovery turns up creatures able to reset instantly their biological clocks by six hours, a feat unmatched in the animal world.

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20 novembre 2017

Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet [Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology]

An international team including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology has described a bacterium residing in a species of leaf beetles which has an unexpected feature : it provides the beetle with the enzymes required to break down certain plant cell wall components. The genome of the bacterium is the smallest ever sequenced of any organism living outside a host cell. It contains genes that are responsible for the production of pectinases, the enzymes that break down pectin, an essential component of the plant cell wall. The production of pectinases is therefore the primary function of these bacteria. Without bacterial symbionts the beetles could not to gain access to the nutrients inside the plant cells and hence would be unable to survive.

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17 novembre 2017

How Snapdragons keep their colour : Signposting trick reveals evolutionary mechanism [Phys]

A study of the colour patterns among wild flowers in a mountain valley has yielded a clue about how nature controls fundamental evolutionary change in all species.
The team from the John Innes Centre who study snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) uncovered a new evolutionary "trick" that favours colour schemes which signposts a flower’s entry point most clearly to pollinating bees.

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