Plants & Animals

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Mayuko Nakagawa operating a stable isotope mass analyser
11 May 2021
“By looking at substances in volcanos, lakes and hotsprings, you can start to see the ecosystems that existed billions of years ago,” says Mayuko Nakagawa, a microbiologist and specially-appointed assistant professor at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. She analyses components left by microorganisms with colleagues from various disciplines, while as a lab manager, she looks after cutting-edge equipment and visitors from different countries.
Nakagawa in lab
11 May 2021
火山や湖、温泉の物質からは数十億年前に存在した微生物の生態系が見えてくると語るのは、東京工業大学・地球生命研究所(ELSI)の中川麻悠子特任助教。異分野の研究者たちと共に微生物の作り出した成分を解析する傍ら、ラボマネージャーとして国内外の訪問者サポートや最先端の機材の管理などを行っている。
10 May 2021
A new study on frogs shows gene flow and population structure should be considered to determine if morphologically similar and genetically distinct animals comprise separate species.
10 May 2021
Deep sea animals face greater risks compared to those nearer the surface as they become less able to maintain their preferred thermal habitats with climate change.
PD-L1 immunohistochemical staining in typical oral malignant melanoma (left) and squamous cell skin cancer (right)
22 Apr 2021
Scientists have shown that the biological molecule PD-L1 is a potential target for the treatment of metastasized oral malignant melanoma in dogs.
Odorrana swinhoana frog six sex chromosomes
13 Apr 2021
The O. swinhoana frog species is the first vertebrate known to retain descendant genes that now determine sex in mammals, birds, and fishes inherited from a common ancestor.
One of the calves used in the clinical studies of FMR efficacy
02 Apr 2021
Scientists in Japan have developed and tested a novel probiotic formulation to control severe diarrhea in calves, ensuring their health and reducing mortality, and in turn reducing economic loss.
An urban Eurasian red squirrel and the novel food-extraction task in Tsuda Park at Obihiro
30 Mar 2021
Human disturbance in urban environments makes some squirrels fail, but others perform better in novel problem-solving.
19 Mar 2021
Through a series of prosocial choice tasks, researchers reveal prosocial and antisocial characteristics in male convict cichlid fish. The fish distinguish between female breeding partners, unknown females, and rival males by adjusting their actions to either provide food for both them and the females or avoid providing food for the rival males.
11 Mar 2021
Dead bodies of cetaceans, aquatic mammals like whales and dolphins, are occasionally found washed ashore. A research team from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is the first team worldwide to routinely apply “virtopsy”, a pioneer dead body examination technique, on stranded cetaceans to find out their causes of death, health conditions, as well as the anthropogenic impact on their well-being. The team’s valuable experience and findings could facilitate governmental agencies and stakeholders to implement effective marine conservation plans and policy decisions for vulnerable cetaceans worldwide.
Andropogon virginicus
05 Mar 2021
An international team of researchers has found that A. virginicus extracts appear to be effective against several human diseases, including diabetes and cancer. The results were published on Dec. 31, 2020, in a special issue of Plants, titled “Biological Activities of Plant Extracts.”
Cylindrotomid cranefly larva uncannily resembling mosses
25 Feb 2021
The roles of physical structures in animal camouflage are not well known. This study illuminates an overlooked role of a mechanism for camouflage. Dr. Imada investigated how larvae of the long-bodied crane flies achieve uncanny resemblance to mosses, highlighting the functions of their special body armature, "fleshy lobes". The lobes on the lateral sides of the body had internal muscles, suggesting that they are not only for tricking enemy's eyes, but may also aid the larvae in crawling.
25 Feb 2021
Expeditions planned this year will help scientists learn more about the species.
10 Feb 2021
The global problem of unowned domestic cats, driven by the cats’ phenomenal reproductive success, carries significant economic, animal welfare and biodiversity costs. Big-data research led by an expert on veterinary medicine and infectious diseases at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), has found that although more than 80% of cats in Australia were desexed, only a fraction have had surgery before reaching puberty, thus creating a “pregnancy gap”. To close this gap and prevent unwanted litters, it is recommended that the age of desexing is before four months.
28 Jan 2021
Researchers from The University of Tokyo have designed a new type of system using listening devices to detect and track deer positions in the wild
dog image
21 Jan 2021
A team of scientists in Japan has developed a novel method to induce stem cell generation from the blood samples of dogs. Through this technique, the scientists hope to advance regenerative therapies in veterinary medicine. This would mean that, in the near future, veterinarians might be able to reverse conditions in dogs that were previously thought incurable.
21 Jan 2021
Lingnan University in Hong Kong (LU) has recently established a publicly accessible Natural History Collection (the Collection) of specimens of local amphibians and reptiles to document Hong Kong’s biodiversity, and for research, conservation and education purposes.
Native bittering fish, Tanakia lanceolata
04 Jan 2021
Reproduction of native and invasive bitterling fishes and their hybridisation was studied in Japan. We collected mussels in which these bitterlings lay their eggs, kept them in aquaria, collected eggs/larvae ejected from mussels, and genotyped them. We found that hybrids occurred when local mussel density was low. The rapid decline of the host mussels and artificial introduction of an invasive congener interacted to cause the rapid decline of a native fish.
23 Dec 2020
A transporter protein that regulates cell membrane cholesterol likely played an important role in vertebrate evolution, according to a review published by iCeMS researchers in the journal FEBS Letters.
21 Dec 2020
Scientists release genetic results confirming a female turtle captured in October 2020 in Viet Nam is definitively the near extinct Swinhoe’s softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) – also known as the Yangtze giant softshell turtle and Hoan Kiem turtle.
11 Dec 2020
Recognizing species is important for understanding regional biodiversity and for environmental conservation. However, taxonomic identity is sometimes obscure even with the organisms that are closest to human life.
03 Dec 2020
A team of scientists from Hokkaido University has suggested that marimo maintain their characteristic spherical shape due to the rarity of the formation of reproductive cells.
20 Nov 2020
A research team, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has presented the whole-genome sequence and analyses of the endangered whale shark (Rhincodon typus), the largest extant fish on Earth.
The Elthusa splendida specimen described in the paper (Photo: Shinpei Ohashi).
17 Nov 2020
Scientists have discovered an extremely rare species of cymothoid from the mouth of a museum specimen of a deep-sea shark caught from the East China Sea, suggesting its wide distribution around the globe.
Humboldt squid size
02 Oct 2020
Marine biologists studying the genetic structure of the Humboldt squid population found it is vulnerable to overfishing by fleets on its migration path.
07 Sep 2020
Scientists are learning about species adaptation by comparing their stem cell-related genes.
20 Jul 2020
Environmental pollutants threaten the health of marine mammals. This study established a novel cell-based assay using the fibroblasts of a finless porpoise stranded along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, Japan, to better understand the cytotoxicity and the impacts of environmental pollutants on the porpoise population. The results revealed that the concentrations of PCBs and DDTs which accumulated in the porpoise are likely to have an adverse effect at the cellular level.
17 Jun 2020
A new study found that animals sampled in the wildlife-trade supply chain bound for human consumption had high proportions of coronaviruses, and that the proportion of positives significantly increases as animals travel from traders, to large markets, to restaurants.
09 Jun 2020
Podonychus gyobu sp. nov., a second species of the genus Podonychus Jäch & Kodada, 1997, hitherto known only to inhabit Indonesia, is reported to have been found in Kyushu, Japan. The endophallic structures and the larva of P. gyobu sp. nov. are described.
09 Jun 2020
A transparent container made by Nagoya University researchers allows easy and quick grafting of very young plants, with benefits for agriculture and plant research.

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