Animal Life news stories

Giant Virus Found in Sewage Blurs the Line Between Life and Non-Life
23rd April 2017 | Animal Life

In most biology textbooks, there’s a clear separation between the three domains of cellular organisms – Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes – and viruses. This fault line is also typically accepted as the divider between life and non-life

How Sniffing Poop Helps Monkeys Stay Healthy
23rd April 2017 | Animal Life

We don’t eat food off dirty floors. We dutifully wash our hands. We steer away from the clearly infected. It’s all part of avoiding things likely to make us sick, and new research shows our primate cousins do it too.

Environmental ‘memories’ passed on for 14 generations
23rd April 2017 | | Animal Life

The impact of environmental change can be passed on in the genes of tiny nematode worms for at least 14 generations — the most that has ever been seen in animals — scientists have discovered.

Human Umbilical Cord Blood Helps Aging Mice Remember, Study Finds
22nd April 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans, Tech

Decades ago, scientists surgically attached pairs of rats to each other and noticed that old rats tended to live longer if they shared a bloodstream with young rats.

It was the beginning of a peculiar and ambitious scientific endeavor to understand how certain materials from young bodies, when transplanted into older ones, can sometimes improve or rejuvenate them.

Alt: Young human blood makes old mice smarter

Why Are Some Mice (and People) Monogamous? A Study Points to Genes
22nd April 2017 | | Animal Life

The oldfield mouse doesn’t seem extraordinary. With soulful black eyes and tiny teacup ears, the rodent lives a humdrum life scurrying about meadows and beaches in the Southeast.

Promiscuity slows down evolution of new species
22nd April 2017 | | Animal Life

Promiscuity mixes up the gene pool and dilutes genetic differences between populations, slowing down the evolution of new species, says new research by an international team led by the University of Bath’s Milner Centre for Evolution.

Rats That Live 30 Years, Rarely Get Cancer, and Feel No Pain Are Revolutionizing Medicine
22nd April 2017 | Animal Life

Some say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if that is true, perhaps it’s better off that naked mole-rats are pretty much blind. The tiny, hairless, subterranean dwelling creatures are a marvel of biology.

Scientists uncover mechanism allowing bacteria to survive the human immune system
22nd April 2017 | Animal Life

Researchers have uncovered molecular details of how pathogenic bacteria fight back against the human immune response to infection.

This color-shifting lizard’s skin morphs just as Alan Turing predicted
21st April 2017 | | Animal Life

There’s a particular type of lizard that changes the color of its spots as it ages — and researchers have just discovered the mathematical rules that govern this peculiar metamorphosis.

Frog Slime Could Prevent the Next Pandemic
21st April 2017 | Animal Life, Tech

New research from Emory University School of Medicine shows that a chemical in the mucus of South Indian frogs is capable of killing certain strains of the influenza virus.

Is Komodo dragon blood the key to new antibiotics?
21st April 2017 | | Animal Life, Tech

Komodo dragon blood contains an important compound which scientists think could offer a new treatment for infected wounds.

The reptile’s saliva harbours many different types of bacteria, which somehow do not affect the dragon.

Why solitary confinement makes prisoners behave badly
20th April 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans

Within just a few days, rats isolated in small, nearly empty cages exhibit stress-related symptoms, aggressive behavior and higher incidences of disease, and they begin to lose the ability to recognize other animals. Over time, even their brain cells, synapses, blood flow and nervous systems start to be impaired. Scientists believe this happens to humans in isolation as well

Related: US heroin use has increased almost fivefold in a decade, study shows

Homing pigeons share our human ability to build knowledge across generations
20th April 2017 | | Animal Life

Homing pigeons may share the human capacity to build on the knowledge of others, improving their navigational efficiency over time, a new study has found. The ability to gather, pass on and improve on knowledge over generations is known as cumulative culture. Until now humans and, arguably some other primates, were the only species thought to be capable of it.

Fish ‘pool’ their experience to solve problems
20th April 2017 | | Animal Life

Fish pool their experience to solve problems collectively, according to new research.

They might only have a little bit of information about their environment, but in a group, different animals might have separate but complementary information about a particular problem.

Elephants’ ‘body awareness’ adds to increasing evidence of their intelligence
20th April 2017 | | Animal Life

Asian elephants are able to recognise their bodies as obstacles to success in problem-solving, further strengthening evidence of their intelligence and self-awareness, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge.

Odds that Tasmanian tigers are still alive are 1 in 1.6 trillion
20th April 2017 | | Animal Life

What are the odds that Tasmanian tigers still exist? About 1 in 1.6 trillion.

Mathematical models provide yet another good reason to think the fabled Australian species is long gone, despite occasional claims of sightings.

Key leopard population ‘crashing’, study warns
20th April 2017 | Animal Life

The leopard population in a region of South Africa once thick with the big cats is crashing, and could be wiped out within a few years, scientists warned on Wednesday.

Related: New Maps May Help Chase Down Poachers Before They Strike

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.