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Monday, January 19, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

How the yellowhammer bird became a Kiwi: From hero to villain in 15 years

Posted: 16 Jan 2015 01:15 PM PST

Yellowhammers are small, colorful and apparently innocuous birds, but they were once considered to be enemies by farmers in New Zealand. Yellowhammers were introduced there to help fight insect crop pests, but instead became pests themselves. A new study uses newspapers and documents from the 19th century to reconstruct the history of how the yellowhammer went from hero to villain in New Zealand in just 15 years.

Developing vaccines for insect-borne viruses

Posted: 16 Jan 2015 06:23 AM PST

Rift Valley Fever, a mosquito-borne disease, can devastate a sheep herd causing 90 percent mortality in lambs and 100 percent abortion rates in pregnant ewes. Current vaccines either don't provide long-term immunity or cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant ewes. Now researchers are developing a new vaccine that is proving to be both safe and effective.

Team enlarges brain samples, making them easier to image

Posted: 15 Jan 2015 12:29 PM PST

Researchers have discovered a method that enlarges tissue samples by embedding them in a polymer that swells when water is added. This technique, which uses inexpensive, commercially available chemicals and microscopes commonly found in research labs, should give many more scientists access to super-resolution imaging, the researchers say.

Human mode of responding to HIV vaccine is conserved from monkeys

Posted: 15 Jan 2015 12:28 PM PST

The antibody response from an HIV vaccine trial in Thailand was made possible by a genetic trait carried over in humans from an ancient ancestry with monkeys and apes, according to a study. Researchers report that an investigational vaccine that elicited an immune response in an estimated 31 percent of participants was able to do so because of a particular antibody gene motif that is shared with rhesus macaques and other primates.

Live imaging captures how blood stem cells take root in the body

Posted: 15 Jan 2015 10:47 AM PST

A see-through zebrafish and enhanced imaging provide the first direct glimpse of how blood stem cells take root in the body to generate blood. Researchers describe a surprisingly dynamic system that offers clues for improving bone marrow transplants, and for helping those transplants 'take.'

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