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Index > News
In this News Blog you will news about Brachypelma spp. and other interesting news concerning the smallest among us.

You will also find messages about updates and other things concerning here.

After a while it is also possible that I will post some of my notes from my biology studies here, unless they are more relevant in other sections of the site.

ScienceDaily: Using Fruit Flies to Help Understand Cancer

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Small and with a life cycle of just two weeks, fruit flies are seen by many as pests and a problem all year round.

However, for nearly a century, the humble insect, officially known as Drosophila melanogaster, which measures no more than 3mm, has performed a vital role in genetics and developmental biology.

Fruit flies are genetically diverse and easy to use in research, helping scientists in a variety of studies, from how the brain functions to how cancer develops.

Dr Mark Matfield of the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) explained: "Cancer is a disease of the most fundamental processes of living organisms, which is why it is found in all animals. The basic causes and mechanisms remain the same, from fruit flies to humans. Over the last twenty years, research into these tiny, simple, insects has resulted in major advances in cancer research. That is why, at AICR, we are keen to support high-quality research in this area."

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Euscorpius: A new case of duplication of the metasoma and telson in the scorpion Euscorpius flavicaudis (DeGeer, 1778) (Euscorpiidae)

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AddThis Social Bookmark Button is in no way affiliated with Euscorpius, but wI thought that this was a really interesting article, and has therefore embed it into the News section of for it to reach out to as many as possible :)

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 11:19

ScienceDaily: Old Bees' Memory Fades; Mirrors Recall of Humans and Other Mammals

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New research shows that not just human memories fade. Scientists from Arizona State University and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences examined how aging impacts the ability of honey bees to find their way home.

While bees are typically impressive navigators, able to wend their way home through complex landscapes after visits to flowers far removed from their nests, aging impairs the bees' ability to extinguish the memory of an unsuitable nest site even after the colony has settled in a new home.

The study appears in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science.

"From previous studies, we knew that old bees are characterized by poor learning when trained to floral odors in the laboratory," says Gro Amdam, an associate professor in the School of Life Sciences in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "So, we wanted to test whether aging also affects learning behavior that is important for a bee's survival in the wild."

A bee is very well-trained as a forager after three to four days of flight time, Amdam says. Whereas mature bees have piloted their way to and from the hive for five to 11 days and old bees have had more than two weeks of flight time.


Honey bee (Apis mellifera) collecting pollen:
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 10:47

ScienceDaily: From Bees to Coral Reefs: Mutualisms Might Be More Important to Global Ecosystem Than Previously Thought

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Mutually beneficial partnerships among species may play highly important but vastly underrecognized roles in keeping the

Earth's ecosystems running, a group of evolutionary biologists suggests in a study.

The authors present evidence that human impacts may be forcing these mutualist systems down unprecedented evolutionary paths.

"With global climate change, evolutionary change can happen very rapidly, over a few years," said Judith Bronstein, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the UA's College of Science and senior author on the paper. "That can be a good thing or a bad thing, we don't know, but people need to start looking at those effects."

In an effort to distill out common traits underlying biological partnerships and to develop a set of lessons to guide future research and conservation efforts, the researchers sifted through almost 200 research studies on the effects of global change on mutualisms, or interactions between organisms that benefit both partners.

Experts from several fields joined forces in this study and published their conclusions in Ecology Letters, one of the most influential journals in the field of ecology.


A classic example of mutualism is pollination: Macroglossum stellatarum (Hummingbird Hawk-moth) drinking from Phlox paniculata:

Picture by Janke licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 11:00

ScienceDaily: Unlike Us, Honeybees Naturally Make 'Quick Switch' in Their Biological Clocks, Researcher Finds

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Unlike humans, honeybees, when thrown into highly time-altered new societal roles, are able to alter their biological rhythms with alacrity, enabling them to make a successful "quick switch" in their daily routines, according to research carried out at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

With people, on the other hand, disturbances to their biological clocks by drastic changes in their daily schedules are known to cause problems -- for example for shift workers and for new parents of crying, fitful babies. Disturbance of the biological clock -- the circadian rhythm -- can also contribute to mood disorders. On a less severe scale, international air travelers all know of the "jet lag" disturbance to their biological clocks caused by traveling across several time zones.

Bees, however, have now been shown to be highly resilient to such change. When removed from their usual roles in the hive, the bees were seen to quickly and drastically change their biological rhythms, according to a study by Prof. Guy Bloch of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior of the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University. His research is published in the current edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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