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Bioscience News
Today's biological science headlines from the sources selected by our team:

Walnut twig beetle's origin, spread revealed in genetic studies
Even though the walnut twig beetle is likely native to Arizona, California, and New Mexico, it has become an invasive pest to economically and ecologically important walnut trees throughout much of the Western and into the Eastern United States. Through genetic testing, researchers have characterized the beetle's geographic distribution and range expansion.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

Scientists see a natural place for 'rewilded' plants in organic farming
One key element of organic agriculture is that it rejects unpredictable technologies, such as genetic engineering. But what if adding a gene from undomesticated plants to bring back a natural trait isn't unpredictable? Researchers present a case for using precise genetic engineering technologies to 'rewild' crops in a way that would make organic farming more efficient, and thus more profitable.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

Genetic analysis of the American eel helps explain its decline
The numbers of American eels in freshwater areas have been decreasing rapidly but scientists have been puzzled as to why the fish can't recolonize. Now, a new look at eel genetics finds that there are differences between eels that feed in freshwater and eels that feed in brackish environments that were previously thought to be genetically interchangeable.
Plants & Animals News -- ScienceDaily, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

Research links impulsivity and binge eating
(Michigan State University) Do you get impulsive when you're upset? If so, this could be putting you at risk for binge eating. According to Kelly Klump, professor of psychology at Michigan State University and senior author, the more impulsive you are, the more likely it is you'll binge eat when experiencing negative feelings.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

UofL part of first successful study of virus attack on cancer
(University of Louisville) Scientists have found that stage IIIb to IV melanoma patients treated with a modified cold sore (herpes) virus had improved survival. The results of the findings were published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

Scientists use unmanned aerial vehicle to study gray whales from above
(NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service) NOAA Fisheries scientists are using an unmanned aerial vehicle to take very precise overhead images of migrating gray whale mothers and calves. 'We can't put a gray whale on a scale, but we can use aerial images to analyze their body condition -- basically, how fat or skinny they are,' said NOAA Fisheries scientist John Durban. This research will help scientists understand how environmental conditions control the reproductive success of individual whales and ultimately of the population.
EurekAlert! - Biology, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

On the trail of the clever snail

Pond snails used in the experiment, Lymnaea stagnalis, have been used for over 25 years to study learning and memory.
Animals, like humans, excel at some tasks but not others according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Biology News Net, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

Researchers identify origin of chromosomal oddity in some cancer cells

Surveys of the genomic terrain of cancer have turned up a curious phenomenon in some tumor cells: a massive rearrangement of DNA in one or a few chromosomes, thought to be produced during a single cell cycle. In a new study, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute demonstrate how this sudden, isolated shuffling of genetic material - known as chromothripsis - can occur.

Biology News Net, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

A new era for genetic interpretation

Millions of genetic variants have been discovered over the last 25 years, but interpreting the clinical impact of the differences in a person's genome remains a major bottleneck in genomic medicine. In a paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine on May 27, a consortium including investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Partners HealthCare present ClinGen, a program to evaluate the clinical relevance of genetic variants for use in precision medicine and research.

Biology News Net, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

Rules aim to protect imperiled bird's habitat in 10 states
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell revealed plans Thursday to preserve habitat in 10 Western states for an imperiled ground-dwelling bird, the federal government's biggest land-planning effort to date for conservation of a single species. Biology News, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

Scientists use unmanned aerial vehicle to study gray whales from above
One recent spring day, John Durban, a NOAA Fisheries marine mammal biologist, stood on the California coast and launched an unmanned aerial vehicle into the air. The hexacopter—so called because it has six helicopter-type rotors—zipped over the ocean and hovered above a gray whale mother and her calf. The pair was migrating north from their calving grounds off Baja California, Mexico, to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic. Biology News, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

Understanding how cells follow electric fields
Many living things can respond to electric fields, either moving or using them to detect prey or enemies. Weak electric fields may be important growth and development, and in wound healing: it's known that one of the signals that guides cells into a wound to repair it is a disturbance in the normal electric field between tissues. This ability to move in response to an electric field is called galvanotaxis or electrotaxis. Biology News, Thu, 28 May 2015 22:47:36 GMT

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