New life for old data

XML markup of taxonomic research and specimen data is a valuable tool for structuring the incessantly accumulating biodiversity knowledge. It allows for the opportunity to collectively use the currently fragmented information for more detailed analysis.

Phage spread antibiotic resistance

Investigators found that nearly half of the 50 chicken meat samples purchased from supermarkets, street markets, and butchers in Austria contained viruses that are capable of transferring antibiotic resistance genes from one bacterium to another--or from one species to another. "Our work suggests that such transfer could spread antibiotic resistance in environments such as food production units and hospitals and clinics," said corresponding author Friederike Hilbert, DVM.

Social sciences call for interdisciplinary look at sexual violence on college campuses

National thought leaders convened at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health yesterday for a symposium identifying gaps in understanding the prevention of sexual violence on college campuses, calling for a broad interdisciplinary agenda for the next generation of research on a significant problem that became front-page news around the country this year.

Which is most valuable: Gold, cocaine or rhino horn?

Many of the world's largest herbivores -- including several species of elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses and gorillas -- are in danger of becoming extinct. And if current trends continue, the loss of these animals would have drastic implications not only for the species themselves, but also for other animals and the environments and ecosystems in which they live, according to a new report by an international team of scientists.

It's best to make friends of friends

Bonding with a friend of a friend is something most humans gravitate toward naturally, or at least Facebook likes to think so every time it suggests friends for you to "friend."

But a certain four-legged predator, the spotted hyena, seems to know the benefits of this type of social bonding instinctively, according to a new study from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) that considers the structural factors affecting the social network of these animals.

New study finds that many probiotics are contaminated with traces of gluten

More than half of popular probiotics contain traces of gluten, according to an analysis performed by investigators at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). Tests on 22 top-selling probiotics revealed that 12 of them (or 55%) had detectable gluten.

Single motherhood linked to poor health in later life

Single motherhood between the ages of 16 and 49 is linked to poorer health in later life in several different countries, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The risks seem to be greatest for lone mothers in England, the US, Denmark and Sweden, the findings indicate.

Hazing in college marching bands a concern

Nearly a third of college marching band members surveyed in a national study observed hazing in their programs but few of the students reported the activities, often because of fears of retribution or loss of social standing, according to researchers.

30 minutes of exercise 6 days a week linked to 40 percent lower risk of death in elderly men

30 of physical activity, irrespective of its intensity, 6 days a week is linked to a 40% lower risk of death from any cause among elderly men, finds research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Boosting physical activity levels in this age group seems to be as good for health as giving up smoking, the findings suggest.

The researchers base their findings on people taking part in the Oslo Study, which invited almost 26,000 men born between 1923 and 1932 for a health check in 1972-3 (Oslo I).

Why modern hunter-gatherers live with so few relatives

Allowing both males and females in hunter-gatherer groups to choose their living companions reduces the number of family members in individual hunter-gatherer camps, a new study shows.