Promiscuity is common among female rodents, leading to competition between the sperm of rival males over who fertilizes the eggs. It now seems that possessing a longer penis may give males an advantage in this competition, according to new research to be published in the March issue of The American Naturalist. Dr. Steve Ramm, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Liverpool, UK, compared the relative size of the penis bone in several mammal groups: "The data for rodents seem pretty clear cut.
Seafood allergy sufferers may soon be able to eat prawns without the fear of an adverse reaction. Chinese scientists have taken a promising step towards removing from prawns the proteins that cause an allergic response without resorting to genetic manipulation, reports Lisa Richards in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.
Use of growth hormone to boost athletic performance can lead to diabetes, reports a study published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The study reports the case of a 36 year old professional body-builder who required emergency care for chest pain.
He had lost 40 kg in 12 months, during which he had also experienced excessive urination, thirst, and appetite.
He admitted to using anabolic steroids for 15 years and artificial growth hormone for the past three. He had also taken insulin, a year after starting on the growth hormone.
Once roofed by ice for millennia, a 10,000 square km portion of the Antarctic seabed represents a true frontier, one of Earth's most pristine marine ecosystems, made suddenly accessible to exploration by the collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves, 12 and five years ago respectively. Now it has yielded secrets to some 52 marine explorers who accomplished the seabed's first comprehensive biological survey during a 10-week expedition aboard the German research vessel Polarstern.
In 2000, Georgia Tech researchers showed that fluid dynamics theory could be modified to work on the nanoscale, albeit in a vacuum. Now, seven years later they've shown that it can be modified to work in the real world, too – that is, outside of a vacuum. The results appear in the February 9 issue of Physical Review Letters (PRL).
Just a little mechanical strain can cause a large drop in the maximum current carried by high-temperature superconductors, according to novel measurements carried out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
At any given time, most of the roughly 30,000 genes that constitute the human genome are inactive, or repressed, closed to the cellular machinery that transcribes genes into the proteins of the body. In an average cell, only about one in ten genes is active, or expressed, at any given moment, with its DNA open to the cell' transcriptional machinery.
In a thought-provoking paper from the March issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology , Elliott Sober (University of Wisconsin) clearly discusses the problems with two standard criticisms of intelligent design: that it is unfalsifiable and that the many imperfect adaptations found in nature refute the hypothesis of intelligent design.
Researchers at the University at Buffalo and the University of Utah are beginning a clinical trial to test whether aspirin can improve a woman's chances of becoming pregnant and of maintaining a pregnancy to term.
UB's portion of the study is funded by a $2.8 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development.
The trial is aimed at women who have miscarried a pregnancy in the past year.
Habitual intake of caffeinated beverages provides protection against heart disease mortality in the elderly, say researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Brooklyn College.
Using data from the first federal National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study, the researchers found that survey participants 65 or more years old with higher caffeinated beverage intake exhibited lower relative risk of coronary vascular disease and heart mortality than did participants with lower caffeinated beverage intake.