A single hatchery pond of juvenile steelhead trout undergoing an IHNV epidemic.
(Credit: Dworshak National Fish Hachery, Orofino, Idaho.)

How a deadly virus spreads among young farmed fish in the Pacific Northwest

A new study explores the spread of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), which plagues Pacific salmon and trout. Researchers looked at the spread of IHNV among juvenile hatchery-raised fish in the Pacific Northwest, where rates of infection and mortality are high. Hatchery-raised salmon present a unique challenge when it comes to IHNV detection, because while hatcheries […]

Brains of athletes in contact sports differ from those in non-contact sports

Athletes participating in collision and contact sports have differences in brain structure, and function compared to athletes in non-contact sports, recent research suggests. Unlike previous research, which explored the effects of collision sports like hockey and football, the present study focused on sports where body contact is ‘permitted, but not purposeful” – such as soccer, […]

40% of opioid prescriptions in Ontario still above new national guidelines, report finds

Opioid prescribing practices in Ontario are becoming safer, but many patients with existing prescriptions before the introduction of the new guidelines are still receiving higher doses of the painkiller, report finds. Researchers also found that patients from lower socioeconomic groups are still overrepresented among those seeking treatment for opioid addiction and dying of an opioid-related […]

Artist's rendering of bioreactor (left) loaded with bacteria decorated with cadmium sulfide, light-absorbing nanocrystals (middle) to convert light, water and carbon dioxide into useful chemicals (right).
(Kelsey K. Sakimoto)

Cyborg bacteria cover themselves in tiny solar panels to mimic effects of chlorophyll

Researchers designed tiny bacteria that can be more efficient than plants at converting sunlight into useful compounds. Plants accomplish this task with the help of chlorophyll, the green pigment that helps them absorb sunlight. Scientists have designed a cyborg bacteria that can achieve the same results in a more efficient way using semiconductor nanocrystals. In order to […]

A family of Kodiak bears (Lisa Hupp/USFWS)

How climate change has altered Kodiak bears’ feeding habits

Red elderberry and sockeye salmon make up a large portion of a Kodiak bear’s diet; usually, the bears treat themselves to spawning salmon before the elderberry season begins. Recently, warmer springs have shifted the elderberry fruiting time to an earlier period, which coincides with the salmon spawn. Researchers observed how warmer springs affected the bears’ […]

Predator birds and mammals have a stronger fear of the unknown

Neophobia – the fear of unfamiliar stimuli – is more pronounced among birds and mammals, especially those reared in the wild, than in other animals, a recent meta-analysis reveals. Researchers looked into different kinds of neophobia among predators, both wild-caught and captive, to see which animals brave the novelty better. Their findings also identified that […]

A roadmap to adapting 100% clean energy in 139 countries by 2050

A group of researchers outlined a comprehensive roadmap of infrastructure changes that 139 countries can make to be entirely powered by wind, water, and sunlight by 2050. Researchers assessed the raw renewable energy resources available to each country, how many alternative-energy generators are available, and how much land and rooftop area these power sources would […]

The far right image shows how a cardiotrophin treatment repaired heart muscle after a heart attack in a rat model. The blue areas are scar tissue and the red sections are healthy heart muscle (Cell Research/Medley et al., 2017)

Researchers pinpoint the heart’s pump-up protein

Scientists have discovered a protein that promotes healthy heart growth by helping this key muscle pump blood efficiently throughout the body. The protein, cardiotrophin 1 (CT-1), stimulates both the growth of heart muscles and the growth of blood vessels in the heart. The effect of CT-1 is similar to what is naturally achieved through exercise or […]

Potentially toxic new byproduct of coal burning discovered in ash

Coal mining is a well-known contributor of pollutants to particulate matter in the air. A new study has discovered a new byproduct of burning coal, titania suboxide, which has the potential to be toxic to humans. The research team analyzed ash samples from 12 coal-burning power plants in the US and China, and found large […]

(Image by furtwangl via Flickr)

Dopamine determines fruit flies’ personal bubble

Dopamine regulates fruit flies’ perception of personal space, a new study suggests. The concept of a “bubble”, or the amount and proximity of others one feels comfortable with, is observed in one form or another in all social animals. New research shows evidence that for fruit flies, dopamine is a key modulator of social space. […]

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