Koala genome may contain clues for helping the species survive

Koalas have joined the menagerie of creatures with fully deciphered genetic instruction books, or genomes. A large team of researchers published the detailed look at the koala genome online July 2 in Nature Genetics. Why do we care? Lots of people love koalas. The iconic animal draws at least $1.1 billion in Australian dollars in tourism every year, according […]

Environmental threats put bumblebee queens under pressure

Spring is a busy time for bumblebee queens. After emerging from hibernation, their to-do list includes making nests, laying eggs, and keeping their larvae warm and fed. It’s physiologically demanding, and the stakes are high: the success of the colony depends on a queen‘s solitary work during this time. In a study published today in Proceedings of […]

Oldest known lizard fossil pushes group’s origins back 75 million years

CT scan reveals identity of ancient remains found years ago in the Italian Alps A little animal that washed out to sea 240 million years ago off the coast of what’s now Italy turns out to be the oldest known fossil of a lizard. The identification pushes back the fossil record of snakes and lizards […]

Reprogrammed Cells Treat Diabetes in Mice

Researchers used a trio of transcription factors to transform pancreatic duct cells in vivo into β-like cells that secrete insulin and improve diabetes symptoms. One strategy to treat type 1 diabetes, where the immune system destroys insulin-producing β cells, is to convert other cells into β-like cells that then take over insulin production. In a […]

A Missense Variant at the Nrxn3 Locus Enhances Empathy Fear in the Mouse

Summary Empathy is crucial for our emotional experience and social interactions, and its abnormalities manifest in various psychiatric disorders. Observational fear is a useful behavioral paradigm for assessing affective empathy in rodents. However, specific genes that regulate observational fear remain unknown. Here we showed that 129S1/SvImJ mice carrying a unique missense variant in neurexin 3 (Nrxn3) […]

Female sexual behavior in mice is controlled by kisspeptin neurons

ABSTRACT Sexual behavior is essential for the survival of many species. In female rodents, mate preference and copulatory behavior depend on pheromones and are synchronized with ovulation to ensure reproductive success. The neural circuits driving this orchestration in the brain have, however, remained elusive. Here, we demonstrate that neurons controlling ovulation in the mammalian brain […]

Puffins are donning sexy little sunglasses in the name of science

The eyewear can help us understand the puffin perspective. Puffins don’t need sunglasses. Despite the glare off the shining sea and snow, these lil birds have managed to survive for many years without the aid of fashionable eyewear. It is scientists, not puffins themselves, who have opted to design a tiny pair of yellow aviators and perch […]

193 Rabbits Rescued From Hoarder In West Los Angeles, CA; Most Available For Adoption Now!

Los Angeles Animal Services officials rescued nearly 200 rabbits on Wednesday from the West Los Angeles home of an animal hoarder. All of the rabbits were evaluated by LAAS Veterinary staff and the majority appear to be healthy. The precious rabbits were distributed between local shelters and are now available at the East Valley, Harbor, North Central, […]

WAN’s “Easter” Exclusive With Afton Hughes Of The Pig Preserve In Tennessee & How Its Newest Rescue Was Saved From Slaughter!

Yesterday was extra special for a recently rescued six-month-old pig named Easter, as well as for the more than 150 others that now call her family! It was also a day that could have turned out to be Easter’s last had it not been for the compassionate and determined people at The Pig Preserve in Jamestown, Tennessee. […]