Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Archive for February 2022

Secrets to rockfish longevity revealed

Rockfish have gained the attention of scientists due to their exceptional longevity. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley sequenced the complete genome of 88 species of rockfish in the Pacific Ocean to try to find clues that could explain their longevity. While some are rather short-lived (ex: calico rockfish, Sebastes dallii, only live around 10 years), longer-lived species, like rougheye rockfish (Sebastes aleutianus), can live to be over 200 […]

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Scientists witness magpies showing signs of altruism

What better way to study an animal’s movements, schedules, and behaviors than to attach a tiny tracking device that can record where they go? At least that was the intention when scientists attached tiny tracking devices to several Australian magpies. They had planned to train the birds to visit a special feeding station that was designed to charge the tracker, download data, or release it, all using a magnet. Instead, […]

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Scientists create personalized stem cells from skin to treat Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disorder that targets the nervous system, mainly dopamine neurons, and impairs muscle movements. As the disease progresses, it can also lead to depression and other neurological symptoms. Current treatments are limited to improving symptoms but are not able to cure the disease. A recent study published in Nature Medicine tested whether stem cells could reverse symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Rather than using fetal […]

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Scientists get a glimpse of what makes cephalopods so smart

From walking on land, to solving complex problems, cephalopods continue to amaze us with their intelligence and nervous system development. In a new study published in Current Biology, Dr. Wen-Sung Chung from the University of Queensland Brain Institute and colleagues decided to take a closer look at what makes their brains unique using MRI imaging. Compared to other invertebrates, cephalopods are rather brainy. In fact, some cephalopods have over 500 […]

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Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all significant otters

Happy Valentine’s Day! While humans often exchange cards, candy, flowers and other goodies this day, I thought it would be fun to check out some of the ways animals and zoos celebrated the day. Animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo enjoyed special treats in celebration of Valentine’s Day: Animals at the Farm Sanctuary shared kisses: The Oregon Zoo wanted to wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to all the ‘significant otters’ […]

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