Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Research Reveals Unexpected Benefits of Living in a Changing Climate

New research by McMaster University biologist Graham Scott suggests that growing up at warmer temperatures helps some aquatic animals cope with climate change, raising questions about the limits of adaptation.

Working with Ian Johnston at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, Scott has found that raising zebrafish at warmer temperatures as embryos actually improves their ability to adjust to both higher and lower temperatures as adults.

Their research shows the fish are hardier after being raised in a warm-water nursery, and raises the question of how far the temperature can rise before the advantage becomes a liability, as inevitably it will, Scott says.

“What limits are there to their coping abilities? That’s what we’re really trying to understand,” says Scott, a specialist in animals’ adaptation to challenging environments.

“If we want to appreciate how the natural world is affected by climate change, that’s what we need to know.”

The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Zebrafish are native to freshwater habitats of Southern Asia, and over their lives can experience a range of temperatures from almost 40 C to nearly freezing. The fish under study were raised across the range of temperatures they would normally experience in their natural breeding season (22 C to 32 C).

The biology of zebrafish – especially their short gestation period – makes them ideal research subjects.

Scott and Johnston found that when embryos raised in warm water experienced temperature variation as adults, they could swim faster, their muscle was better suited for aerobic exercise, and they expressed at higher levels many of the genes that contribute to exercise performance.

The improvements were true for the adult fish in warmer and colder water alike – a finding that surprised the researchers.

“We thought that they might do better under warmer conditions because they grew up in warmer conditions. We didn’t think they’d also do better under colder conditions, but they did.”

A photo of Graham Scott with a zebrafish is available here: (Photo by JD Howell.)

A photo of zebrafish embryos, taken 28 hours after fertilization (a little over a third of the way through embryonic development), is available here: . (Photo by Ian Johnston.)

For more information, please contact:

Wade Hemsworth
Public Relations Manager
McMaster University
905-525-9140 ext. 27988
Michelle Donovan
Public Relations Manager
McMaster University
905-525-9140 ext. 22869

Wade Hemsworth | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>