Proceedings of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Tolerance for inequity increases with social closeness in chimpanzees by Dr SF Brosnan, Dr HC Schiff and Dr FBM de Waal. The evolution of the sense of fairness may have involved the strength of social connections, according to researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta. Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal observed variability in chimpanzees’ responses to inequity depending on the strength of their social relationships. Chimpanzees in a close, long-term social group were less likely to react to unfair situations than were chimpanzees in short-term social groups. This is the first demonstration that reactions to inequity in nonhuman primates parallel the variation in the human response to unfair situations that is based on the quality of the relationship.
Contact: Dr Sarah Brosnan, Yerkes National Primate Research Centre, Emory University, 954 N Gatewood Drive, ATLANTA, GA 30329, United States
A bioeconomic analysis of bushmeat hunting by Dr R Damania, Dr EJ Milner-Gulland and Dr DJ Crookes
Unsustainable hunting of wildlife for food (bushmeat hunting) is a major conservation issue. Bushmeat hunting must be tackled in the context of a household’s broader livelihood activities if interventions are to be effective. We present the first formal model of bushmeat hunting as a component of the household economy. Increasing bushmeat prices shifts effort into hunting with the most efficient technology (guns), and unsurprisingly leads to population depletion. But improved agricultural incomes can also have the undesirable side-effect of shifting hunting pressure from snares to guns, and hence may worsen the status of vulnerable animals which are predominately gun-hunted (such as primates).
Contact: Dr Eleanor Milner-Gulland, Department of Environmental Science & Technology, Manor House, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY
A single mutation alters production and discrimination of Drosophila sex pheromones by Dr F Marcillac, Dr Y Grosjean and Dr J-F Ferveur
Communication between individuals of the same species implies a strong genetic coadaptation for the genetic control underlying the emission of the signal and its reception. This problem is particularly acute in the case of inter-individual sexual communication where coadapted changes in signal emission and reception may create new species. Up to now, the known genes coding for these two aspects of communication were unlinked, and their association statistically increased (linkage desequilibrium). We induced a single mutation in one Drosophila gene that independently affected both the production of sex pheromones and their perception. This gene has multiple effects on pheromonal communication.
Contact: Dr J Ferveur, Faculte des Sciences, Universite de Bourgogne 6 Bd. Gabriel, DIJON, F-21000, France
Journal of The Royal Society Interface
Parallel high-resolution confocal Raman SEM analysis of inorganic and organic bone matrix constituents by Dr AA van Apeldoorn, Dr Y Aksenov, Dr M. Stigter, Dr I. Hofland, Dr J. D. de Bruijn, Dr H. K. Koerten, Dr C. Otto, Professor J Greve and Professor CA van Blitterswijk. Scanning electron microscopy allows for observation of biological samples at very high magnification with high resolution. Until now the chemical analytical properties of the electron microscope were limited to the analysis of single atoms in a sample of interest. We combined a custom-made high resolution confocal Raman microscope, a device allowing for the analysis and imaging of molecular composition by using a laser, with a scanning electron microscope. By combining these two systems, we were able to study the composition and structure of bone extra-cellular-matrix formed by mesenchymal stem cells at high resolution. We found that combining our custom-made confocal Raman microscope with a scanning electron microscope allows study of specimens in a non-destructive manner and provides high resolution structural and chemical information about inorganic and organic constituents by parallel measurements on the same sample. This study is the first one showing the feasibility of using the combination of Raman and electron microscopy in one apparatus for biological studies, which proved to be a very powerful technique.
Contact: Dr Aart van Apeldoorn, Dept. of Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials, Favulty. of Science and Technology, University of Twente, Prof. Bronkhorstlaan 10-D, 3723MB Bilthoven, The Netherlands
Modelling the thermal evolution of enzyme-created bubbles in DNA by Dr D Hennig, Dr JFR Archilla and Dr JM Romero
One of the key functions of DNA is the synthesis of proteins. Part of this process is achieved by the separation of the two DNA strands forming large bubbles, called transcription bubbles. Some molecules, called enzymes, are able to produce small bubbles. Using computers it is possible to simulate their evolution at different temperatures. At very low ones the small bubbles remain stationary, but at higher ones they start to move, without loosing their form. Our conjecture is that the small moving bubbles can merge transforming into larger ones, bringing about an explanation to the formation of the transcription bubbles.
Contact: Dr Juan Archilla, Departamento de Fisica Aplicada I, University of Sevilla, Avda Reina Mercedes s/n, SEVILLA 41012, Spain
Proceedings of The Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Hamilton long-wave expansions for water waves over a rough bottom by Professor W Craig, Dr P Guyenne, Dr DP Nicholls and Dr C Sulem. This paper is a study of wave motion in the surface of a fluid body with a variable depth. The problem is important to coastal oceanography, where bathymetric variations contribute to the dynamics of ocean waves. Mathematically, it leads to difficult problems of determining properties of wave evolution, even in a perturbative scaling regime. The principal contributions of this paper are to adapt methods of Hamiltonian perturbation theory to the problem, and then to produce a systematic study of the principal nonlinear long-wave scaling regimes, for both two and three dimensional wave motion.
Contact: Professor Walter Craig, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ONTARIO, L8S 4K1, Canada
Limit-cycle oscillations of a heavy whirling cable subject to aerodynamic drag by Dr JD Clark, Dr WB Fraser, Dr CD Rahn and Dr A Rajamani
We investigate the behaviour of an experimental system consisting of a cable suspended from the edge of a rotating disk with a mass (drogue) attached to its lower end. If the rotational speed is steady the cable shape remains stable as it rotates. As the speed is increased through certain critical values the cable configuration becomes unstable and its shape changes to a new configuration. At a sufficiently high speed a new instability occurs and the drogue oscillates vertically with a period much less than its period of rotation. The stability of rotating cable and string systems is important for textile yarn spinning systems, and when drogues are towed by aircraft in circular paths.
Contact: Dr James Clark, School of Mathematics & Statistics, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Tim Watson | EurekAlert!
Switch-in-a-cell electrifies life
18.12.2018 | Rice University
Plant biologists identify mechanism behind transition from insect to wind pollination
18.12.2018 | University of Toronto
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy