Latest News from: Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

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Newswise: The Best Defense Could Well Be a Beard.
Released: 15-Apr-2020 1:00 PM EDT
The Best Defense Could Well Be a Beard.
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Scientists Ethan A. Beseris, Steven E. Naleway and David R. Carrier recently discovered that though having a beard won’t save you from getting knocked out in a fight, it will likely save you from collateral damage.

Newswise: Post doc interviews in the life sciences may promote bias
29-Nov-2019 5:00 PM EST
Post doc interviews in the life sciences may promote bias
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Post-doctoral training is a critical career stage for researchers in the life sciences yet interviewing for a post-doctoral position is largely an unregulated process. Without regulation, interviews are susceptible to unconscious biases that may lead to discrimination against certain demographic groups (e.g., women and minorities). Using data from an online survey of post-docs, we show that interview procedures for post-doctoral positions in the life sciences are correlated with several factors (e.g., candidate demographics) in ways that may bias the outcome of interviews. We discuss key components of interviews and suggest that conducting standardized, well-planned interviews that are less susceptible to unconscious biases may help increase the retention of women and under-represented minorities in the life sciences.

Newswise:Video Embedded meet-the-world-s-most-fashionable-caterpillars
VIDEO
4-Jan-2019 12:05 AM EST
Meet the world’s most fashionable caterpillars
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Scientists at Tufts University have designed special LED “suits” that help them understand how caterpillars crawl. Versace might dress the likes of Shakira and Beyoncé, but Guy Levy designs for a far more unusual – and wriggly – client: the tobacco hornworm caterpillar (Manduca sexta).

Newswise: Bat wing muscles specialize for different temperature ranges
4-Jan-2019 12:05 AM EST
Bat wing muscles specialize for different temperature ranges
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Bats have long intrigued humans. In a variety of cultures, they embody malevolent symbolism, including darkness, death, foreboding, and evil spirits. In others, they’re benevolent flyers who bestow good fortune. Bats themselves also come in a variety of forms and shapes. The miniscule “bumblebee bat,” ranks among the world’s smallest mammals. Flying foxes, which eat mostly fruit and other vegetation, can have wingspans reaching up to 6 feet long. The clear-winged wooly bat may be one of the strangest to look at. Its wings are nearly transparent, and the muscles, circulatory system, and bones are clearly visible through the translucent, almost-paper-thin skin.

Newswise: Getting Stressed by Artificial Light at Night
Released: 4-Jan-2019 12:05 AM EST
Getting Stressed by Artificial Light at Night
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Light pollution is on everyone’s minds in Reno, Nevada, a city famous for its bright lights and nightlife. Nighttime light pollution is a growing concern for cities worldwide. Artificial light at night has been found to cause serious health effects including disrupting our sleep-wake cycle ¬–our circadian rhythm.

Newswise: The Cuban Cricket Crisis: New study identifies insect as the likely culprit behind alleged “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomats in Havana
Released: 4-Jan-2019 12:05 AM EST
The Cuban Cricket Crisis: New study identifies insect as the likely culprit behind alleged “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomats in Havana
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Just two years ago, the U.S. Embassy in Havana was bustling with U.S. personnel sent by the Obama Administration to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Today it is nearly empty. In late 2016, diplomats started hearing a loud, piercing noise. Two dozen of them reported symptoms such as ear pain and dizziness, and were diagnosed with injuries consistent with a concussion. Suspicions of politically motivated “sonic attacks” soon followed.

Newswise: Can the Bumps on a Beetle Wing Solve our Water Problems?
Released: 4-Jan-2019 12:05 AM EST
Can the Bumps on a Beetle Wing Solve our Water Problems?
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Climate change, pollution, and a multitude of threats are putting our freshwater supplies at risk. Water collection and purification technologies are becoming increasingly important, especially in major urban areas. In places such as the San Francisco Bay area, access to freshwater is limited. There, fog collection technologies have piqued the interest of many engineers looking to mediate the shortage of freshwater.

2-Jan-2019 1:05 PM EST
Multitasking turtles solve swimming tradeoffs
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

People, animals, and even vehicles face the problem of tradeoffs – being good at one thing often means being bad at others. Circumventing tradeoffs can be a key to success. Some swimming turtles have solved this problem and are both highly stable and maneuverable in water – tasks usually at odds.

Newswise: Grazing Sharks: Bonnethead Sharks Eat and Digest Seagrass
27-Dec-2017 4:05 PM EST
Grazing Sharks: Bonnethead Sharks Eat and Digest Seagrass
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows that bonnethead sharks are able to digest seagrass, challenging the notion that all sharks survive on a purely carnivorous diet. This work will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA, on January 7th, 2018.

Newswise:Video Embedded can-machines-learn-animal-behavior
VIDEO
27-Dec-2017 4:05 PM EST
Can Machines Learn Animal Behavior?
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research applies machine learning to classify the behavior of juvenile salmon based on tracking data. Scientists are using these approaches to identify when and where salmon are being eaten by invasive fishes. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA on January 7, 2018.

Newswise: Coral Immigrants Provide Hope for Reefs Facing Climate Change
2-Jan-2018 11:30 AM EST
Coral Immigrants Provide Hope for Reefs Facing Climate Change
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New models identify factors that put coral reefs at risk of extinction in the face of climate change, and suggest that facilitating migration of corals could allow reefs to adapt. The results of this research will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA on January 7, 2018.

Newswise: Tracking Ancient Whale Migrations with Fossilized Barnacles
27-Dec-2017 5:05 PM EST
Tracking Ancient Whale Migrations with Fossilized Barnacles
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research on the isotopic composition of barnacle shells shows that prehistoric whales were undertaking migrations, just like their modern-day descendants.

Newswise: Leaping Larvae: Developing Flies Jump Without Legs
27-Dec-2017 4:25 PM EST
Leaping Larvae: Developing Flies Jump Without Legs
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research characterizes jumping behavior in larval midge flies. Even though these larvae are typically restrained during development, they can use a unique physiological mechanism to jump long distances. These results will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA.

Newswise: When a Bad Thing Becomes Good: Was Inflammation Modified to Become Implantation in Placental Mammals?
27-Dec-2017 4:50 PM EST
When a Bad Thing Becomes Good: Was Inflammation Modified to Become Implantation in Placental Mammals?
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows that inflammation was modified by uterine decidual cells to facilitate implantation in placental mammals. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA on January 5, 2018.

Newswise: Invertebrate Biopolymer Found to Be Associated with Electric Sense in Sharks and Skates
27-Dec-2017 3:05 PM EST
Invertebrate Biopolymer Found to Be Associated with Electric Sense in Sharks and Skates
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows that the electrosensory organs of cartilaginous fish contain chitin, an invertebrate biopolymer. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA on January X, 2018

Newswise:Video Embedded the-secret-world-of-dinosaur-tracks-
VIDEO
27-Dec-2017 4:40 PM EST
The Secret World of Dinosaur Tracks
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Scans of fossilized dinosaur prints show how some dinosaur feet moved not just on top of but through the earth. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco, CA on January 4, 2018

Newswise: Science, Storytelling, and Art Collide in San Francisco! Scientists and Artists From the Entertainment Industry Will Lead a Symposium on Communicating Science Through Narrative on January 5
Released: 27-Dec-2017 4:45 PM EST
Science, Storytelling, and Art Collide in San Francisco! Scientists and Artists From the Entertainment Industry Will Lead a Symposium on Communicating Science Through Narrative on January 5
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Scientists and artists will gather in San Francisco to discuss ways of engaging broad audiences with science using narrative, through a special symposium, a workshop, and a story booth at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, on January 5, 2018.

Newswise: Neonicotinoid Pesticide Affects Foraging and Social Interaction in Bumblebees
3-Jan-2017 4:30 PM EST
Neonicotinoid Pesticide Affects Foraging and Social Interaction in Bumblebees
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

linked changes in social behavior with sublethal exposure to the neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid.

Newswise: Bio-Inspired Suction Cups Withstand More Than Splashes
3-Jan-2017 4:30 PM EST
Bio-Inspired Suction Cups Withstand More Than Splashes
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

To create prototype suction cups that are capable of glomming onto rough, wet surfaces and staying there, Ditsche has found inspiration in an aptly-named marine creature: the clingfish.

Newswise: The Technological Potential of Earwax
3-Jan-2017 4:30 PM EST
The Technological Potential of Earwax
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

One potential is to create some sort of biomimetic earwax adhesive surface that can be used in a ventilation system for robotics or for other kinds of machinery.

Newswise: Orchids Mimic Human BO to Attract Mosquitoes
3-Jan-2017 4:30 PM EST
Orchids Mimic Human BO to Attract Mosquitoes
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows that orchids relying on mosquitoes for pollination attract them by producing the same odors found in common mosquito blood-hosts. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in New Orleans, LA on January 7, 2017.

Newswise: Corals May Show Complex, Coordinated Behavior
3-Jan-2017 4:40 PM EST
Corals May Show Complex, Coordinated Behavior
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

The individual and the group: insignificant alone, awesome together. Like ants in a colony or neurons of a brain, the collective action of single actors can beautifully coalesce into something more complex than the parts.

Newswise: The Mystery of the Earless Toads
3-Jan-2017 4:40 PM EST
The Mystery of the Earless Toads
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

More than 200 species of “true toads” have fully functional inner ears, but cannot fully use them because they have lost their tympanic middle ears, the part of the ear which transmits sound air pressures from the outside world to the inner ear. These “earless” toads rely on sounds to communicate, so why would they lose a sense that is key to their survival and reproduction?

Newswise: Sticky Toes Provide Clues to Evolution
3-Jan-2017 4:40 PM EST
Sticky Toes Provide Clues to Evolution
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Yet, how this key innovation evolved remains a mystery locked within the leathery shell of a lizard egg. Now, Dr. Thomas Sanger at Loyola University in Chicago has developed new techniques to understand more about the process of evolutionary diversification by observing development in real time.

Newswise: Bats Avoid Collisions by Calling Less in a Crowd
Released: 2-Jan-2017 3:05 PM EST
Bats Avoid Collisions by Calling Less in a Crowd
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Do bats adjust their echolocation calls in response to other bat calls

Newswise: Corals Respond to Changing Ocean Conditions by Altering Regulation of the DNA Message
30-Dec-2015 12:05 PM EST
Corals Respond to Changing Ocean Conditions by Altering Regulation of the DNA Message
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Some corals may cope with climate change by changing markings on their DNA to modify what the DNA produces.

Newswise: Trinidadian Guppies Help 7th Graders Understand Evolution
30-Dec-2015 6:05 PM EST
Trinidadian Guppies Help 7th Graders Understand Evolution
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

7th graders conducted classroom experiments using live Trinidadian guppies to test questions related to evolution, increasing both knowledge about and acceptance of evolutionary concepts.

Newswise: Post-Exercise Fog Muddies a See-Through Shrimp’s Cloak of Invisibility
30-Dec-2015 12:05 PM EST
Post-Exercise Fog Muddies a See-Through Shrimp’s Cloak of Invisibility
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research finds that escape behaviors cause the normally transparent Pederson’s cleaner shrimp to turn opaque, disrupting their camouflage.

Newswise: Dogfighting Bees Perform Aerial Combat Right at Researcher’s Front Door
30-Dec-2015 6:05 PM EST
Dogfighting Bees Perform Aerial Combat Right at Researcher’s Front Door
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Simple consumer-grade equipment was used to study the combat flight behaviors of carpenter bees right at the researcher’s home.

Newswise: How Three Genes You’Ve Never Heard of May Influence Human Fertility
30-Dec-2015 6:05 PM EST
How Three Genes You’Ve Never Heard of May Influence Human Fertility
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Variation in egg-coat and sperm expressed genes influences fertility in diverse organisms, from sea stars to mice to humans.

Newswise: Snakes Show That Eating Can Be Bad for Your Health
30-Dec-2015 12:05 PM EST
Snakes Show That Eating Can Be Bad for Your Health
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research on snakes shows that eating increases the amount of damaging reactive molecules in the body, potentially shaping and constraining life history evolution across animal groups.

Newswise: Zombified Caterpillars Forced to Carb-Load by Parasitoid Wasps
30-Dec-2015 6:05 PM EST
Zombified Caterpillars Forced to Carb-Load by Parasitoid Wasps
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Parasitoid wasps manipulate their caterpillar hosts into eating a more wasp-friendly diet.

Newswise: Hormonal Similarity Makes Happy Couples
26-Dec-2014 9:00 AM EST
Hormonal Similarity Makes Happy Couples
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows that mating pairs of the bird species known as great tits become more similar in their hormones over time. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 7, 2015.

Newswise: Blind Students Learn to Think Like Scientists with Revolutionary Traveling Toolboxes
26-Dec-2014 7:00 PM EST
Blind Students Learn to Think Like Scientists with Revolutionary Traveling Toolboxes
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Hands-on, innovative educational material is being developed to help blind students learn about evolution. The development of toolboxes for the blind will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 6, 2015.

26-Dec-2014 8:00 PM EST
Black Widow Spider Venom Unveiled: The Fast Evolution of a Potent Toxin
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows rapid evolution has helped to make the venom of black widow spiders so toxic. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 6, 2015.

Newswise: Braving the Cold to Understand What Makes Squirrels Tick
26-Dec-2014 8:00 PM EST
Braving the Cold to Understand What Makes Squirrels Tick
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows that the circadian clock of arctic ground squirrels works differently during the cold of hibernation. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 5, 2015.

27-Dec-2014 11:00 AM EST
Desires of Microscopic Shrimp Illuminate Evolutionary Theory
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research on bioluminescent ostracods shows how tiny crustaceans are helping scientists to understand evolution by sexual selection. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 5, 2015.

26-Dec-2014 8:00 PM EST
Being a Couch Potato Could Have Led to Marital Bliss in Mantis Shrimps
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows that being monogamous is an advantage for mantis shrimp, helping them to avoid predators. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 4, 2015.

Newswise:Video Embedded mystery-of-funky-disco-clam-s-flashing-revealed
VIDEO
26-Dec-2014 8:00 PM EST
Mystery of Funky ‘Disco’ Clam’s Flashing Revealed
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows that flashes of light from an unusual clam help it to fend off predators and perhaps to attract prey. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 4, 2015.

27-Dec-2014 11:00 AM EST
Baleen Hormones Increase Understanding of Bowhead Whale Reproduction
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

New research shows rapid evolution has helped to make the venom of black widow spiders so toxic. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 4, 2015.

1-Jan-2014 6:00 PM EST
Bugs and Flowers Inspire New Cocktail Curiosities
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Your mother probably warned against playing with your food, but she may have neglected to mention playing with your drinks. Dr. Lisa Burton, a scientist from MIT, thankfully missed that lesson. Inspired by a love of experimental cuisine, Burton and her colleagues developed several bio-inspired edible cocktail novelties as part of her graduate research. These devices take advantage of fluid-surface interactions first observed in nature to provide a fun science twist to fancy beverages.

1-Jan-2014 6:00 PM EST
Frozen Frogs: How Amphibians Survive the Harsh Alaskan Winters
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

As winter approaches, many of us hunker down and virtually “hibernate” for the season. Classic hibernation in the wild conjures images of furry bears, but other animals are not so lucky to have immense fat stores or fur to protect them from the elements. Frogs that live at northern latitudes have neither of these, but must find ways to survive the harsh winter season. Their solution? Freezing…but not to death.

Newswise: Mom’s Proteins May Help Fly Embryos Face the Heat
1-Jan-2014 6:25 PM EST
Mom’s Proteins May Help Fly Embryos Face the Heat
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

High temperatures can cause proteins within the embryo to become denatured—an unraveling that results in loss of function, an ineffective or denatured protein. Moreover, denatured proteins can form aggregates that are toxic. Understanding this process has important implications for human health, because such protein aggregates are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

1-Jan-2014 6:00 PM EST
Virus Fans the Flames of Desire in Infected Crickets
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Love may be a battlefield, but most wouldn't expect the fighters to be a parasitic virus and its cricket host. Just like a common cold changes our behavior, sick crickets typically lose interest in everyday activities. But when Dr. Shelley Adamo of Dalhousie University found her cricket colony decimated by a pathogen, she was shocked that the dying insects didn't act sick. Not only had the infected crickets lost their usual starvation response, but they also continued to mate. A lot. How were the pathogen and the exuberant amorous behavior in the sick crickets connected?

Newswise: How Dogs Do the ‘Dog Paddle’: An Evolutionary Look at Swimming
1-Jan-2014 5:00 PM EST
How Dogs Do the ‘Dog Paddle’: An Evolutionary Look at Swimming
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Most adults remember their first success in learning to swim using the ‘dog paddle’. This classic maneuver has been used to describe swimming in armadillos, turtles, even humans – just about everything except dogs. Dr. Frank Fish, a professor of biology at West Chester University, set out with his colleagues to understand how real dogs perform the dog paddle. Fish has spent most of his career studying the swimming of marine mammals such as whales. But looking at swimming in dogs afforded Fish the opportunity to investigate how swimming in marine mammals may have evolved from walking in their terrestrial ancestors.

1-Jan-2014 5:00 PM EST
Endocrine Disruptors Start a Medical Revolution: From Alligators to Humans
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Early studies of alligators led Dr. Guillette to realize that something in the environment was affecting their reproduction. Juvenile female alligators had malformed ovaries, while males had lower than average testosterone levels and a small penis. He and his colleagues discovered that the changes were caused by environmental contaminants, which were acting as endocrine disruptors.

1-Jan-2014 6:00 PM EST
Animals Walking the Tightrope Between Stability and Change: Addressing a Grand Challenge in Organismal Biology
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

What new insights might be gleaned when engineers and mathematicians work with biologists to answer fundamental questions? A special symposium at the 2014 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual conference brings together biologists, mathematicians and engineers, who will investigate the potential and power of a new, quantitative organismal systems biology to address these questions.

1-Jan-2014 9:00 AM EST
Scientist-Turned-Filmmaker Implores Colleagues to Join Him in “the War on Boredom”
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

SICB Annual Meeting Workshop by Randy Olson. Olson’s solution to science boredom? ‘Narrative Training,’ an age-old discipline known to storytellers as the ability to structure stories – in this case about science and scientists – with a full narrative arc, a beginning, middle, and end, and a human connection that listeners can relate to.

Newswise: Student Researchers Practice Science Journalism at Annual Meeting of SICB
Released: 30-Jul-2013 2:10 PM EDT
Student Researchers Practice Science Journalism at Annual Meeting of SICB
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

Biology students guided by professional mentors network at a scientific meeting by writing news stories suitable for the public. Their web stories explain topics from coral reef diversity to the evolution of soccer kick skills.


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