BioMed Central

The secret life of millipedes

Male adult helminthomorph millipedes usually have one or two pairs of legs from their seventh segment modified into sexual appendages. These specialized gonopods are used as claspers to hold the female during ...

Aug 21, 2011
5 / 5 (4) 1 | with audio podcast

The first kangaroo genome sequence

Kangaroos form an important niche in the tree of life, but until now their DNA had never been sequenced. In an article newly published in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology, an international consor ...

Aug 19, 2011
5 / 5 (6) 7 | with audio podcast

Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills

Thousands of tonnes of toxic mercury are released into the environment every year. Much of this collects in sediment where it is converted into toxic methyl mercury, and enters the food chain ending up in the fish we eat. ...

Aug 12, 2011
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Social networking elephants never forget

Asian elephants typically live in small, flexible, social groups centered around females and calves while adult males roam independently. However, new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology sh ...

Jul 26, 2011
4.5 / 5 (4) 1 | with audio podcast

Salamanders spell out evolution in action

Lungless salamanders (Ensatina eschscholtzii) live in a horseshoe-shape region in California (a 'ring') which circles around the central valley. The species is an example of evolution in action because, while neighboring popula ...

Jul 06, 2011
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Synthetic collagen from maize has human properties

Synthetic collagen has a wide range of applications in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery and in the food industry. For proper function in animals a certain number of prolines within the protein need to be hydroxylated. ...

Jun 24, 2011
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Zombie ants have fungus on the brain

Tropical carpenter ants (Camponotus leonardi) live high up in the rainforest canopy. When infected by a parasitic fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) the behaviour of the ants is dramatically changed. They ...

May 09, 2011
5 / 5 (6) 4 | with audio podcast

Ancestors of land plants revealed

It was previously thought that land plants evolved from stonewort-like algae. However, new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that the closest relatives to land plants ...

Apr 18, 2011
4.9 / 5 (10) 12 | with audio podcast

Climate change and evolution of Cross River gorillas

Two species of gorillas live in central equatorial Africa. Divergence between the Western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and Eastern Gorillas (G. beringei) began between 0.9 and 1.6 million years ago and now the two species l ...

Apr 01, 2011
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Regular breakfast helps reduce lead poisoning in children

It is known that fasting increases lead absorption in adults and consequently regular meals and snacks are recommended for children to prevent lead poisoning. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal ...

Apr 01, 2011
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Viral replicase points to potential cancer therapy

Alpha viruses, such as Sindbis virus, carry their genetic information on a single strand of RNA. On infection they use a protein, replicase, to produce double stranded RNA (dsRNA) which is used as genetic material to make ...

Mar 28, 2011
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