Sex as stress management in microbes

Why is sex so popular? The question of why so many organisms reproduce sexually has mystified evolutionary biologists since before Darwin, who wrote, "The whole subject is as yet hidden in darkness." In a recent article in ...

Scientists discover mutation that enhances plant defense

Sometimes scientists begin research and find exactly what they expected. Other times they discover something unexpected. Such was the case for a group of scientists studying plant stress responses who stumbled upon a new ...

In cellular biology, mistakes can be good

Mistakes are rarely rewarded. Intuitively, one would imagine that a shoddy typist at an office who keeps generating typos would either quickly lose their job, or at least be overlooked for promotion. The idea that this person ...

Brain cells protect muscles from wasting away

While many of us worry about proteins aggregating in our brains as we age and potentially causing Alzheimer's disease or other types of neurodegeneration, we may not realize that some of the same proteins are aggregating ...

Australian animals under extreme stress in drought, bushfires

As climate change-related drought fanned catastrophic wildfires across Australia, claiming lives, homes, and farms, the richly diverse flora and fauna took a tragic toll. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that more than one ...

Hemp 'goes hot' due to genetics, not growing conditions

As the hemp industry grows, producers face the risk of cultivating a crop that can become unusable—and illegal—if it develops too much of the psychoactive chemical THC. Cornell University researchers have determined that ...

New study shows 'organic' wounds improve produce

Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists found benefits of insect leaf-wounding in fruit and vegetable production. Stress responses created in the fruits and vegetables initiated an increase in antioxidant compounds prior to ...

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Fight-or-flight response

The "fight-or-flight response", also called the "fight-or-flight-or-freeze response", the "fright, fight or flight response", "hyperarousal" or the "acute stress response", was first described by Walter Cannon in 1929.

His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing. This response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms.

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