When do plants help or hinder each other?

When plants grow close together, each individual plant has less chance of doing well—at least, that was the accepted wisdom in environmental research. Now Dr. Ruichang Zhang and Professor Katja Tielbörger from the Institute ...

Mysterious glowing coral reefs are fighting to recover

A new study by the University of Southampton has revealed why some corals exhibit a dazzling colourful display, instead of turning white, when they suffer 'coral bleaching' - a condition which can devastate reefs and is caused ...

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 ...

Flies sleep when need arises to adapt to new situations

Flies that cannot take to the air respond by sleeping more as they learn to adapt to their flightlessness, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings, published May 8 in ...

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Stress (biological)

Stress is a biological term which refers to the consequences of the failure of a human or animal to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats to the organism, whether actual or imagined. It includes a state of alarm and adrenaline production, short-term resistance as a coping mechanism, and exhaustion. Common stress symptoms include irritability, muscular tension, inability to concentrate and a variety of physical reactions, such as headaches and elevated heart rate.

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