The Function of Play Bows in Dog and Wolf Puppies

New research casts doubt on an old explanation for the play bow – and suggests it’s all about more play.The play bow is a glorious signal in dogs. The bum goes up and the elbows go down, leaving the rear end sticking up, usually accompanied by a lovely happy face (as pictured above). Not just reserved for other dogs, our canine friends will play bow to us too.Traditionally, it was believed that the play bow…

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To Retain Information Better, Wait a Few Hours, Then Go for a Run!

The study that I want to tell you about today was done by Eelco V. van Dongen and his colleagues and is entitled “Physical Exercise Performed Four Hours after Learning Improves Memory Retention and Increases Hippocampal Pattern Similarity during Retrieval.” This study’s findings can be summed up as follows: if you have just made a new mental association and want to remember it better, wait a couple of hours, and then go do some exercise!…

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If your body isn’t healing, your partner’s genes might be to blame

You can almost feel aggression seeping out of these mice. Could menacing looks stress them out enough to damage health? Drawing by Karsushika Hokusai between 1830 and 1949. Choosing the right partner in life can help overcome its many pitfalls and challenges. But what if that partner could also influence your health in totally unexpected ways—what if their genes, and not only yours, are at play? This, at least, seems to be the case in…

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A new snail: Gastrocopta sharae

Credit: Dr. Rodrigo B. Salvador from publicationThe genus Gastrocopta comprises of a number of minute air-breathing land snails. These little animals usually measure less than 2 mm. They are cave-dwelling invertebrates, which in general, receive scarce attention from researchers. Given their size and the environment they live in it should come as no surprise that little is known about them. It also means that the closer researchers look the more new species they will likely find.Inspired…

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Family in the Field

Fieldwork often takes you away from home – whether it is 1 hour away for a day trip or across the country. As with your actual family, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly memories with members of your field team. Regardless of the circumstances, your field team becomes your family in the field. They keep you company Fieldwork can get pretty lonely, especially if you are in a remote location. At first…

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We now join a series of experiments already in progress

In the previous post I described the RNA-seq data that indicates that our antitoxin knockout is unlikely to express functional toxin during log-phase growth, because the promoter it would otherwise repress appears to begin transcription well downstream of the toxin start codon.  The graphic I showed was not exactly the right one, but the evidence is good.)This would explain why the antitoxin knockout grows normally in rich medium, and suggests we should look for a…

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