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Posted by bio_man   June 10, 2018   692 views

The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest canid found in the grasslands of southern Brazil. Its markings resemble those of foxes and wolves, yet it's neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. And, unlike other large canids, the maned wolf does not form packs. It hunts alone, usually between sundown and midnight, and kills its prey by biting on the neck or back. Interestingly, a large fraction of its diet (over 50%, according to some studies) consists of vegetable matter, including sugarcane, tubers, and fruit; this is unusual for canids.

The maned wolf is generally shy and flees when alarmed by humans, and it poses little direct threat to humans. Luckily, the animal is w [ ... ]

wolves dogs foxes canid Brazil
Posted in Interesting Facts
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Posted by bio_man   May 16, 2018   1144 views

Want to reconstruct your face in 3D from a single 2D image? Now you can.

According to its creators, this technology does not require accurate alignment nor establishes dense correspondence between images; it works for arbitrary facial poses and expressions, and can be used to reconstruct the whole 3D facial geometry (including the non-visible parts of the face) bypassing the construction and fitting of a 3D Morphable Model. This is achieved via a simple convolutional neural network architecture that performs direct regression of a volumetric representation of the 3D facial geometry from a single 2D image.

Try it out

[ ... ]

Technology 3D facial recognition
Posted in Uncategorized
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Posted by bio_man   May 16, 2018   1174 views

Finally, the world is paying attention to the dangers of consuming trans-fatty acids in food.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called all nations to rid foods of artificial trans-fats in the next five years. Artificial trans-fat is made by converting healthy unsaturated oils (those that are fluid at room temperature) into ones that are chemically more stable through a process known as hydrogenation (illustrated below). The food industry began using this deceptive technique in the 1950s to increase the shelf-life of perishable grocery items such as pastries, and fried foods sold at restaurants.

Numerous studies have linked these fats to an increase in cholesterol levels, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases. One of the reasons for [ ... ]

diet heart disease trans-fat WHO World Health Organization cholesterol
Posted in News
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Posted by bio_man   May 11, 2018   1281 views

Brood parasites are organisms that rely on others to raise their young. It's the equivalent of having a baby, placing him/her in a basket, and then leaving it on a random person's front porch. While this may seem strange to us, it's not uncommon to some species of birds. One of nature's shrewdest examples of this behavior comes from cowbirds. Not only do they lay their eggs inside the nests of other birds and expect them to rear the foster chicks as their own, scientists have found another way these birds may be harming their hosts -- their extra-thick eggshells can crack the hosts’ own eggs when they falls into the nest.

To test this idea, researchers of recent study gathered 157 freshly laid cowbird eggs and dropped them onto host eggs fro [ ... ]

Brood parasite birds nest eggs cowbird
Posted in Research
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Posted by bio_man   May 9, 2018   1322 views

An unexpected link in mice has been found between gray hair, the transcription factor MITF, and the innate immune in a recent study published in PLOS Biology.

First, a discussion on the innate immune system: The innate immune system is the immune system you're born with. This includes your skin and other barriers which prevent disease entering the body, in addition to specialized cells that activate inflammation in response to foreign invaders. Technically, every cell in your body except for red blood cells, are capable of generating an immune response, and this includes the production of a signaling protein known as interferon.

Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is best known for its role in regulating the many functions [ ... ]

hair graying aging immune system mice research transcription factor genetics
Posted in Research
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