Male spider mites “disrobe” females; new alligator newt and more!

Male spider mites strip the skin of the females to gain in mating

Scientists have discovered a remarkable and rather gross trait of the male spider mite; Males skin females just before mating.

“Our study documents an unusual male behavior in the animal kingdom, namely that male spider mites strip the skin off premature babies that are about to moult,” says Peter Schausberger from the University of Vienna, Austria.

Competition for the first mating is particularly intense in spider mites because a female’s first copulating partner is the one who sires all of the offspring. As a result, the males guard the prematurely born females for several hours before the females molt.

“Such emigration behavior by the male is adaptive—that is, it increases his reproductive success—because it would be a huge cost to the guarding male if a rival took away and fertilized the female instead of the male, who has invested time and energy. ‘ by guarding her. “The guards would have invested hours guarding a potential future partner without reward,” explains Schausberger.

The research is presented in a new study iScience.

Male spider mite undresses a female who is molting. Photo credits: iScience/Schausberger et al.

New class of anti-inflammatory drugs

A whole new class of anti-inflammatory drugs being developed in Australia and being prepared for regulatory approval in the US has been unveiled in a new study Clinical and translatedIonal Immunology.

The drug targets inflammasomes — innate immune sensors that detect disruptions in homeostasis, when something is wrong, and trigger an inflammatory response.

“… The [inflammasomes] We target NLRP1 and NLRP3 because when inflammation occurs, one or both are usually involved,” explains lead author Ashley Mansell, associate professor at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia.

“Inflammasome-associated inflammation is associated with almost every major disease affecting mankind. This inhibitor could target the underlying inflammatory process associated with these diseases,” says Mansell, who is working with US industrial partner Adiso Therapeutics to develop the treatments.

Researchers are currently conducting pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) studies to submit ADS032 to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2024 for potential clinical use in respiratory and skin inflammation.

Shrinking Arctic glaciers are unveiling vast new sources of methane

Scientists have found that melting Arctic glaciers are exposing gushing groundwater sources that could provide a myriad new source of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

The new study in Natural Earth Sciences indicates that these methane emissions are likely to increase as Arctic glaciers continue to recede and more sources are uncovered.

Researchers spent nearly three years monitoring the water chemistry of more than a hundred springs on Svalbard, Norway, where air temperatures are rising twice as fast as the Arctic average.

Image of the inside of a glacier cave
Glacial cave on Svalbard, Norway, formed by large amounts of glacial meltwater flowing through it in summer. Extensive proglacial glaciation forms at its mouth in winter, stretching across the entire floodplain in front of the glacier visible through the cave mouth in the image. Photo credit: Gabrielle Kleber

“These sources are a significant and potentially growing source of methane emissions – one that has so far been missing from our estimates of the global methane budget,” says lead author Gabrielle Kleber, PhD student in the Department of Earth at Cambridge University Sciences, UK.

“The amount of methane escaping from the sources we measured is likely dwarfed by the total volume of trapped gas waiting to escape beneath these glaciers. This means we urgently need to identify the risk of a sudden increase in methane release as glaciers will only continue to retreat as we fight to mitigate climate change,” adds Professor Andrew Hodson, co-author of the study from the University Center in Norway. added.

Another species of crocodile newt discovered in Vietnam

A striking new species of crocodile newt, Tylototriton ngoclinhensiswas discovered on Mount Ngoc Linh in the central highlands of Vietnam.

The species has been described in a new study ZooKeys.

A black newt with orange markings and head sits on moss.
The newly described crocodile newt Tylototriton ngoclinhensis sp. Nov. Photo credit: Prof. Tao Thien Nguyen

Crocodile newts, the genus tylototritonThese include nearly 40 species that inhabit montane forest areas throughout the Asian monsoon climate zone. Remarkably, 15 of these species have been described in the last five years.

T. ngoclinhensis is a microendemic species, which means it only occurs in a limited distribution area and is threatened with extinction due to its small population size. The researchers suggest that the species should be provisionally classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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