Fruit flies fed an organic diet recorded better health outcomes than flies fed a nonorganic diet, according to a new study from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Researchers in the lab of SMU biologist Johannes Bauer found that fruit flies raised on organic foods performed better on a variety of health tests. The flies on organic diets showed improvements on the most significant measures of health, namely fertility and longevity.
Light from two massive stars that exploded hundreds of millions of years ago recently reached Earth, and each event was identified as a supernova by SMU researchers. A supernova discovered Feb. 6 exploded about 450 million years ago, and a second supernova discovered Nov. 20 exploded about 230 million years ago.
In modern ecosystems, animals flourish amid lush vegetation. An SMU study examines whether that same relationship held true 150 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. “The assumption has been that ancient ecosystems worked just like our modern ecosystems,” says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers. “We wanted to see if this was, in fact, the case.”
A new species of coelacanth fish has been discovered in Texas. Pieces of tiny fossil skull found in Fort Worth have been identified as 100 million-year-old coelacanth bones. The new species is the youngest coelacanth to be discovered in Texas, and the only coelacanth discovered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
In the late 1800s, furious fossil speculation across the American West escalated into a high-profile national feud called the Bone Wars. Vertebrate paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs unveils how the Bone Wars touched Texas through the lives of two Lone Star scientists, geologist Robert T. Hill and naturalist Jacob Boll.
A picture is worth 1,000 words when it comes to understanding how things work, but 3D moving pictures are even better. That’s true for scientists trying to stop cancer by better understanding the proteins that make some chemotherapies unsuccessful. Now SMU biochemist John G. Wise at SMU has brought to life in a moving 3D computer model the structure of a key protein related to recurring cancers.
With Type 2 human diabetes climbing at alarming rates in the United States, researchers are seeking treatments for the disease, which has been linked to obesity and poor diet. Now biologists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, report they have developed a new discovery tool that will help researchers better understand this deadly disease.
Today’s mega forest fires of the southwestern U.S. are truly unusual and exceptional in the long-term record, suggests a new study that examined hundreds of years of ancient tree ring and fire data from two distinct climate periods, says study co-author and fire anthropologist Christopher I. Roos, SMU.
SMU physicist Jodi Cooley leads SMU students as part of a global team searching for elusive dark matter — the “glue” that represents 85 percent of the matter in our universe but which has never been observed. Cooley is a member of the scientific consortium called SuperCryogenic Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS), which operates a particle detector in Minnesota. Located in an underground abandoned mine, the detector is focused on detecting WIMPS, which some physicists theorize comprises dark matter. WIMPS are particles of such low mass that they rarely interact with ordinary matter, making them extremely difficult to detect.