Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Captive cheetahs at risk from their own faeces

Breeding endangered cheetahs in captivity has been fraught with difficulties, not least the high death rates suffered from an illness with nasty similarities to mad cow disease.

Now a team led by pathobiologist Keiichi Higuchi of Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Matsumoto, Japan, has identified a likely way the disease, called AA amyloidosis, is transmitted – via cheetah faeces.

Go to New Scientist for the full report

Friday, May 02, 2008

Journal of Biology | Abstract | Colugos: obscure mammals glide into the evolutionary limelight

http://jbiol.com/content/7/4/13/abstract --- Substantial molecular evidence indicates that tree-shrews, colugos and primates cluster together on the mammalian phylogenetic tree. Previously, a sister-group relationship between colugos and primates seemed likely. A new study of colugo chromosomes indicates instead an affinity between colugos and tree-shrews.