Keyword: Department of Biology

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Dietary Overlap of Birds, Bats and Dragonflies Disadvantageous in Insect Decline


According to a new Finnish study, different groups of insectivores compete for the same type of food. Researchers of the University of Turku and the Finnish Museum of Natural History made the discovery by comparing birds, bats and dragonflies that forage in the same area in Southwest Finland. These very distantly related predators consumed the same insect groups, such as flies, mosquitoes, and other dipterans. The results shed new light on the decline in insect populations, because a remarkable portion of insectivores may actually be in greater danger than previously believed.

Researchers Discovered New Information on the Regulation of Cancer Cell Motility


PIM kinases are enzymes that promote metastatic growth and spread of cancer cells. Researchers from the University of Turku, Finland, have obtained new information on how the PIM kinases enhance cancer cell motility by regulating the formation of actin fibres in the cytoskeleton. The published results support the development of PIM-targeted therapies to prevent metastasis formation in cancer patients.

Multispecies bacterial communities have the ability to bounce back from environmental disturbances


Perturbations in the environment are common, and bacterial communities consisting of several species seem to find their way around the crisis. Species immigration is beneficial for community recovery, an international study shows. Associate Professor Teppo Hiltunen from the University of Turku led the study that investigated how environmental disturbances affect the species diversity and evolution of bacterial communities.

Predator-prey interactions in changing environments


31.1.2020 at 12.00 - 16.00
To celebrate the career of Professor Erkki Korpimäki and to mark the occasion of his retirement, the Department of Biology of the University of Turku organizes the symposium “Predator-prey interactions in changing environments”. This topic has been in the core of Professor Korpimäki’s highly...

New Information on Regulation of Sense of Smell with the Help of Nematodes


PIM kinases are enzymes that are evolutionarily well conserved in both humans and nematodes. Led by Dr Päivi Koskinen, a research group from the Department of Biology of the University of Turku has previously proven that PIM kinases promote the motility and survival of cancer cells, but now the group has shown that these enzymes also regulate the sense of smell.

Sisters improve chances of reproduction in Asian elephants


Researchers at the University of Turku found that the presence of a maternal sister was positively and significantly associated with annual female reproduction in a population of working elephants in Myanmar. In addition, an age-specific effect was found: young females were more sensitive to the presence of sisters and even more likely to reproduce when living near a sister.

Perceived Threats to Family Increases Women’s Willingness to Sacrifice During War


Researchers at the Universities of Turku and Helsinki found that women were more likely to volunteer for all-female paramilitary organizations if they had brothers or husbands who were currently serving in the military.  This result suggests that bonding with larger and frequently imagined communities, such as the nation state or religious groups, can arise from psychology mechanisms designed by evolution to increase cooperation among close relatives.