Scientists have given a fascinating new insight into the way microbes adopt a 'co-operative' approach to securing the nutrients they need to thrive.
Biological invasions impose novel evolutionary pressures. Individuals at an invasion front may allocate most of their resources to dispersing rather than reproducing. In the invasive cane toad in Australia, Professor Rick Shine and Dr. Chris Friesen report, invasion-front males have smaller testes (testicles) than do males in the range-core.
How do human foragers find food or the way home in rainforests, where heavy vegetation limits visibility, without a map, compass, or smartphone? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, show that rainforest-dwelling Mbendjele BaYaka people from the Republic of Congo point to out-of-sight targets with high precision. Pointing accuracy was equally good in men and women; children's performance improved when the sun was clearly visible in the sky.
Although animals do commonly respond to climate change, such responses are in general insufficient to cope with the rapid pace of rising temperatures and sometimes go in wrong directions.
Just as humans are usually left- or right-handed, other species sometimes prefer one appendage, or eye, over the other. A new study reveals that American robins that preferentially use one eye significantly more than the other when looking at their own clutch of eggs are also more likely to detect, and reject, a foreign egg placed in their nest by another bird species -- or by a devious scientist.
All life is cellular, but the origins of cellularity remain unknown. Scientists at the Earth-Life Science Institute have discovered that simple organic compounds like glycolic and lactic acid polymerize and self-assemble into cell-sized droplets when dried and rewetted, as might have happened along primitive beaches and drying puddles. These cell-like compartments can trap and concentrate biomolecules, and can merge and separate, forming versatile and heterogeneous cell-like containers possibly critical for the origin of life.
Researchers picking through the contents of fossil clams from a Sarasota County quarry found dozens of tiny glass beads, likely the calling cards of an ancient meteorite.
Neuroscience researchers at CSHL found that how the brain smells is different from previously thought. They are now working towards creating a new model for understanding how the brain processes and characterizes different odors.
University of California San Diego School of Medicine scientists say the loss of a single gene two to three million years ago in our ancestors may have resulted in a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease in all humans as a species, while also setting up a further risk for red meat-eating humans.
Some parasitic plants steal genetic material from their host plants and use the stolen genes to more effectively siphon off the host's nutrients. A new study led by researchers at Penn State and Virginia Tech reveals that the parasitic plant dodder has stolen a large amount of genetic material from its hosts, including over 100 functional genes, through a process called horizontal gene transfer.