Biology

New research shows that a high-fat Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra virgin olive oil could modify the function of specific cell genes. This should help in the fight against several conditions, especially cardiovascular disease.
Scientists show that tiny, nano-engineered capsules relieve pain up to 20 times longer than a standard injection, and with no side effects.
Scientists show that DNA repair genes in bats could be the key to understanding the ageing process.
Scientists show that tetrapods survived the mass plant extinction in Europe and North America 307 million years ago and spread further afield, forming new habitats.
With the growing global demand for sustainable and energy-saving products and processes, biosurfactants have come under the spotlight in recent years. A new study reviews their use in biotechnology applications, focusing on microorganisms in cold habitats.
Scientists have discovered that lack of genetic diversity may have driven the passenger pigeon towards extinction, but human pressures gave it the final nudge over the edge.
The dramatic diversification of animals could be explained by a revolution within their own biology, rather than the planet’s rising oxygen levels. This is the novel hypothesis of a team of researchers who presented their findings of a recent study based on evidence from proteins found in tumours.
Tired, a few aches and pains, more interested in sitting comfortably by the fire than a wet walk in the woods? Dog or owner, staying mentally active at whatever age creates positive emotions and can slow down mental deterioration.
With the prevalence of allergy and asthma on the rise around the world, the race is on to explain this increase and stem the tide. A recent study finds a clue in an unlikely source… intestinal worms.
A prehistoric human upper jawbone fragment, including a row of teeth, has been found in a cave in Israel. Dating from about 180 000 years ago, the fossil is almost twice as old as any previous remains of Homo sapiens discovered outside Africa.
Referred to as ‘perplexing’, a group of North American Pleistocene horses have been identified, until now, as different species. Now mitochondrial and partial nuclear genomic studies support the idea that there was only one species, which belongs to a new genus.
A tail of the type now seen on scorpions has been found on some spiders preserved in amber for around 100 million years.
Empathy encourages prosocial behavior, while an empathy deficit has been linked to psychological disorders. By further examining the mechanisms involved, new research hopes to offer risk analysis and better treatment for antisocial behaviour.
Chemists based in Munich have demonstrated that the alternation in wet and dry conditions on early Earth could have been enough to kick off the prebiotic synthesis of the RNA nucleosides found in all domains of life.
Old adage? Urban myth? Either way the saying ‘You are never further than two metres from a rat’ tends to make people look around themselves nervously. Since our move into settlements first gave rats the environment they needed to thrive, we’ve been battling their numbers – for the most part unsuccessfully.
From binge watching TV dramas to parents telling their small children bedtime stories, the power of story telling has enthralled us since earliest times. But why? In evolutionary terms wouldn’t the time be better spent on securing food?
A new study suggests human parasites were responsible for the spread of the plague and that the rat may have got a bad rap!
Research carried out on day-old mussel larvae explores the effect of a changing climate on shell development, with potential applications for aquaculture and biotechnology.
Animal and human investigations indicate that the impact of trauma experienced by mothers affects early offspring development, but new research is also discovering that it is also actually encoded into the DNA of subsequent generations.
By mapping the brains of more than 800 people, scientists have found positive links between the way we behave and the way our working memory can carry out its functions.
A study supported by the EU-funded SPACERADARPOLLINATOR project reveals the roles that visual experience, visual learning and foraging activity, have on the neural structure of bumblebees.
Wealth distribution can tell us much about a society but when it comes to prehistoric civilizations, a lack of written record makes that hard to trace. New research draws on house size to trace wealth disparity, with interesting results.
Probably since the dawn of time women have thrown their hands up in despair as their men folk insist that they’ve succumbed to the dreaded ‘man flu’ and take to their beds for days at a time moaning and groaning about their plight. But now a Canadian scientist has argued that man flu is real and offers possible explanations as to why.
Do the flight or fight mechanisms triggered by responses to stress, diminish with age? And if so, is there a difference between biological and chronological ageing? Questions new research is answering.
Findings from the largest study of hominin body sizes, involving 311 specimens dating from 4.4m years ago right through to the modern humans that followed the last ice age, show unexpected patterns of change.
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Study in Malaysia
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Study in the UK

Study in Poland