Latest research suggests a new mechanism for how sexual displays of red beaks and plumage might be ‘honest signals’ of mate quality, as genes that convert yellow dietary pigments into red share cofactors with enzymes that aid detoxification – hinting that redness is a genetic sign of the ability to better metabolise harmful substances.
Some of the final cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone were transmitted via unconventional routes, such as semen and breastmilk, according to the largest analysis to date of the tail-end of the epidemic.
A contagious form of cancer that can spread between dogs during mating has highlighted the extent to which dogs accompanied human travellers throughout our seafaring history. But the tumours also provide surprising insights into how cancers evolve by ‘stealing’ DNA from their host.
A study of butterflies suggests that when a species adapts, other parts of its genetic make-up can be linked to that adaptation, limiting diversity in the population.
Tiny coffin excavated at Giza in 1907 is remarkable evidence of importance placed on official burial rituals in ancient Egypt.
The ability to understand language could be much better preserved into old age than previously thought, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge, who found older adults struggle more with test conditions than language processing.
Claire Spottiswoode (Department of Zoology) and Marjorie Sorensen (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main) discuss why several species of migratory songbirds sing a great deal in Africa when their breeding grounds are thousands of kilometres away.
A new technique that allows embryos to develop in vitro beyond the implantation stage (when the embryo would normally implant into the womb) has been developed by scientists at the University of Cambridge allowing them to analyse for the first time key stages of human embryo development up to 13 days after fertilisation. The technique could open up new avenues of research aimed at helping improve the chances of success of IVF.