Study of bee-manipulating plant virus reveals a “short-circuiting” of natural selection. Researchers suggest that replicating the scent caused by infection could encourage declining bee populations to pollinate crops – helping both bee and human food supplies.
Using ancient DNA, researchers have created a unique picture of how a prehistoric migration route evolved over thousands of years – revealing that it could not have been used by the first people to enter the Americas, as traditionally thought.
Opinion: Musical genres are out of date – but this new system explains why you might like both jazz and hip hop05 Aug 2016
David Greenberg (Department of Psychology) discusses the problems of labeling music by genre.
In a fascinating study of J M Barrie’s classic works for children, Dr Rosalind Ridley (Newnham College) reveals that the creator of Peter Pan, and a panoply of other characters, had a deep understanding of the science of cognition – and was decades ahead of his time in identifying key stages of child development.
A gene for red colour vision that originated in the reptile lineage around 250m years ago has resulted in the bright red bird feathers and ‘painted’ turtles we see today, and may be evidence that dinosaurs could see as many shades of red as birds - and perhaps even displayed more red than we might think.
David Sargan (Department of Veterinary Medicine) discusses the health implications of breeding the perfect pets.
By following honeyguides, a species of bird, people in Africa are able to locate bees’ nests to harvest honey. Research now reveals that humans use special calls to solicit the help of honeyguides and that honeyguides actively recruit appropriate human partners. This relationship is a rare example of cooperation between humans and free-living animals.
Scientists have identified for the first time the ‘cell of origin’ – in other words, the first cell from which the cancer grows – in basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, and followed the chain of events that lead to the growth of these invasive tumours.
In the first genome-scale experiment of its kind, researchers have gained new insights into how a mouse embryo first begins to transform from a ball of unfocussed cells into a small, structured entity. Published in Nature, the single-cell genomics study was led by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the University of Cambridge.
A difference in values can be a major stumbling block for family relationships, writes Dr Lucy Blake from the Centre for Family Research for The Conversation website, and these may have been exacerbated in the recent Brexit debate. So what practical steps can people take to help heal rifts?