How humans and wild birds collaborate to get precious resources of honey and wax

22 Jul 2016

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.

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Missing link in epigenetics could explain conundrum of disease inheritance

07 Jul 2016

The process by which a mother’s diet during pregnancy can permanently affect her offspring’s attributes, such as weight, could be strongly influenced by genetic variation in an unexpected part of the genome, according to research published today. The discovery could shed light on why many human genetic studies have previously not been able to fully explain how certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, are inherited.

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Ageing affects test-taking, not language, study shows

12 May 2016

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.

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Uninfected or asymptomatic? Diagnostic tests key to forecasting major epidemics

05 Apr 2016

Major epidemics such as the recent Ebola outbreak or the emerging Zika epidemic may be difficult to forecast because of our inability to determine whether individuals are uninfected or infected but not showing symptoms, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge. The finding emphasises the need to develop and deploy reliable diagnostic tests to detect infected individuals whether or not they are showing symptoms, say the researchers.

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Stored fat fights against the body’s attempts to lose weight

24 Nov 2015

The fatter we are, the more our body appears to produce a protein that inhibits our ability to burn fat, suggests new research published in the journal Nature Communications. The findings may have implications for the treatment of obesity and other metabolic diseases.

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How the stick insect sticks (and unsticks) itself

07 Oct 2015

New research shows the fluid found on insects’ feet does not help them adhere to vertical and inverted surfaces, as previously thought, but may in fact help them to unstick their feet more easily to allow greater control over their sticking power.

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