Though archaeology can help us pin down the when and where of dog domestication (current thinking is that it happened at least 15,000 years ago in Europe, Asia, or both), bones are mostly silent on the how and the why of this story. By studying other canids like foxes and wolves, and by analyzing dog genes, behavior, and brains—their sweet, friendly, trusting brains—researchers are developing new ideas about how the big bad wolf became the dear little dog.
Gorillas sing and hum when eating, a discovery that could help shed light on how language evolved in early humans.
Singing seems to be a way for gorillas to express contentment with their meal, as well as for the head of the family to communicate to others that it is dinner time.
Parkinson’s Disease stinks. Figuratively. But according to new research, it literally stinks too — to those who have a heightened sense of smell. Thanks to the help of one of these “super-smellers,” a team of scientists has identified subtle volatile compounds produced by Parkinson’s sufferers. These compounds could be used to make much easier, and earlier, diagnostics for the disease.
A pair of twins have stunned researchers after it emerged that they are neither identical nor fraternal – but something in between.
The team say the boy and girl, now four years old, are the second case of semi-identical twins ever recorded, and the first to be spotted while the mother was pregnant.
For security reasons, I can’t tell you exactly where Clay Bolt rediscovered Wallace’s giant bee. But I can tell you this. With a wingspan of two and a half inches, the Goliath is four times bigger than a European honeybee. Very much unlike its honey-manufacturing cousin, it’s got enormous jaws, more like those of the famous stag beetle. And it lives not in nests with thousands of family members but largely alone in burrows in termite mounds, a tubular home it coats with waterproof resin.
There’s a big molecule, a protein, inside the leaves of most plants. It’s called Rubisco, which is short for an actual chemical name that’s very long and hard to remember.
Amanda Cavanagh, a biologist and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Illinois, calls herself a big fan of Rubisco. “It’s probably the most abundant protein in the world,” she says. It’s also super-important.