Biology

A case where smoking helped

A case where smoking helped

Rice University scientists help understand mechanics of rare hemoglobin mutation. There's at least one person in the world for whom smoking has a beneficial effect,...
Roads are driving rapid evolutionary change in our environment

Roads are driving rapid evolutionary change in our environment

Roads are causing rapid evolutionary change in wild populations of plants and animals according to a Concepts and Questions paper published in Frontiers in Ecology...
Gorilla’s Y chromosome closer to a guy than a chimp

Gorilla’s Y chromosome closer to a guy than a chimp

Researchers have developed a new, less expensive, and faster method to determine the DNA sequence of the male-specific Y chromosome in the gorilla. Because the...
Alien species on the rise globally

Alien species on the rise globally

The number of alien species is increasing globally, and does not show any sign of saturation, finds an international team involving UCL researchers. Led by...
New link found between sex and viruses

New link found between sex and viruses

Sexual reproduction and viral infections actually have a lot in common. According to new research, both processes rely on a single protein that enables the...
Why caffeine doesn’t leave everybody wired

Why caffeine doesn’t leave everybody wired

Not everyone responds to coffee in the same way. Depending on your genetic make-up, you might be able to drink coffee right before bed or...
Study suggests complex life was present on Earth 2.33 billion years ago

Study suggests complex life was present on Earth 2.33 billion years ago

New estimate predates earliest fossil evidence by 800 million years. An exhaustive genetic analysis of modern-day organisms has revealed new insights into Earth’s earliest forms...
Teaching life a new trick Bacteria make boron-carbon bonds

Teaching life a new trick: Bacteria make boron-carbon bonds

In another feat of bioengineering, Caltech's Frances Arnold and her team have created bacteria that can, for the first time, make chemical compounds containing...
How the brain's 'aha!' moment sheds light on biology of consciousness

How the brain’s ‘aha!’ moment sheds light on biology of consciousness

Columbia scientists have identified the brain's 'aha!' moment—that flash in time when you suddenly become aware of information, such as knowing the answer to...
The speed limit of muscles

The speed limit of muscles

When birds sing their elaborate songs, bats echolocate, rattlesnakes rattle and toadfish hum they use so-called superfast muscles, the fastest vertebrate muscles known. New research...