My picks from ScienceDaily

Bats Use Magnetic Substance As Internal Compass To Help Them Navigate:

They may not be on most people’s list of most attractive species, but bats definitely have animal magnetism. Researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Princeton have discovered that bats use a magnetic substance in their body called magnetite as an ‘internal compass’ to help them navigate.

Or, if you prefer a much livelier take, with context, check out Pondering Pikaia
Why Do We Love Babies? Parental Instinct Region Found In The Brain:

Why do we almost instinctively treat babies as special, protecting them and enabling them to survive? Darwin originally pointed out that there is something about infants which prompts adults to respond to and care for them which allows our species to survive. Nobel-Prize-winning zoologist Konrad Lorenz proposed that it is the specific structure of the infant face, including a relatively large head and forehead, large and low lying eyes and bulging cheek region, that serves to elicit these parental responses. But the biological basis for this has remained elusive.

Dave Munger explains.
Antidepressants Only Benefit Certain Depressed Patients, Study Suggests:

A new study suggests that antidepressants only benefit some, very severely depressed patients. “New generation” antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) are widely prescribed for the treatment of clinical depression. However some studies have suggested that these drugs do not help the majority of depressed people get better by very much. Irving Kirsch, from the University of Hull, and his colleagues, studied this question in closer detail, looking at whether a patient’s response to antidepressant therapy depends on how badly depressed they are to start out with.

More coverage by Ben Goldacre, David Dobbs, Kevin Drum, James Hrynyshyn, Henry Gee, Greg Laden, Jonah Lehrer and Socratic Gadfly.
How Skin Color Is Determined:

Skin color is one of the most visible indicators that helps distinguish human appearance, and a new study provides more detail as to how one protein helps produce this wide palette.

Children Who Do Not Get Enough Sleep Sustain More Injuries:

Lack of adequate sleep can lead to increased injuries among preschool children, new research shows. This study shows that the average number of injuries during the preschool years is two times higher for children who don’t get enough sleep each day as described by their mothers.

Lemurs’ Evolutionary History May Shed Light On Our Own:

After swabbing the cheeks of more than 200 lemurs and related primates to collect their DNA, researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) and Duke Lemur Center now have a much clearer picture of their evolutionary family tree.

Comments are closed.