My Picks From ScienceDaily

Huge Genome-scale Phylogenetic Study Of Birds Rewrites Evolutionary Tree-of-life:

The largest ever study of bird genetics has not only shaken up but completely redrawn the avian evolutionary tree. The study challenges current classifications, alters our understanding of avian evolution, and provides a valuable resource for phylogenetic and comparative studies in birds.

Cocoa Genome To Be Sequenced: May Benefit Millions Of Farmers, Help Sustain World’s Chocolate Supply:

The United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Mars, Incorporated, and IBM intend to apply their scientific resources to sequence and analyze the entire cocoa genome. Sequencing the cocoa genome is a significant scientific step that may allow more directed breeding of cocoa plants and perhaps even enhance the quality of cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate.

Neuroscientists Discover A Sense Of Adventure:

Wellcome Trust scientists have identified a key region of the brain which encourages us to be adventurous. The region, located in a primitive area of the brain, is activated when we choose unfamiliar options, suggesting an evolutionary advantage for sampling the unknown. It may also explain why re-branding of familiar products encourages to pick them off the supermarket shelves.

Nerve Cells Derived From Stem Cells And Transplanted Into Mice May Lead To Improved Brain Treatments:

Scientists at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have, for the first time, genetically programmed embryonic stem (ES) cells to become nerve cells when transplanted into the brain, according to a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Women Have Not Adapted To Casual Sex, Research Shows:

The sexual and feminist revolutions were supposed to free women to enjoy casual sex just as men always had. Yet according to Professor Anne Campbell from Durham University in the UK, the negative feelings reported by women after one-night stands suggest that they are not well adapted to fleeting sexual encounters.

Salutary Pizza Spice: Oregano Helps Against Inflammations:

Oregano doesn’t only give a pizza its typical taste. Researchers at Bonn University and the ETH Zürich have discovered that this spice also contains a substance which, amongst other qualities, appears to help cure inflammations.

Diversity Among Bird Populations Found To Reduce Threat Of West Nile Virus:

A biologist and undergraduate student have discovered that what’s good for an area’s bird population is also good for people living nearby.

It’s Email, But At A Snail’s Pace:

Bournemouth University Research Fellows Vicki Isley and Paul Smith are using live snails to send emails as part of a ‘slow art’ project aimed at encouraging people to explore notions of time.

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