Researchers have discovered that our society can influence the way we recognise other people’s faces. Because face recognition is effortlessly achieved by people from all different cultures it was considered to be a basic mechanism universal among humans. However, by using analyses inspired by novel brain imaging technology, researchers at the University of Glasgow have discovered that cultural differences cause us to look at faces differently.
For Charles Darwin, the problem of the peacock’s tail, in light of his theory of natural selection, was vexing in the extreme. Indeed, in 1860, writing to Asa Gray, his most ardent American champion, Darwin confessed: “The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!” In his struggle to explain why such extravagant and seemingly burdensome features existed, the great English naturalist struck upon the idea of sexual selection — that showy traits such as the Peacock’s ornamentation were an advantage in the mating game that outweighed other disadvantages.
Shipwrecks on coral reefs may increase invasion of unwanted species, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey study. These unwanted species can completely overtake the reef and eliminate all the native coral, dramatically decreasing the diversity of marine organisms on the reef. This study documents for the first time that a rapid change in the dominant biota on a coral reef is unambiguously associated with man-made structures.
Researchers from the University of Hawaii, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, National Marine Fisheries Service and Projecto Meros do Brazil discovered a new species of fish–a grouper that reaches more than six feet in length and can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds. This newly discovered species can be found roaming the tropical reefs of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
A predisposition to adult snoring can be established very early in life. New research describes possible childhood risk factors, including exposure to animals, early respiratory or ear infections and growing up in a large family.
As the American Presidential election approaches, pollsters are scrambling to predict who will win. A study by a team of researchers at The University of Western Ontario, Canada, and the University of Padova, Italy, may give pollsters a new way to determine how the undecided will vote, even before the voters know themselves.
Planting just three rows of trees around poultry farms can cut nuisance emissions of dust, ammonia, and odors from poultry houses and aid in reducing neighbor complaints, according to scientists from the University of Delaware.
The growing use of animal dietary supplements has raised several concerns, including the safety of specific supplements and the approaches taken to determine their safeness.