Men with facial scars are more attractive to women seeking short-term relationships, scientists at the University of Liverpool have found. It was previously assumed that in Western cultures scarring was an unattractive facial feature and in non-Western cultures they were perceived as a sign of maturity and strength. Scientists at Liverpool and Stirling University, however, have found that Western women find scarring on men attractive and may associate it with health and bravery.
Closely related animal species share most of their genes and look almost identical. However, minor morphological differences allow us to tell them apart. What is the genetic basis for these differences? Often, the explanation is provided by minor changes in spatial and temporal activity of transcription factors – “regulator” genes which are conserved throughout the animal kingdom.
Researchers at the Institut Pasteur and CNRS have just determined the structure of a bacterial protein similar to the human nicotine receptor, and have published this result in the journal Nature. This is an important step for the molecular modeling of substances able to interact with this receptor and which could help treatment of nicotine addiction.
Scientists in Madagascar, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Vienna Natural History Museum and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst now have a nearly complete skeleton of a rare species of extinct lemur to study thanks to a century-long discovery and reconstruction effort.
Understanding how life started remains a major challenge for science. At a European Science Foundation (ESF) and COST ‘Frontiers of Science’ conference in Sicily in October, scientists discussed two new approaches to the problem.