You notice it in your everyday life, the bewildering diversity in coat colour among our pigs, dogs and other domestic animals. This stark contrasts with the uniformity of colour within wild animals. A new study on pigs reveals that the prime explanation for this phenomenon is that humans have actively changed the coat colour of domestic animals by cherry-picking and actively selecting for rare mutations and that this process that has been going on for thousands of years.
Scientists have developed a mathematical model of the mating game to help explain why courtship is often protracted. The study, by researchers at UCL (University College London), University of Warwick and LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science), shows that extended courtship enables a male to signal his suitability to a female and enables the female to screen out the male if he is unsuitable as a mate.
We human beings don’t always do as we have been taught, and organizations are poorly prepared for IT security attacks that target human weaknesses. Since it is difficult to change people’s behavior, it doesn’t help to provide training about how to behave securely. This is shown by Marcus Nohlberg in his dissertation at Stockholm University in Sweden in which he studied attacks that are called social engineering in IT contexts.
New research reveals the brain activity that underlies our tendency to “follow the crowd.” The study, published by Cell Press in the January 15th issue of the journal Neuron, provides intriguing insight into how human behavior can be guided by the perceived behavior of other individuals.
The next time a loved one brandishes a virtual shotgun in their favorite video game, take heart. That look of glee, says a new study, likely stems from the healthy pleasure of mastering a challenge rather than from a disturbing craving for carnage.
Bacteria can occur almost anywhere on earth and exist under the most varying conditions. If these tiny, microscopic organisms are to survive in these environments, they need to be able to rapidly detect changes in their surroundings and react to them. Scientists at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz are currently investigating how bacteria manage to pass information on their environment across their membranes into their cell nuclei.
The work of Forsyth scientist Peter Jezewski, DDS, Ph.D., has revealed that duplication and diversification of protein regions (‘modules’) within ancient master control genes is key to the understanding of certain birth disorders. Tracing the history of these changes within the proteins coded by the Msx gene family over the past 600 million years has also provided additional evidence for the ancient origin of the human mouth.
New data released by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Malaysia’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) reveals that a population of endangered Asian elephants living in a Malaysian park may be the largest in Southeast Asia.
At Hogwarts, Harry Potter uses an invisibility cloak to hide from his enemies. In nature, animals like cuttlefish and chameleons use the awe-inspiring tricks of camouflage to hide from theirs. Roger Hanlon, a senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), has spent 35 years studying animal camouflage, and in that time he has moved beyond awe at nature’s disappearing tricks and discovered three broad classes of camouflage body patterns. He and his colleagues detail these three pattern classes, and how they achieve several mechanisms of visual deceit, in this week’s issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. The issue is entirely devoted to camouflage.