Researchers at the University of Cambridge have uncovered a specialised population of skin cells that coordinate tail regeneration in frogs. These ‘Regeneration-Organizing Cells’ help to explain one of the great mysteries of nature and may offer clues about how this ability might be achieved in mammalian tissues. It has long been known that some animals

Bedbugs—some of the most unwanted human bed-mates—have been parasitic companions with other species aside from humans for more than 100 million years, walking the earth at the same time as dinosaurs. Work by an international team of scientists, including the University of Sheffield, compared the DNA of dozens of bedbug species in order to understand

Chimpanzees in captivity can successfully work out how to use tools to excavate underground food, even if they’ve never been presented with an underground food scenario before, according to a study published May 15, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Alba Motes-Rodrigo and colleagues and directed by Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar from the University of Oslo. Recent

The deep sea is home to fish species that can detect various wavelengths of light in near-total darkness. Unlike other vertebrates, they have several genes for the light-sensitive photopigment rhodopsin, which likely enables these fish to detect bioluminescent signals from light-emitting organs. The findings were published in the journal Scienceby an international team of researchers led

Differences in numbers of vertebrae are most extreme in mammals which do not rely on running and leaping, such as those adapted to suspensory locomotion like apes and sloths, a team of anthropologists has concluded in a study appearing in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. Previous research had posited that running speed specifically determines variation

Rewards are frequently used to promote learning, but rewards may actually mask true knowledge, finds a new Johns Hopkins University study with rodents and ferrets. The findings, published May 14 in Nature Communications, show a distinction between knowledge and performance, and provide insight into how environment can affect the two. “Most learning research focuses on how

A new University of Michigan study provides the first evidence of transitive inference, the ability to use known relationships to infer unknown relationships, in a nonvertebrate animal: the lowly paper wasp. For millennia, transitive inference was considered a hallmark of human deductive powers, a form of logical reasoning used to make inferences: If A is

Parasitoid wasps lay their eggs on a spider’s back. This team proposes that by injecting the spider host with the molting hormone, ecdysone, the wasp induces the spider to make a special web for the wasp’s pupa. Setting off a startling chain of events, a parasitoid wasp can force a spider to weave a special web to

Drawing design inspiration from the skin of stealthy sea creatures, engineers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a next-generation, adaptive space blanket that gives users the ability to control their temperature. The innovation is detailed in a study published today in Nature Communications. “Ultra-lightweight space blankets have been around for decades — you see

Let’s say you wanted to solve a 20,000-year-old mystery, where would you start? Perhaps archaeology and geology come to mind. Or, you could sift through a 3-metre pile of bat faeces. Researchers from James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, chose the bat poo in their quest to answer to a long-standing question: why is there

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