Sled dogs are closely related to 9,500-year-old ‘ancient dog’

Sled dogs (stock image).Credit: © murmakova / stock.adobe.com Sledge dogs are much older and have adapted to Arctic conditions much earlier than previously thought. In a new study from the QIMMEQ project, researchers from the University of Copenhagen show that ancestors of modern sledge dogs have worked and lived with humans for over 9,500 years.advertisement […]

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Why are plants green?

Leaves in sunlight (stock image).Credit: © Olivier Le Moal / stock.adobe.com When sunlight shining on a leaf changes rapidly, plants must protect themselves from the ensuing sudden surges of solar energy. To cope with these changes, photosynthetic organisms — from plants to bacteria — have developed numerous tactics. Scientists have been unable, however, to identify […]

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Tomato’s hidden mutations revealed in study of 100 varieties

Tomato varieties (stock image).Credit: © Christian BERND / stock.adobe.com Human appetites have transformed the tomato — DNA and all. After centuries of breeding, what was once a South American berry roughly the size of a pea now takes all sorts of shapes and sizes, from cherry-like to hefty heirloom fruit.advertisement Today, scientists are teasing out […]

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Hunting in savanna-like landscapes may have poured jet fuel on brain evolution

African savanna (stock image).Credit: © Grispb / stock.adobe.com Ever wonder how land animals like humans evolved to become smarter than their aquatic ancestors? You can thank the ground you walk on.advertisement Northwestern University researchers recently discovered that complex landscapes — dotted with trees, bushes, boulders and knolls — might have helped land-dwelling animals evolve higher […]

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Origins of the beloved guinea pig

Guinea pigs (stock image).Credit: © Weiming / stock.adobe.com New University of Otago research sheds light on guinea pig domestication and how and why the small, furry animals became distributed around the world.advertisement Just published in the international science journal, Scientific Reports, the researchers use ancient DNA from archaeological guinea pig remains which reveals the transition from […]

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Unexpected uncertainty can breed paranoia

Silhouette of person, photo concept (stock image).Credit: © lassedesignen / stock.adobe.com In times of unexpected uncertainty, such as the sudden appearance of a global pandemic, people may be more prone to paranoia, Yale University researchers suggest in a new study published in the journal eLife.advertisement “When our world changes unexpectedly, we want to blame that volatility […]

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‘Fat burning’ molecule has implications for treatment of obesity

Mouse and cheese (stock image).Credit: © leli / stock.adobe.com Obesity affects more than 40 percent of adults in the United States and 13 percent of the global population. With obesity comes a variety of other interconnected diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and fatty liver disease, which makes the disease one of the most difficult — […]

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Spectacular bird’s-eye view? Hummingbirds see diverse colors humans can only imagine

Hummingbird feeding on flowers (stock image).Credit: © Martha Marks / stock.adobe.com To find food, dazzle mates, escape predators and navigate diverse terrain, birds rely on their excellent color vision.advertisement “Humans are color-blind compared to birds and many other animals,” said Mary Caswell Stoddard, an assistant professor in the Princeton University Department of Ecology and Evolutionary […]

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Insects: Largest study to date finds declines on land, but recoveries in freshwater

Butterfly against urban background (stock image).Credit: © Bianilys / stock.adobe.com A worldwide compilation of long-term insect abundance studies shows that the number of land-dwelling insects is in decline. On average, there is a global decrease of 0.92% per year, which translates to approximately 24% over 30 years. At the same time, the number of insects […]

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Synthetic red blood cells mimic natural ones, and have new abilities

Illustration of red blood cells (stock image).Credit: © phonlamaiphoto / stock.adobe.com Scientists have tried to develop synthetic red blood cells that mimic the favorable properties of natural ones, such as flexibility, oxygen transport and long circulation times. But so far, most artificial red blood cells have had one or a few, but not all, key […]

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