Amy Middleton

Amy Middleton

Amy Middleton is a Melbourne-based journalist.

Amy Middleton is a Melbourne-based journalist and founding editor of Archer Magazine, the Australian journal of sexual diversity. Amy has written and edited for publications including Australian Geographic, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Junkie, Meanjin, The Lifted Brow, The Big Issue and The Bulletin. She has a radio show on 3CR in Melbourne, and she was named among Melbourne Writers Festival's 30 under 30 in 2015. In her spare time, she plays pub footy for The Old Bar Unicorns.

  • Australian volcanic rocks reveal secrets

    The key to understanding what lies 30 kilometres beneath us.

    The continental crust of a planet such as Earth serves as a geological timeline of its evolution.  While the Earth’s ...

    July 28, 2019
  • Finding the genes needed to save Australian mammals

    Amy Middleton reports on a genome mapping project designed to protect endangered species.

    When planning to protect threatened species, it’s helpful to consider how they’ve survived and adapted over the milli...

    July 21, 2019
  • Friday profile: The Molybdenum Man

    From a career in distilling to work in nuclear medicine.

    Not everyone can claim that their work saves lives. But Michael Druce, who last week received the gong for Sustained ...

    November 30, 2017
  • Friday profile: Stem cells by the numbers

    Award-winning scientist Jessica Mar prefers a computer lab to a wet lab.

    If stem cells were superheroes, their power would be indefinite self-replication – so says researcher Jessica Mar, ta...

    November 23, 2017
  • The mathematics of the big picture

    Rowena Ball is on the hunt for the origins of life itself.

    Explosion and combustion. The origins of life on Earth. Humanity’s role in our own evolution. These are the kind of i...

    November 16, 2017
  • Friday profile: Five schoolgirls, a Raspberry Pi, and the International Space Station

    For a group of Australian high school students, the sky’s the limit. Literally. Amy Middleton rep...

    If you think high school science subjects are still confined to the classroom, think again.A team of students at Avil...

    November 9, 2017
  • Friday profile: Learning light’s alphabet

    Quantum physicist Jacq Romero talks to Amy Middleton.

    When she finds time to chat to me, Dr Jacq Romero is at L’Oreal headquarters in Melbourne, celebrating her recent 201...

    November 2, 2017
  • Friday profile: Revenge of the nerd

    Tireless US scientist and broadcaster Cara Santa Maria.

    Cara Santa Maria thinks our society has come a long way on a crucial issue: the use of the term ‘nerd’ as a positive ...

    October 26, 2017
  • Friday profile: to name a species is to know a species

    Conservation geneticist has passion for description as a prescription.

    “Homogeneity is so boring!” Dr Rebecca Johnson says when asked to outline her passion for conservation. “Keep the div...

    October 19, 2017
  • Friday profile: The dolphin doctor

    Dr Kate Sprogis always wanted to spend her life studying whales and dolphins.

    We all know dolphins to be smart, sexual and charismatic creatures, but it turns out their interpersonal relationship...

    October 12, 2017
  • Friday profile: making tiny tech from sunlight

    Baohua Jia’s research is producing heavy results from light science. Amy Middleton reports.

    Microphotonics – a field of light science that deals with nano-fabrication and the manipulation of microscopic partic...

    October 5, 2017
  • Friday profile: Life, the universe, and everything

    Geophysicist Craig O’Neill studies the relationship between plate techtonics and meteorites, spur...

    When asked to reflect on geophysics, his much-loved field of study, Craig O’Neill, director of the Planetary Research...

    September 28, 2017
  • Moon’s surface may hide water-rich interior

    A new study suggests that compounds containing water may be common in the Moon’s mantle

    Parts of the Moon’s mantle – the layer between crust and outer core – could contain as much water as Earth’s interior...

    July 25, 2017
  • Outsourcing unpleasant tasks makes you happier

    Paying people to do unenjoyable jobs can make you more satisfied.

    Paying someone to help out with odd jobs is on the rise through apps like AirTasker, and new research suggests this b...

    July 25, 2017
  • Why aren’t the biggest animals the fastest?

    Being the fastest animal is a trade-off between strength, mass and acceleration.

    A new model relating an animal’s mass to its speed has helped shine a light on how the world’s fastest animals reach ...

    July 17, 2017
  • Breathable nanoscale tech worn like a second skin

    Thin, stretchable film is latest development in wearable electronics.

    Sci-fi and future-tech fans take note: the latest development in wearable electronics is a thin, stretchable electron...

    July 17, 2017
  • Indestructible tardigrades will outlive all

    Tardigrades may live another 5 billion years, even if other animals aren’t so lucky.

    Great news for everyone’s favourite vacuum bag-shaped microanimal – the near-imperishable tardigrade will outlive us ...

    July 14, 2017
  • Review: Weird Dinosaurs

    A new book brings to life the thrill of the hunt for fossils.

    NON-FICTION Weird Dinosaurs by John Pickrell NewSouth Publishing (2016) RRP $29.99 John Pickrell isn’t very happy w...

    June 14, 2017
  • White or wholemeal? It depends on your gut bacteria

    A new study shows that one-size-fits-all dietary advice is a bad idea.

    White or wholemeal? The science is in, and the answer is a resounding “It depends”. Credit: Paul Viant / Getty Is wh...

    June 8, 2017
  • How much charisma does a leader need?

    A new study suggests that too much charisma can be a bad thing for a business leader. Amy Middlet...

    Highly charismatic leaders tend to be strong on strategy and vision but weaker on operational details.Thomas Barwick ...

    May 30, 2017
  • Rice was domesticated in China

    Carbon dating of rice fossils shows domestication occurred.

    The earliest known domestic rice was cultivated in China as early as 9,400 years ago, at the beginning of the Holocen...

    May 30, 2017
  • Radio signals may have created a protective magnetic bubble around Earth

    Very low frequency radio communications with deep-sea submarines may keep out high energy electro...

    Very low frequency (VLF) radio communications – the kind we use to communicate with submarines, far below sea level –...

    May 29, 2017
  • Photonic nanostructure, heal thyself

    Structural colours have a brighter future, inspired by biological wound-repair observed in the an...

    A self-healing hydrogel with structural colours.Yuanjin ZhaoStructural colours – materials that employ photonic nanos...

    May 22, 2017
  • Miscarriages in women over 40 causes

    Lack of the protein securin plays a significant role.

    The majority of miscarriages occur due to the embryo having an unusual number of chromosomes, an event that is partic...

    May 21, 2017
  • A stretchable nanostructured surface produces shifting holograms

    Holographic communications are still a way off, but this may be a step in the right direction, wr...

    We haven’t caught up to Star Wars yet, but science is edging closer to holographic message communication. A concept d...

    May 11, 2017
  • Surprise ocean giants of global carbon capture

    Transferring carbon to the deep ocean with trails of mucus.

    Carbon is cycled from the atmosphere to the deep ocean at astonishing rates, and a new study has revealed one of its ...

    May 10, 2017
  • Tracking birds may stop them coming home

    Tracking songbirds impacts likelihood of returning home.

    A Cerulean Warbler with attached geolocation device. Credit: T. Boves Tracking devices provide enormous insight into...

    May 4, 2017
  • A giant wave in the Perseus galaxy cluster

    A gigantic X-ray tsunami is rolling through the Perseus Galaxy Cluster.

    A giant wave spanning 200,000 light years, dubbed an ‘X-ray tsunami’, is rolling through the Perseus Galaxy Cluster, ...

    May 4, 2017
  • Galactic friends

    A dazzling pair of neighbouring galaxies.

    The galaxies NGC 4302 (left) and NGC 4298 (right), in the Virgo cluster.NASA / ESA / M. MutchlerThese two galaxies ar...

    April 29, 2017
  • A satellite view of a desert oasis

    The beautiful, ephemeral scenery of Lake Mackay comes and goes with the rain.

    Lake Mackay, Australia.ESAEphemeral lakes – like Lake Mackay, on the border of Western Australia and the Northern Ter...

    April 28, 2017
  • How seabirds share and care

    A complex co-operative approach to parenting.

    Common murre in the Farne Islands, UK. Credit: Stephan Rech For a great example of complex co-parenting, perhaps we ...

    April 26, 2017
  • Are self-driving cars ready for the road?

    The public wants cars that drive themselves, but the technology and infrastructure are still some...

    Inside the RobotCar autonomous vehicle.John Cairns / Oxford University Images / Science Photo LibraryThe majority of ...

    April 12, 2017
  • Phytoplankton greens the Arctic oceans

    Climate change is boosting phytoplankton in coldest regions.

    Photosynthesising phytoplankton tinge Arctic waters green. Credit: Westend61/Getty Images Arctic sea-ice has thinned...

    March 29, 2017
  • Human activity prods major weather events

    Human culpability in floods and droughts appears more certain, according to new research. Amy Mid...

    Human activity has contributed to increasing severe weather events. Busa Photography/Getty Images Human-induced clim...

    March 29, 2017
  • Did Huns learn to farm from the Romans?

    Being a Hun didn’t just involve killing and looting, it seems.

    The demise of the Roman Empire wasn’t all war and violence, suggests a new paper. Fresh research indicates nomadic gr...

    March 22, 2017
  • Do you want tiny chips with that?

    New imaging techniques allow nanotech designs to be seen in 3D for the first time. Amy Middleton ...

    3-D rendering of the internal structure of an Intel processor. The material in yellow is copper — showing the process...

    March 15, 2017
  • Fossil hints at rapid mass extinction recovery

    Species bounced back from end-Permian faster than thought.

    The palaeontological orthodoxy that the world took millions of years to recover from the end-Permian mass extinction ...

    February 15, 2017
  • Fasting lowers risk of age-related disease

    A drastic diet for five days a month produces drastic results.

    Fasting just five days every month brings big health benefits. Credit: Michaela Begsteiger / Getty Images Fasting ca...

    February 15, 2017
  • Temperature drop boosts Kiwi glaciers

    But apparent signs of recovery in two of New Zealand’s ice floes isn’t the good news it seems. Am...

    The Franz Josef Glacier in Westland National Park on New Zealand's South Island advanced for 19 of the years between ...

    February 14, 2017
  • Thanks to El Niño, life is now less of a beach in California

    Last year’s weather patterns caused the biggest shoreline retreat on record – and it is set to co...

    Californian coasts are no stranger to being worn away by extreme El Niño events – these houses in Malibu started slid...

    February 14, 2017
  • Explosive beginnings of a supernova spotted for the first time

    Astronomers witnessed the infancy of one of the most spectacular sights in the universe. Amy Midd...

    iPTF13dqy (SN2013fs) exploded in a relatively nearby (~160 million light years) spiral galaxy on 6 October 2013 and w...

    February 14, 2017
  • Clay jars store clues to Earth’s magnetic field strength

    Ancient political ructions in the Middle East are helping scientists understand our planet’s magn...

    A stamped handle from Ramat Rahel. Such fragments are an archive of the strength of the Earth's magnetic field at the...

    February 13, 2017
  • Crustaceans in deep water, in deep trouble

    Deepest parts of the ocean have long been considered pristine wildernesses.

    The ultra-deepwater Hirondellea gigas from the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. T...

    February 13, 2017
  • Baleen whales had a deep voice first

    Ancient whale ear anatomy reveals striking resemblance.

    Baleen whales – such as blue and humpback whales – produce and hear the lowest frequency sounds of any animal. Now ne...

    February 8, 2017
  • Immigration raids linked to low birth weight

    Research suggests Latinas might have wider health ramifications.

    Following a raid, babies were 24% more likely born with low birth weight compared to those born a year earlier. Credi...

    February 2, 2017
  • Trouble sleeping? Camping may help

    Solving sleep problems as simple as a couple of nights in the bush.

    No TVs, no Wi-Fi, no screens ... just the moonlight. Credit: vernonwiley / Getty Images Waking up to a morning alarm...

    February 2, 2017
  • Bird beak evolution traced

    Clever use of crowdsourcing has resulted in greater insight.

    Few beaks are more distinctive as the toucan's (Ramphastos sulfuratus pictured here). Now the rapid evolution of bird...

    February 1, 2017
  • Brain-reading computer gives paralysed patients a voice

    With a bit of training, a brain-computer interface could decipher yes/no answers from ‘locked-in’...

    A brain-computer interface can decipher the thoughts of people otherwise unable to communicate. Here is the NIRS/EEG ...

    January 31, 2017
  • Pilgrims spread leprosy across medieval Europe

    Remains of leprosy sufferer was a well-to-do traveller.

    Leprosy may have hitched a ride across the medieval world via religious pilgrimages. Researchers in the UK used radi...

    January 30, 2017
  • Global warming boosts toxic mercury in lakes and oceans: study

    Increased runoff into fresh and coastal waters will spell bad news for phytoplankton – and whole ...

    Tiny organisms called phytoplankton will suffer from the extra runoff that's predicted with climate change. Roland Bi...

    January 30, 2017
  • Bland tomatoes don’t have tasty genes

    Store-bought tomatoes aren’t as tasty as they once were.

    It’s no secret that heirloom tomatoes taste superior to their supermarket equivalents. Now research shows certain gen...

    January 26, 2017
  • Erratic bacteria come together to swarm as one

    Cells organise themselves into a circular movement.

    It seems the more we learn about bacteria,the more impressively complex and relatable they become.  We know that bac...

    January 23, 2017
  • Microbial ‘bodyguard’ oozes antibiotics

    The bacterium helps keep nasties at bay – at least in the leafworm.

    A group of cotton leafworms, Spodoptera littoralis, chomping through a leafy meal. The older specimens have more of a...

    January 19, 2017
  • Geckoes inspire light-activated sticky pads

    Simply shining UV light on a new adhesive material turns its stickiness off, reports Amy Middleton.

    Microstickers on the new material that look like mushroom-shaped pillars. When exposed to UV light, they relinquish t...

    January 18, 2017
  • Heart-hugging robotic sleeve helps pump blood

    A new device could significantly cut the risk of infection and stroke for heart patients. Amy Mid...

    Sometimes a heart needs a hand.Wuka / Getty ImagesWe've heard about wearing your heart on your sleeve, but what about...

    January 18, 2017
  • Panda thumb and taste for bamboo evolved twice

    A nifty example of convergent evolution.

    Two-year-old giant pandas chow down on their favourite food, bamboo. Credit: James Balog / Getty Images Apart from t...

    January 16, 2017
  • Scientists turn on predatory kill instinct in mice

    Two sets of brain cells turn the little animals into hunting machines.

    Researchers claim to have found brain cells responsible for hunting behaviours in mice. Credit:Daniel Trim Photograph...

    January 12, 2017
  • Bacterial blobs broadcast electrical messages

    Deciphering interspecies signalling lead to new means of infection control.

    A false-colour scanning electron microscope image of plaque – a collection of microbes forming a biofilm – on a piece...

    January 12, 2017
  • Aches and pains? Don’t blame the weather

    No significant link between weather and the onset of pain.

    Changes in temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind and rain don't affect lower back pain or knee osteoarthritis aft...

    January 10, 2017
  • Veggie meal scraps found in ancient pottery

    Neolithic meal remnants as early as 10,200 years ago.

    Wild grains and leafy greens in a hand-thrown pottery bowl – no, it’s not the lunch special at the fancy café down th...

    December 22, 2016
  • Pregnancy remodels a mother’s brain

    Typically rewired for up to two years.

    Hormonal changes during pregnancy thin out the grey matter in a woman's brain. Credit: KidStock / Getty Images It’s ...

    December 21, 2016
  • Sticky glowworm traps are spiked with urine

    Crystals of urea found in the water-absorbent glue.

    Sticky beads secreted by glowworms in New Zealand on their curtain-like hunting nets may contain urine, a new study s...

    December 14, 2016
  • Wild bats instinctively catch fish

    Insectivorous long-fingered bats can become pescatarians.

    Some long-fingered bats eat fish alongside their usual insect diet. A new study shows the fishing behaviour can be le...

    December 14, 2016
  • Silly putty makes seriously state-of-the-art sensors

    Adding graphene to every child’s favourite gooey stuff could turn it into a life-saving medical d...

    Jonathan Coleman of Trinity College Dublin with a sample of 'G-putty' pictured with his son Oisín holding plain old s...

    December 8, 2016
  • Hitting the notes makes zebra finches feel good

    The little birds still have much to teach us.

    Two studies into zebra finches show they get a hit of dopamine when they hear a pitch-perfect song – and when learnin...

    December 8, 2016
  • Old clams give up ocean climate secrets

    Like rings in a tree trunk, layers in shells of quahog clams provide clues to the climate over th...

    Quahog clams can live up to 500 years – living archives of the climate of the period. Paul Poplis / Getty Images The...

    December 7, 2016
  • Solar panels have paid their energy debt (or are very close to it)

    Between now and 2018, the photovoltaic solar panel industry will have avoided more greenhouse gas...

    The world has embraced solar energy, and it's paying off. Sean Gallup / Getty Images Solar power has produced more e...

    December 6, 2016
  • Lucy’s bone scans point to life in the trees

    Skeleton suggests species swinging among the branches.

    Our hominin ancestor Australopithecus afarensis spent a significant amount of time living in the trees – not just on ...

    November 30, 2016
  • Never go to sleep thinking dark thoughts

    Traumatic memories solidify if you go to bed with them in mind.

    A US Marine snatches some sleep while waiting to be transferred out of Helmand province in Afghanistan. Understanding...

    November 29, 2016
  • Digital scans improve embryonic knowledge

    A tool set to revolutionise anatomy teaching.

    3-D reconstructions of human embryos at (from left to right) six, eight and 9.5 pregnancy weeks. Credit: Bernadette d...

    November 24, 2016
  • Coconut crab pinches with force of a tiger bite

    Strongest clamping force of all crustaceans.

    A new study confirms the coconut crab's pinch rivals the bite of land predators. Credit: Tobias Bernhard Raff / Getty...

    November 23, 2016
  • Once started, Antarctica’s fastest melting glacier’s retreat was unstoppable

    An unusually warm ocean in 1945 started the Pine Island Glacier melting. Even though temperatures...

    Crevasses on Pine Island Glacier, the fastest melting glacier in Antarctica. J Smith The fastest draining glacier in...

    November 23, 2016
  • Young blood helps heal muscles in old mice

    … but it’s not enough to reverse all effects of ageing.

    Mice were sewn together in previous blood transfer studies, meaning they shared other body systems and organs too. No...

    November 22, 2016
  • Icy messages from a dead spacecraft

    Now you see it, now you don’t: vanishing dry ice hints at extreme seasonal variations on Comet 67...

    Artist's impression of Rosetta and Philae at Comet 67P/Churyumov-GerasimenkoESA / ATG medialab; Comet image: ESA / Ro...

    November 17, 2016
  • Star-shaped capsule: long-term drug dose

    It could be used to fight malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.

    A dose, tucked away in a capsule (left) and expanded (right). Credit: Bellinger et al., Science Translational Medicin...

    November 16, 2016
  • Toothpaste-like gel stems excessive bleeding

    The biomaterial stopped bleeding in pigs unable to clot blood.

    Credit: Rahkendra Ice / Avery et al. / Science Translational Medicine (2016)] A new toothpaste-like hydrogel could o...

    November 16, 2016
  • Aged cheese compound extends lifespan of mice

    Spermidine – might have therapeutic benefits in people.

    Spermidine is found in legumes, grains – and yes, aged cheese – and seems to increase a rodent's lifespan, according ...

    November 14, 2016
  • How much Arctic sea ice have you melted today?

    For every metric tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, three square metres of sea ice is lost, climate...

    Arctic sea ice extent is shrinking – and it's linked to the carbon dioxide humans have been pumping into the atmosphe...

    November 3, 2016
  • Sophisticated Stone Age ancestors

    Ochre powder reveals surprising behaviour from early humans.

    Ancient Africans used ochre for a wide range of purposes, from decorative or symbolic to purely functional, a new stu...

    November 2, 2016
  • Chimpanzees stress less when a pal is around

    The ape’s stress hormones drop when loved ones are nearby, suggesting healthy emotional bonds als...

    Having a good buddy around decreases stress hormones in chimpanzees – even in potential life-or-death situations.Fuse...

    November 1, 2016
  • Why saving elephants makes economic sense

    Elephants rake in around 25 million tourist dollars each year.

    If elephants die out, Africa can wave goodbye to US$25 million from tourism each year, economic modelling published t...

    November 1, 2016
  • Chimpanzees and bonobos

    Genetic division between two of our closest relatives.

    It's true – they got it on in the past few hundred thousand years. But this muddying of the genetic waters affects ho...

    October 27, 2016
  • Did humans hunt cave lions to extinction?

    Paleolithic people slaughtered the creatures for rituals.

    Rituals conducted by Paleolithic humans might have contributed to the extinction of one of the largest ever species o...

    October 26, 2016
  • How prehistoric settlers reached Oceania islands

    Picture of human migration across the Pacific Ocean.

    Around 3,400 years ago, humans made the intrepid journey to one of the most remote places on Earth – the islands of O...

    October 25, 2016
  • El Niño boosts infectious disease risk in the US

    The western states will see more insect-borne diseases while the northeast will cop more gut upse...

    With more El Niño events will come more ticks – and the diseases they spread. M Phillips David / Getty Images After ...

    October 25, 2016
  • Japanese volcano interrupted an earthquake: study

    It looks like Mt Aso’s magma chamber stifled part of the magnitude-7.1 Kumamoto earthquake in Apr...

    The largest active volcano in Japan, Mount Aso, may have put stopped a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in its tracks.STR / A...

    October 20, 2016
  • How snakes lost their limbs

    The evolutionary path from leggy to legless wasn’t a simple one.

    Some snakes, such as pythons, have remnants of claws tucked away in muscle. Credit: Olivier Born / Getty Images The ...

    October 20, 2016
  • Echidna’s ‘digging walk’ cultivates Australian soil

    Aussie native can turn over 200 cubic metres of soil each year.

    Short-beaked echidnas going about their day can excavate huge quantities of dirt. Credit: Jurgen & Christine Sohns / ...

    October 19, 2016
  • Cave art reveals modern-day bison is a hybrid

    Art and science outlines the big bovines’ genetic history.

    Modern European bison (Bison bonasus) in the Białowieża Forest in Poland. Credit: Rafał Kowalczyk One of the world’s...

    October 18, 2016
  • Signs of comet collision found in 55-million-year-old rocks

    Back then, Earth was warmer than it is today – perhaps triggered by a heavenly body crashing into...

    Glass blobs in rocks found along the US east coast point to a comet collision a few million years ago.Marc Ward / Sto...

    October 13, 2016
  • Gene editing fixes mutation

    Blood stem cells altered using CRISPR-Cas9 technique.

    Sickle cell disease is marked by malformed red blood cells, severely shortening the life of patients. Omikrom / Getty...

    October 12, 2016
  • Black widow spider genes found in virus

    Animal-like DNA in a virus that doesn’t infect animals.

    A black widow spider spinning a web. These creatures can be infected by bacteria which, in turn, are infected by viru...

    October 11, 2016
  • Why naked mole rats feel no pain

    These little rodents have superpowers.

    The naked mole rat doesn't feel pain from hot chilli peppers – or other stimuli that would hurt most other animals. C...

    October 11, 2016
  • Gastro bugs boost growth of Crohn’s

    Bug encourages growth of Crohn’s bacteria in mice

    The effects of food poisoning, thanks to bacteria such as salmonella, can last long after the infection has been reme...

    October 6, 2016
  • Oldest humans have already hit the limit

    The record of the oldest person is unlikely to be broken soon.

    How many candles can you fit on a birthday cake? Credit: WIN-Initiative / Getty Images Humans may have already hit t...

    October 5, 2016
  • Love fatty food? Desire may be hard-wired

    A genetic mutation that affects brain cells is to blame.

    Credit: Tara Moore / Getty Images What's your poison – fatty foods or sweet? Your answer may be swayed by your genes...

    October 4, 2016
  • Mars’ crust ferries molecules to atmosphere above

    Cosmic rays striking the red planet may explain its unexpected xenon and krypton isotope ratios. ...

    A Curiosity selfie.NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS Cosmic rays knocking into molecules beneath Mars’ surface create gases t...

    October 3, 2016
  • Bees getting a buzz have better outlook on life

    A sugar hit bestows on them a more positive attitude.

    Crab spiders often lay in wait for bees to come along – then strike. New research shows a bee that's fed sugar before...

    September 29, 2016
  • Dogs reach out to humans

    Pooch pals may be good models for disorders that affect humans.

    A beagle study found two gene regions were linked to human interaction. Credit: Remco Douma / Getty Images Dogs real...

    September 29, 2016
  • Prehistoric ancestors as violent as humans today

    We’ve always been aggressive towards each other.

    The propensity for humans to kill one another may be hot-wired into our DNA but culture also has the power to change ...

    September 28, 2016
  • Why giant dinosaurs evolved fancy headwear

    Bony skull ornaments appeared in most rapidly growing species.

    The biggest dinosaurs, including famous Tyrannosaurus rex, often sported crests and horns on their heads – and a new ...

    September 27, 2016
  • Extinct Triassic reptile had dino-like head

    The bizarre creature was 100 million years ahead of its time.

    A long-lost reptile hailing from the Triassic period has been found to closely resemble dinosaurs that lived around 1...

    September 22, 2016
  • Tracking bats through poo ‘barcodes’

    A new DNA tool can identify multiple species in glob of guano.

    Credit: Bunty Khatija / EyeEm / Getty Images There are an astounding 1,300 species of bats known to science, but aro...

    September 21, 2016
  • Tardigrade protein fortifies human cells

    Researchers uncover the robust little creature’s genetic secrets.

    Tardigrades are found throughout the world and can survive extreme heat, pressure and radiation as well as the vacuum...

    September 20, 2016
  • Hawaiian crows wield tools

    Dexterity of ‘Alalā may cause a rethink in tool-use development.

    A captive Hawaiian crow (‘Alalā) using a stick tool to extract food from a wooden log. ‘Alalā have relatively straigh...

    September 14, 2016
  • Cave formations tell tales of ancient earthquakes

    Geologists read archives of seismic shifts in layers of stalagmites poking up from cave floors. A...

    Clues to ancient seismic activity can be found in rock formations in caves such as Donnehue's Cave in southern Indian...

    September 14, 2016
  • Newborn’s gut microbes affect allergies later

    Bugs may lead to a higher risk of allergies and asthma.

    A baby's gut microbes in its first month of life can affect its chances of developing allergies and asthma later in l...

    September 12, 2016
  • Head waggles and ear wiggles help bats hunt

    A new study unveils another trick up the animal’s sleeve.

    Bats coordinate their chirps and ear and head movements to deduce what's around them – and chase down prey. Credit: M...

    September 11, 2016
  • Giraffes come in four species – not one

    First detailed genetic study of the iconic African animal.

    Giraffes are divided into four distinct species, not one species with many offshoots, according to a detailed genetic...

    September 9, 2016
  • To stop nosebleeds, use salty water

    For patients suffering chronic nosebleeds, saline does the trick.

    Chronic nosebleed sufferers did benefit from commercial nasal sprays, but simple saline works as well. Credit: Image ...

    September 6, 2016
  • For lizards roaming a warming world, shade is vital

    Almost 40% of the world’s lizards are expected to become extinct by 2080 thanks to climate change...

    Mountain spiny lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi) were tracked virtually and in real life to see how sun and shade affected...

    September 5, 2016
  • How marmosets scurry through treetops

    The little monkeys shift their weight and gait.

    Credit: Ben Cranke / Getty Images Ever wondered how tree-dwellers so deftly navigate the flimsy branches and untrust...

    August 31, 2016
  • Tasmanian devils evolve defence against cancer

    Evolved genetic fortification against the disease.

    Credit: Menna Jones Tasmanian devils may be adapting to fight back against the deadly contagious cancer that wiped o...

    August 30, 2016
  • Societal collapse can be foretold

    Thriving ancient societies often collapsed after period of change.

    Major societal collapse can be predicted by early statistical warning signs, according to new research. The framewor...

    August 29, 2016
  • The genes that shape your face

    Facial width, and more, linked to certain regions of the genome.

    Credit: Yuli Seperi / Getty Images The shapes and traits that make each human face unique – such as the distance bet...

    August 26, 2016
  • The stories a rat’s whiskers can tell

    Add airflow to the information about location and surroundings.

    Credit: Stephen Dalton/Getty Images Rats use their whiskers to help them detect movements in the air, says a new stu...

    August 25, 2016
  • Why you’re jittery after a bad night’s sleep

    Gaps between brain cells suffer without sleep.

    Ever wondered why you’re particularly twitchy after a bad night’s sleep, even though your brain feels like cotton woo...

    August 24, 2016
  • In the ocean, invisibility trumps ultra-vision

    Mirror-like scales on fish provide a built-in invisibility cloak.

    Silvery fish, such as these bigeye jacks, melt into the background from a distance. But could their shimmery invisibi...

    August 23, 2016
  • Zika virus harms adult brain cells in mice

    Risk may not be limited to foetuses.

    The Zika virus has spread through Central and South America, and is becoming more prevalent across the globe – largel...

    August 19, 2016
  • Wild bird species enter club of smart animals

    The ability to pass a tricky test was all it took.

    The Carib grackle (pictured) and bullfinch, both found in Barbados, have been inducted into a select group of animals...

    August 18, 2016
  • Flu and superbug combo causes fatal lung damage

    The virus causes white blood cells to attack lungs.

    As if having the flu wasn't bad enough – the virus increases susceptibility to secondary bacterial infections by turn...

    August 16, 2016
  • The moon is shrouded in a dynamic dust cloud

    Meteorites kicked up minuscule particles, forming a moving layer on our biggest natural satellite...

    Despite crashing – on purpose – nearly two years ago, data from the LADEE craft continues to shed light on the moon.N...

    August 15, 2016
  • How body clocks manipulate your mind

    Different brain regions tick along in different ways.

    Sleepless night? You might find yourself better able to work in the evening. Credit: David Zach / Getty Images After...

    August 12, 2016
  • Do dogs have our best interests at heart – really?

    When man’s best friend knows something his owner doesn’t, he’s as likely to play with a toy than ...

    Evan Kafka / Getty ImagesIt’s a time-honoured tale: the dog – think Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Inspector Rex – alerts human...

    August 11, 2016
  • New ‘barreleye’ fish pulled from the depths

    The family of these deep-sea dwellers just got bigger.

    Barreleye fish, such as this specimen shot from above, have eyes that look directly upwards to scan for their prey's ...

    August 11, 2016
  • Parts of your brain are wired to ‘get’ physics

    How the human brain intuitively runs physics calculations.

    The coloured patches show where the brain's 'physics engine' resides. It revs up when presented with a physics proble...

    August 8, 2016
  • Ancient whales had ultrasonic hearing

    Fossilised inner ear shows more rapid and earlier evolution.

    Whales have enjoyed the benefits of ultrasonic hearing for more than 24 million years, according to new analysis of a...

    August 5, 2016
  • Giant honeybees shimmy in time to cool the hive

    Researchers saw certain bees act as ‘fanners’.

    The giant honeybee (Apis dorsata) is the largest honeybee species in the world. A new study suggests they work togeth...

    August 3, 2016
  • Rare duck-billed dinosaur with arthritis

    Evidence of ancient disease in a deformed dinosaur bone.

    It seems arthritis has plagued joints since the prehistoric era, according to analysis of a deformed dinosaur bone, w...

    August 3, 2016
  • Water shortage killed off island mammoths

    US study shows how current island-dwelling animal populations may also suffer the effects of risi...

    Jonathan Blair / Getty Images Some of the last woolly mammoths, surviving on an Alaskan island thousands of years af...

    August 2, 2016
  • English bulldogs’ shallow gene pool problems

    Distinctive physical features are accompanied by health problems.

    English bulldogs are among the world’s favourite dogs, but centuries of inbreeding has cursed the pooches with poor h...

    July 29, 2016
  • Antibiotic kills superbug

    Antibiotic seems to keep the nasty aureus at bay.

    What else is up there? Credit: WIN-Initiative / Getty Images Researchers followed their noses to discover a new bact...

    July 28, 2016
  • Himalayan temples tell tales of tremors and quakes

    Tilted pillars, cracked steps and sliding stone canopies in Indian temples are being used to reco...

    This pillar at Lakshi Narayan temple in Chamba, India was likely damaged during the 1555 Kashmir earthquake, new rese...

    July 27, 2016
  • How did the koala cross the road?

    Australia’s iconic marsupials are smarter than thought.

    Koalas are smarter than we thought, but they still can't read road signs. Credit: John White Photos/Getty Images It ...

    July 26, 2016
  • ‘Giant thief’ among dinosaurs

    Species refuses to fit neatly in the dinosaur family tree.

    A new species of dinosaur – Murusraptor barrosaensis – was named this week in the journal PLOS One, thanks to the dis...

    July 21, 2016
  • Ancient brain of our closest fish cousins

    Among fish species, is the closest living relative to humans.

    An ancient, big-brained Australian fish is the subject of new research that effectively drags its brain millions of y...

    July 20, 2016
  • New dinosaur species had tiny arms like T. rex

    Dino with similar forelimbs to the King of the Tyrant Lizards.

    The characteristically diminutive arms of Tyrannosaurus rex that have long been the subject of jokes and internet mem...

    July 19, 2016
  • Swordfish hit high speeds thanks to oil

    Oil-oozing gland that helps swordfish cut through water.

    A swordfish (Xiphias gladius) leisurely swimming in waters near Spain. To reach its top speeds of around 100 kilometr...

    July 6, 2016
  • Secret to a flea beetle’s powerful jumping skills

    Stored energy in rear legs catapult are the key.

    Pesky flea beetles have catapult-loaded back legs, a new study has found. Credit: JERZY GUBERNATOR / Getty Images Th...

    July 6, 2016
  • Singing cicada advertises a singles bar for flies

    Don’t sniff out hosts and mates – they listen for chirps.

    A mating pair of Emblemasoma erro. Males and females are attracted to the sounds of a cicada known as Neotibicen dors...

    July 6, 2016
  • How frigate birds stay aloft for months

    Seabirds can cover amazing distances across oceans.

    A male and female frigate bird soar over the Galapagos islands. Credit: Niels van Gijn When some of the longest-dist...

    July 1, 2016
  • Sizing up the Milky Way’s first monster stars

    Elements forged during a star’s spectacular death are retained in the next generation – and tell ...

    Supernova remnant G266.2-1.2, as seen in X-ray and optical wavelengths. Supernova remnants are made of dust that incl...

    June 29, 2016
  • An ‘arms race’ raging beneath our plants

    A crop manages to hold on to only a quarter of its bacteria.

    Bacteria (blue) ensnared in a DNA-based trap (yellow). So why does the trap only manage to hold on to a quarter of pr...

    June 23, 2016
  • Birds learn artificial grammar

    Can detect the underlying structure of a ‘sentence’.

    The humble budgie can learn sentence structure rules, a new study shows. Credit: Siede Preis / Getty ImageS Does gra...

    June 21, 2016
  • Cats use basic physics to home in on hiding prey

    They know when something’s wrong with the laws of physics.

    Credit: Lisa Stirling / Getty Images Cats have a basic grasp of physics and "cause and effect", with a Japanese stud...

    June 20, 2016
  • Bright bird brains are packed full of neurons

    Remarkably good at making the most of their skull space.

    Hardly a bird brain – he might be packing more neurons than a monkey. Credit: Life On White / Getty Images How do bi...

    June 16, 2016
  • Why pythons and boas look alike

    Two different families of snake evolved in similar way.

    An Emerald tree boa native to the Amazon Basin. Credit: Joe McDonald The evolution of two of the largest snake famil...

    June 14, 2016
  • Fish can recognise human faces

    Animals with a simple brain can pick out a person’s face.

    The archerfish – famous for its water-spitting prowess – has a brain capable of recognition. Credit: ullstein bild / ...

    June 14, 2016
  • Parasitic bees reproduce without males

    Genetic traits may give the cape honeybee a reproductive leg-up.

    An isolated population of honeybees, the cape bees, can reproduce without males. Credit: DR NEIL OVERY / SCIENCE PHOT...

    June 9, 2016
  • Herpes virus kills colonic nerves

    Why herpes infection and constipation go hand-in-hand.

    Feeling a bit backed up but don't know why? Don't rule out a viral infection. New research has found a surprising lin...

    June 8, 2016
  • Sex-shifting dragons hatch a ‘third sex’

    Male lizards can morph into females with side effects.

    Male or female .... or both? Sex isn't straightforward for central bearded dragons (Pagona vitticeps). Credit: Don Fa...

    June 8, 2016
  • Scales let sea snakes feel movement in water

    Structures embedded in scales bestow a hydrodynamic sense.

    Sea snakes, such as this inquisitive olive sea snake (Aipysurus laevis), have specialised sensing structures to pick ...

    June 8, 2016
  • Bionic leaf turns sunlight into fuel

    An ‘artificial leaf’ photosynthesises 10 times faster than plants. Amy Middleton reports.

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    June 6, 2016
  • Did humans domesticate dogs twice?

    Scientists have long argued over where dogs first emerged.

    It’s a bizarre concept, if you think about it – for thousands of years, we humans have befriended furry, four-legged ...

    June 3, 2016
  • Why mice freeze or flee in the face of fear

    Research could have implications for human anxiety disorders.

    Mice will often freeze when they're scared – now neuroscientists have traced the brain circuitry responsible. Credit:...

    June 2, 2016
  • Vibrating hairs help bees ‘see’ electric fields

    A bumblebee’s special sense is delivered via its fuzzy hairs.

    A bumblebee showing the array of hairs on its body. Credit: GREGORY SUTTON, DOM CLARKE, ERICA MORLEY AND DANIEL ROBER...

    May 31, 2016
  • New silver snake species a ‘rare, exciting’ find

    Biologists looked for lizards but snared a snake species.

    The silver boa, a new species of snake. It lives in the Bahamas. Credit: R. GRAHAM REYNOLDS A silvery new species of...

    May 30, 2016
  • Harbour porpoise catches 90% of prey

    Their strike rate surprised even those studying them.

    Staggering results from a study into harbour porpoises reveal that the species hunts with a 90% strike rate – one of ...

    May 27, 2016
  • Painful pooping may stop panda sex

    A tummy ache can throw cold water on pandas’ love life.

    Captive pandas suffer gastrointestinal disorders. Now new research suggests they may put a freeze on baby-making time...

    May 23, 2016
  • Big spider eyes put more insects on the menu

    Study to see how they hunted without good eyesight.

    The net-casting spider's secondary eyes – the largest of any arachnid – likely evolved in part to help it capture wal...

    May 23, 2016
  • It’s best to see red if you’re a bird

    The gene that allows birds to turn yellow feathers red.

    Birds such as this male Northern Cardinal can produce red colouration from yellow pigments in their food. Credit: LAR...

    May 20, 2016
  • First long-horned beetle found bearing live young

    Four species are added to the long-horned beetle family.

    Borneostyrax cristatus, a new species of long-horned beetle. Credit: RADIM GABRIŠ / ZOOKEYS Four new species of long-...

    May 20, 2016
  • Identical twins live longer

    Their strong bond can lead to healthier lives.

    Identical twin men are more likely to survive external or environmental factors until 70 years of age, according to n...

    May 19, 2016
  • New spiky-necked dinosaur discovered

    Second dino species lived 77 million years ago.

    Parts of the brain case and skull of Machairoceratops cronusi. Credit: Lund et al A new dinosaur species with unique ...

    May 19, 2016
  • How the giraffe got its long neck

    Genetic adaptations that make it a unique species.

    Credit: Sébastien Rezzonico / EyeEm / Getty Images They're tall, leggy and can run as fast as a car. Now giraffes' ge...

    May 18, 2016
  • New synthetic skin could make you look younger

    But the spread-on polymer film has a variety of uses beyond the cosmetic, its developers say. Amy...

    A polymer that smooths wrinkles from skin may be used to deliver drugs to help treat skin conditions such as eczema. ...

    May 10, 2016
  • First herbivorous marine reptile

    Prehistoric hammerhead wasn’t a ferocious predator.

    A crocodile-sized, prehistoric, hammerhead reptile doesn’t sound like something you’d want to meet in the sea, but a ...

    May 9, 2016
  • Satellites can judge forest health

    New way to study how forests respond to climate change.

    Our forests' health can now be gauged from space, thanks to colour changes caused by underground fungi. The symbiotic...

    May 6, 2016
  • Newborns don’t imitate adults: study

    Babies are interested in the faces around them but are not born with the ability to copy them. Am...

    Newborn babies are capable of wrangling their little faces into a whole gamut of expressions. But they don't copy the...

    May 6, 2016
  • Crocodile eyes are ideal for ambush attacks

    Aspects of its vision that make it an ambush expert.

    The incredible predatory attacks that have seen crocodiles thrive through millions of years is thanks, in part, to cl...

    May 5, 2016
  • Sweet nightshade ‘blood’ lures ant bodyguards

    Unique plant defence system to recruit allies to its cause.

    A species of nightshade defends itself against assailants with the help of an army of ants, lured by secretions from ...

    April 29, 2016
  • Insight on how we process language

    Brain map tells us our processing method of language.

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    April 29, 2016
  • Bed bugs prefer red and black home interiors

    Don’t go throwing out your sheet sets just yet.

    Much like us, bed bugs have favourite colour schemes when it comes to their homes, research shows. Biologists from t...

    April 29, 2016
  • Fossil teeth from America’s first monkey

    Evidence of earliest movement of mammals.

    Fossilised monkey teeth belonged to a 21-million-year-old species which may have been the first to grace North Americ...

    April 22, 2016
  • Why you feel groggy sleeping in a new place

    Half your brain ‘keeps watch’ for the first night.

    Your first night sleeping in a new place – in a hotel room, for example – will often end up a bad night's sleep. Acco...

    April 22, 2016
  • These ancient giant bears evolved separately

    Short-faced bears roamed North and South America.

    Two giant species of bear – once thought to be close relatives – actually evolved independently on separate continent...

    April 20, 2016
  • How your sex affects your body clock

    Women more prone to injuries during extended shift-work.

    Women may not bounce back from shift work as easily as men, a new study has found. Researchers studied the impact of...

    April 19, 2016
  • Swarms of tiny robots clean polluted water

    Water contaminated with heavy metals such as lead poses huge risks to public health and ecosystem...

    An artist's diagram of a lead-scrubbing bot. Lead clings to the graphene oxide layer, which has a hexagonal structure...

    April 18, 2016
  • Warming wears down coral’s defence system

    A vital safeguard against bleaching will be lost if waters continue to heat up, a new study shows...

    Bleached coral could become even more widespread if its natural defences are lost. – SCUBAZOO/Getty Images A safegua...

    April 15, 2016
  • Brain chip lets quadriplegic man move hand again

    After a diving accident left him paralysed from the neck down, 24-year-old Ian Burkhart can now m...

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    April 14, 2016
  • Dolphin super hearing at least 26 million years old

    Pre-historic whales inner ear similar to modern descendants.

    The earliest toothed whales, which lived 26 million years ago, had super hearing like their modern descendants, a new...

    April 13, 2016
  • First scans of brains tripping on acid

    Research into the psychedelic drug LSD ceased until now.

    The first modern imaging study into the effects of the hallucinogenic drug acid on the brain could lead to its use tr...

    April 12, 2016
  • Bright, young Jupiter-like ‘orphan’ found floating nearby

    A cross between a planet and a brown dwarf has been spotted sailing through space – and it's ...

    This artist's conception illustrates a Jupiter-like planet alone in the dark of space, floating freely without a pare...

    April 11, 2016
  • Split by ‘unzipping’ supercontinent

    Some of the biggest animals ever to roam the planet.

    Titanosaurs, some of history’s largest creatures, may have split off into subspecies when their supercontinent broke ...

    April 11, 2016
  • Neanderthal fertility problems

    Y chromosome of Neanderthals linked to fertility problems.

    While our genome harbours a smattering of Neanderthal DNA, the Y chromosome – a human sex-determining chromosome – do...

    April 8, 2016
  • Ritual killings helped form complex societies

    Human sacrifice and the development of social structures.

    Human sacrifice, or the ritual killing of people for religious or spiritual reasons, was widespread across early huma...

    April 5, 2016
  • Martian moats and mounds carved by extreme wind

    A miniature model shows how wind erosion shaped the surface of the Red Planet. Amy Middleton repo...

    The mysterious mounds of rock that reside in craters on the surface of Mars may be the result of extreme winds, durin...

    April 4, 2016
  • The hobbit’s life story, rewritten

    Excavations place the “hobbit” much earlier in hominin history.

    The tiny human ancestor Homo floresiensis – better known as the "hobbit" – may have disappeared much earlier than fir...

    March 31, 2016
  • Saturn’s famous rings younger than the dinosaurs

    Computer simulations peg the birth of the gas giant's rings and moons to the Cretaceous perio...

    A false colour, simulated image of Saturn's rings. – NASA / JPL Saturn's iconic rings, along with some...

    March 30, 2016
  • Cyborg beetle takes its first (remote-controlled) steps

    The future is here – at least, the version of the future that contains robotic insects. Amy Middl...

    All wired up: beetles fitted with electrodes on parts of their legs can have their gait and speed altered. – Sato et ...

    March 30, 2016
  • Gut microbes affect brain damage after stroke

    Gut microbes have profound effects on brain inflammation.

    The right concoction of gut microbes may reduce brain damage after stroke, according to a new study. The communities...

    March 28, 2016
  • Minimalist cell whittled down to 473 genes

    Bacteria with nearly 1,000 genes can live and replicate.

    The simplest replicating cell, stripped back to include only the genes absolutely necessary to live, has been created...

    March 27, 2016
  • Thank hybrid yeast for your chocolate feast

    Study found local yeast is behind the diversity of flavours.

    When you’re devouring the first of your chocolate eggs this weekend, consider how their beans' country of origin may ...

    March 24, 2016
  • Plants will adapt to global warming, pump out less carbon

    A bit of good news in the face of climate change: two studies show the botanic sphere should accl...

    Daisy Gilardini / Getty Images While we sweat it out, plants will cope better with climate change than first thought...

    March 23, 2016
  • Victorious ant colonies admit turncoat losers

    With jaws powerful enough to annoy elephants, the African acacia ant is an aggressive little inse...

    When ant colonies fight each other, the victorious recruit turncoats from their opponents, a new study has revealed.I...

    March 22, 2016
  • Brain zaps help stroke recovery

    Electrical stimulation appears to help stroke patients.

    Electrical currents to the brain can help patients recover motor skills following a stroke, new research has revealed...

    March 21, 2016
  • Hot or not?

    Attractiveness is boosted after a hunky photo.

    These days, it’s common for dating websites and match-making apps to offer a simple yes or no choice – users can choo...

    March 18, 2016
  • Global warming levels masked by aerosols: study

    There was a silver lining to the sulfur pollution in our atmosphere late last century – it offset...

    High levels of aerosols, spewed from coal- and gas-powered power plants, cooled our atmosphere, masking up to a third...

    March 15, 2016
  • Bonobos focus on images of grooming, sex

    Bonobos attend to those with positive connotations.

    Female-led bonobos focus mostly on positive, bond-building emotions, unlike male-dominated primates such as humans an...

    March 15, 2016
  • Phantom life in space – how to figure out if we’re being tricked

    Oxygen is a sign of life on Earth, but that may not be the case on other planets. Amy Middleton r...

    New research will help astronomers better identify and rule out 'false positives' in the ongoing search for life on e...

    March 10, 2016
  • How tools overcame the chore of chewing

    Ancient eating practice that gave the body optimal energy.

    As early humans became bigger and brainier they required a lot more energy – and therefore food – to live. So why did...

    March 10, 2016
  • Turtles born out of mass croc extinction

    As their predators died off, marine turtles came to the fore.

    Marine turtles, as we know them today, got an evolutionary leg-up (or flipper-up) when a huge number of ancient croco...

    March 9, 2016
  • Always getting sick? Blame your big brain

    Having a large brain comes with a catch.

    The bigger an animal's brain, the less equipped it is to battle illness, a new study suggests. An evolutionary trade...

    March 9, 2016
  • What shipwrecks tell us about hurricanes

    The golden age of piracy coincided with fewer storms.

    amoklv/Getty Images The heyday of piracy in the Caribbean in the 17th century coincided with a time of fewer hurrica...

    March 8, 2016
  • Dragonfly: world’s top long-distance flyer

    This insect beats record for endurance migration.

    A small species of dragonfly has been crowned as the most prolific traveller of the insect world. Pantala flavescens,...

    March 6, 2016
  • World’s first robot-run farm to open in Japan

    Every job except initial planting will be automated, slashing labour costs in two. Amy Middleton ...

    The use of robotics will more than double lettuce production. – Spread The shiny future promised by The Jet...

    February 25, 2016
  • Designer seeds reduce pesticides on crops

    Hope to boost yield and make pesticides obsolete.

    A US startup has developed designer seeds which could see fewer pesticides used on mass crops, including wheat, barle...

    February 24, 2016
  • What wild apes and children have in common

    Young humans use tools instinctively and don't, as we previously thought, need to be taught h...

    A young chimpanzee uses a stick as a tool to feed on termites. – Martin Harvey/Getty Images Every parent at...

    February 24, 2016
  • Migraine and irritable bowel syndrome linked

    Discovering shared genes may lead to future treatment.

    As if suffering from migraines were not bad enough, if you do, you are also more likely to experience irritable bowel...

    February 23, 2016
  • Rewilding: death sentence to animals

    Unpredictable consequences can outweigh any good.

    “Rewilding”, the practice of re-introducing species to places they haven’t lived for thousands of years, may be well-...

    February 14, 2016
  • Shape-shifting cockroach robots to help find disaster survivors

    Earlier this week we had a story about a robot inspired by a salamander. Now, designers have come...

    The CRAM robot next to its cockroach counterpart. – Tom Libby/Kaushik Jayaram/Pauline Jennings/PolyPEDAL Lab UC Berk...

    February 9, 2016
  • Flashing lights the new weapon against jetlag

    Light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against jetlag.

    Jetlag, that feeling of disorientation and fatigue that occurs when person’s sleep patterns are interrupted, either b...

    February 9, 2016
  • How to take racism out of biology

    New paper argues it is time to find a better way.

    A powerful paper published this month in the journal Science condemns the use of race as a classification in the gene...

    February 4, 2016
  • Brain-boosting drug stems cognitive ageing

    Ampakines have turned back the clock in middle-aged rat brains.

    A drug has successfully reversed the physical effects of ageing on brain cells in middle-aged rats, bringing scientis...

    February 2, 2016
  • Bed bug genome includes bacterial DNA

    Mapping the bed bug genome is the first step.

    If you’ve ever stayed in a string of backpackers’ hostels, you’ll know bed bugs are alive and plentiful in many count...

    February 2, 2016
  • Ancient Babylonians used geometry to track planets

    Tablets show sophisticated mathematical techniques previously thought to have been pioneered in E...

    Ancient Babylonian astronomers were the first to use geometry to calculate the movement of planets through space, a n...

    January 28, 2016
  • Book: The Amazons

    Science has proven that the ancient warrior women existed.

    If there’s one fascinating constant throughout history, it’s the interplay between gender roles in society. The debat...

    May 18, 2015

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