Our faces can reveal a lot about us, and now scientists are revealing a lot about faces. PLOS Genetics announces a special collection of papers to highlight recent advances in our understanding of how faces form, curated by Seth Weinberg of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues. The collection, entitled "Craniofacial genetics: where have we been and where are we going," publishes June 22 and features research on the development of the face and skull, facial birth defects and normal facial variation.
A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University has brought science one step closer to a molecular-level understanding of how patterns form in living tissue. The researchers engineered bacteria that, when incubated and grown, exhibited stochastic Turing patterns: a 'lawn' of synthesized bacteria in a petri dish fluoresced an irregular pattern of red polka dots on a field of green.
A new genus and species of gibbon has been identified in the most unexpected of places -- interred in the tomb of an ancient Chinese noble-woman.
A zebrafish view of the world has been forensically analysed by researchers at the University of Sussex to reveal that how they see their surroundings changes hugely depending on what direction they are looking.
Certain types of tapeworm make sticklebacks behave carelessly and thus become easier prey for birds. A team of biologists have now demonstrated for the first time that the tapeworm not only influences the behavior of the infected fish -- indirectly, it can also induce risky behaviour in other fish in the group.
Researchers at the University of Montana recently discovered that hybridization played an important role in snowshoe hares' ability to match their environment.
African weakly electric fish, commonly called baby whales, use incredibly brief electrical pulses to sense the world around them and communicate with other members of their species. Part of that electrical mechanism exists in humans -- and by studying these fish, scientists may unlock clues about conditions like epilepsy.
A remarkably high diversity of goblin spiders is reported from the Sri Lankan forests by two researchers from the National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Nine new species are described in a recent paper in the open-access journal Evolutionary Systematics, where six are named after goblins and brownies from Enid Blyton's children's books. There are now 45 goblin spider species belonging to 13 genera known to inhabit the island country.
Humans and other primates are outliers among mammals for having nails instead of claws. But how, when and why we transitioned from claws to nails has been an evolutionary head-scratcher.
Dinosaurs are often depicted as fierce creatures, baring their teeth, with tongues wildly stretching from their mouths like giant, deranged lizards. But new research reveals a major problem with this classic image: Dinosaurs couldn't stick out their tongues like lizards. Instead, their tongues were probably rooted to the bottoms of their mouths in a manner akin to alligators.