Like humans, some birds can spend years learning and exploring before developing more settled habits. A study of northern gannets has shown adults return to the same patch of sea over and over again to find food.
Malaria was already widespread on Sardinia by the Roman period, long before the Middle Ages, as indicated by research at the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine of the University of Zurich with the help of a Roman who died 2,000 years ago.
Swiss farmers practiced various different methods of animal farming as early as 5,400 years ago, as demonstrated by a study by researchers from the University of Basel, as well as research institutions from Germany and the UK. The study focused on the settlement Arbon Bleiche 3 on the south bank of Lake Constance. The academic journal PLOS ONE has published the results.
Relationships where two organisms depend on each other, known as symbiosis, evoke images of partnership and cooperation. But a new study in Nature Ecology and Evolution shows that, when it comes to certain microorganisms, symbiotic partners are actually being held 'hostag.'
In the most recent whole-genome study of ancient remains from the Near East, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists and their collaborators sequenced the entire genomes of 4,000-year-old Canaanite individuals who inhabited the region during the Bronze Age, and compared these to other ancient and present-day populations. The results, published today in the American Journal of Human Genetics suggest that present-day Lebanese are direct descendants of the ancient Canaanites.
A research group led by ASU's Raimund Fromme has gained important new insights by resolving with near-atomic clarity, the very first core membrane protein structure in the simplest known photosynthetic bacterium, called Heliobacterium modesticaldum (Helios was the Greek sun god). By solving the heart of photosynthesis in this sun-loving, soil-dwelling bacterium, Fromme's research team has gained a fundamental new understanding of the early evolution of photosynthesis, and how this vital process differs between plants systems.
New genome sequences shed light on both the origins of the tardigrades (also known as water bears or moss piglets), and the genes that underlie their extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.
Over the past 10,000 years human cultures have expanded from small groups of hunter-gatherers to colossal and complexly organized societies. The secrets to how and why this major cultural transition occurred have largely remained elusive. In an article published on July 24 by Russell Gray and Joseph Watts in PNAS they outline how advances in computational methods and large cross-cultural datasets are beginning to reveal the broad patterns and processes underlying our cultural histories.
The early human techno-tradition, known as Howiesons Poort, associated with Homo sapiens who lived in southern Africa about 66,000 to 59,000 years ago indicates that during this period of pronounced aridification they developed cultural innovations that allowed them to significantly enlarge the range of environments they occupied.
The food chains recovered more rapidly than previously assumed after Earth's most devastating mass extinction event about 252 million years ago as demonstrated by the fossilized skull of a large predatory fish called Birgeria americana discovered by paleontologists from the University of Zurich in the desert of Nevada.