You would be forgiven for underestimating the intelligence of sheep, considering that their daily activities revolve around grazing. But research reported in the current issue of Nature indicates that, in fact, sheep possess more smarts than previously thought.
Keith Kendrick and colleagues at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, England, investigated the sheep’s ability to distinguish and remember faces of both other sheep and humans. Presenting 20 sheep with pictures of 25 pairs of sheep
Scientists are finally beginning to understand how common genetic differences among individuals underlie differences in the structures that make up their brains. In the first attempt to actually map these variations, neurologist Paul Thompson and colleagues at the University of California at Los Angeles have discovered that brain structures related to cognitive ability and language seem to be under tight genetic control. The groups findings, which could help explain how diseases like schizophre
Air lets water droplets skim across the kitchen sink.
Scientists have found the answer to a question pondered over many a kitchen sink: why do little droplets skim across the surface of washing-up water rather than mix with it?
Yacine Amarouchene and colleagues at the University of Bordeaux in Talence, France have discovered that the height from which the drops fall has no effect on their lifespan 1 .
Soap, detergent – and indeed food grease – are ’
Examine any depiction of Ice Age life and you’re likely to find at least one—a woolly mammoth, that is. But popular appeal notwithstanding, the evolutionary history of this prehistoric beast has proved somewhat difficult to pin down. To that end, findings published today in the journal Science provide some much needed insight.
Working from an extensive Eurasian fossil record going back some 2.6 million years, Adrian Lister of University College London and Andrei V. Sher of the Russian Acad
Humans learn water-gathering trick from bumpy beetle.
A desert beetle turns fog into drinking water with its wings, new research reveals. Materials mimicking the insect could help humans survive harsh environments.
Southwest Africa’s Namib Desert is one of the hottest and driest places on Earth. There is no rain, but on about six mornings a month a fog blows in off the Atlantic and across the land at gale force.
The beetle Stenocara traps this fleeting resour
Dazzling snapshots show how ions power nerve signals round the body.
“Potassium channels underlie all our movements and thoughts,” says Rod MacKinnon of Rockefeller University in New York. His team has now unravelled the molecular mechanics of these minute protein pores. Some say the work merits a Nobel Prize.
Potassium (K + ) channels power the transmission of nerve signals through the body and the brain by ushering K + ions in and out of our cells. MacKin