Scientists track brain and skull shape from dinosaurs to birds

As dinosaurs changed into birds millions of years ago their skull and brains moved in tandem, scientists have revealed for the first time. They tracked the link between the brain's development and the roofing bones of the skull. The team from Yale University, led by co-senior author assistant professor of geology and geophysics Dr Bhart-Anjan Singh Bhullar, found important changes in the skull roof of reptiles which showed the brain and skull were developmentally related. Prof Bhullar who is also...

Farmers can grow bigger, juicier tomatoes – thanks to a gene mutation

Farmers can grow bigger, juicier tomatoes - thanks to a gene mutation, according to new research. When humans first began cultivating the wild tomato in the Andean mountain regions of Ecuador and Northern Peru, they continually selected plants that produced larger fruits. Now, thousands of years later, tomatoes on the market can weigh 1,000 times more than the fruits of their ancestors. In the new study, researchers investigated a gene they named Cell Size Regulator, or CSR, that boosts fruit...

The source of the itch sensation has been discovered by scientists

The source of the itch sensation has been discovered by scientists. A study conducted by Chinese researchers has discovered a central neural circuit that is "critical" for transmitting the itch signal. Linked with the desire to scratch, the itch sensation is an important protective mechanism for animals. But chronic itch, often seen in patients with skin and liver diseases, remains a challenging clinical problem as uncontrollable scratching causes severe skin and tissue damage. However, therapeutic approaches for chronic itch treatment...

Exquisite flowers from a prehistoric tree hasve been discovered preserved in amber

An extinct rainforest tree has been identified from its beautiful flowers - dislodged by a rampaging dinosaur 100 million years ago. A Triceratops or Tyrannosaurus rex could have been crashing its way through a pine forest when it knocked off the blooms, which then became trapped in chunks of amber. It's the first time seven complete flowers this old have been found together. They are tiny - ranging from 3.4 to 5 millimetres in diameter - but so well-preserved they...

Snakes lose their stripes the nearer they live to man – because of pollution

Snakes lose their stripes the nearer they live to man - because of pollution, suggests a new study. Researchers monitoring turtle-headed seasnakes living on coral reefs in the Pacific noticed something unusual about the snakes' colour patterns. Seasnakes living in more pristine parts of the reef were decorated with black-and-white bands or blotches. But those in places with more human activity - near the city or military activity - were black. This is a photograph of a turtle-headed seasnake.  The...

Human bones may have been engraved by cannibals as part of a ritual in SOMERSET

Human bones may have been engraved by cannibals as part of a ritual in SOMERSET around 15,000 years ago, suggests new research. Bones found at Gough's Cave in Cheddar Gorge feature unusual zig-zagging cuts which researchers say indicates intentional engraving. The bones date from the Magdalenian period around 12,000 to 17,000 years ago. Previous analysis of the human bones from Gough's Cave found evidence of human cannibalism. But paleontologists debate about whether some of the marks found on the bones...

Exoplanet has ozone layer – just like that of earth

An ozone layer just like that surrounding Earth has been detected surrounding a planet outside the solar system for the first time. The 'sunscreen' on the distant gas giant known as WASP-121b was identified by british scientists in groundbreaking research. It has a stratosphere - one of the main layers of our own planet's atmosphere - but is totally ununhabitable with temperatures hot enough to boil iron. But the discovery reported in Nature could help identify other worlds where life...

Early Greeks creators of Europe’s first advanced civilisations descended from migrants from modern day Turkey, reveals new research

The early Greeks - creators of Europe's first advanced civilisations - descended from migrants from modern day Turkey, reveals new research. An analysis of ancient DNA has revealed that Ancient Minoans and Mycenaens were genetically similar - with both peoples descending from early Neolithic farmers. Researchers say they likely migrated from Anatolia to Greece and Crete thousands of years before the Bronze Age. Modern Greeks, in turn, are largely descendants of the Mycenaeans, the study found. The researchers analysed tooth...

Photographer captures mesmerising pictures of Milky Way lighting up the night sky 

These extraordinary pictures capture the stunning Milky Way lighting up the night sky above the British countryside. Stargazing photographer Andrew Fusek-Peters, 51, was able to snap the stunning sight from the top of Titterstone Clee Hill, in Ludlow, Shrops. In the foreground of the images is a radar dome, which forms part of the National Air Traffic Services radar network, which monitors all aircraft within a 100-mile radius. Andrew, who has been a freelance photographer for four years, arrived on...

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