Category Archives: News & Archives

Origins of the beloved guinea pig

New University of Otago research sheds light on guinea pig domestication and how and why the small, furry animals became distributed around the world. Just published in the international science journal, Scientific Reports, the researchers use ancient DNA from archaeological guinea pig remains which reveals the transition from the animals being used as a wild food…
Read more

Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans

A team of scientists studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, found that it was especially well-suited to jump from animals to humans by shapeshifting as it gained the ability to infect human cells. Conducting a genetic analysis, researchers from Duke University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of…
Read more

Is There Anybody out There? Likely, Yes

One of the biggest and longest-standing questions in the history of human thought is whether there are other intelligent life forms within our Universe. Obtaining good estimates of the number of possible extraterrestrial civilizations has however been very challenging. A new study led by the University of Nottingham and published today in The Astrophysical Journal has taken…
Read more

When three species of human ancestor walked the Earth

An international team, including Arizona State University researcher Gary Schwartz, have unearthed the earliest known skull of Homo erectus, the first of our ancestors to be nearly human-like in their anatomy and aspects of their behavior. Years of painstaking excavation at the fossil-rich site of Drimolen, nestled within the Cradle of Humankind (a UNESCO World Heritage…
Read more

Bat ‘super immunity’ may explain how bats carry coronaviruses, study finds

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has uncovered how bats can carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus without getting sick -- research that could shed light on how coronaviruses make the jump to humans and other animals. Coronaviruses such as MERS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and more recently the COVID19-causing SARS-CoV-2…
Read more

Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 offer insights into virus evolution

By analysing virus genomes from over 7,500 people infected with Covid-19, a UCL-led research team has characterised patterns of diversity of SARS-CoV-2 virus genome, offering clues to direct drugs and vaccine targets. The study, led by the UCL Genetics Institute, identified close to 200 recurrent genetic mutations in the virus, highlighting how it may be…
Read more