First Mutant Ants Shed Light on Evolution of Social Behavior

Ants run a tight ship. They organize themselves into groups with very specific tasks: foraging for food, defending against predators, building tunnels, etc. An enormous amount of coordination and communication is required to accomplish this.

To explore the evolutionary roots of the remarkable system, researchers have created the first genetically altered ants, modifying a gene essential for sensing the pheromones that ants use to communicate. The result, severe deficiencies in the ants' social behaviors and their ability to survive within a colony, both sheds light on a key facet of social evolution and demonstrates the feasibility and utility of genome editing in ants, according to Science Daily.

Lutein, Found in Leafy Greens, May Counter Cognitive Aging

Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study.

The study, which included 60 adults aged 25 to 45, found that middle-aged participants with higher levels of lutein -- a nutrient found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as avocados and eggs -- had neural responses that were more on par with younger individuals than with their peers, according to Science Daily.

A tale of three stellar cities: Three different populations of baby stars

The wide-field optical camera on ESO's VLT Survey Telescope (VST) -- has captured the spectacular Orion Nebula and its associated cluster of young stars in great detail. This object is one of the closest stellar nurseries for both low and high-mass stars, at a distance of about 1350 light-years. according to Science Daily

But this image is more than just a pretty picture. A team led by Giacomo Beccari has used these data of unparallelled quality to precisely measure the brightness and colours of all the stars in the Orion Nebula Cluster. These measurements allowed the astronomers to determine the mass and ages of the stars. To their surprise, the data revealed three different sequences of potentially different ages.

A wolf's Howl in Miniature: Researchers Discover Mice Speak Similarly to Humans

Grasshopper mice (genus Onychomys), rodents known for their remarkably loud call, produce audible vocalizations in the same way that humans speak and wolves howl, according to new research Grasshopper mice employ both a traditional whistle-like mechanism used by other mice and rats and a unique airflow-induced tissue vibration like that of humans, according to Science Daily.

Researchers used heliox experiments, laryngeal and vocal tract morphological investigations and biomechanical modelling to investigate how grasshopper mice produce spectacular long-distance calls.

Dogs have been man's best friend for 40,000 years

Dogs have been man's best friend for up to 40,000 years, a major genetic study has found. According to Daily mail

A DNA analysis of the world's oldest known dog remains has revealed that dogs were domesticated in a single event by humans.

Instead, all modern dogs are thought to have descended from animals that were domesticated by people living in Eurasia from 20,000 to 40,000 years ago

Scientists agree that dogs stem from wolves.