Sunday, 28 October 2012

Synapse science news #4

Too busy to keep track of all the science news during the week? Don’t fear Synapse is here. Check out this week's news.

Food for thought - A paper published in PNAS explains how we owe our large brains to our ancestors’ ability to cook meat and that humans would have to spend over 9 hours a day eating to obtain enough energy from raw meat to support our big brains. Read more.

Do you sound like a whale? -  Beluga whale vocals are close to human speech. This is the first example of whale mimicry and sounds a bit like children wailing. Find out more.

The more exotic neighbourhood pet - Hyenas are coexisting with humans in northern Ethiopia. They have also found a new food type……….. domestic pets. Check it out.

Fish breaks law of physics - Silvery fish can maximize their reflectivity to help them match the light from the environment of the open ocean to avoid predators. Read more.

IVF breakthrough - Three person IVF using two female egg donors could be the answer to avoiding mitochondrial diseases being passed on. Find out more.

Trouble for Britain's ash trees - Fungus, Chalara fraxinea, causes a disease which could threaten Britain’s Ash tree population. Read more.

Feathers not for flight? - Dinosaurs developed feathers earlier than previously thought and this could have been solely for courtship. Read more.

Are scientists going gaga? - Lady Gaga gets a fern named after her because it resembles one of her outfits! Read more.

Katherine Macinnes and Saraansh Dave