ALU

Biology

Da Vinci’s artistic talent was due to a bung eye

The Renaissance master joins Rembrandt, Dega and Picasso in the strabismus club. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Before nerves, there were peptides

Researchers map communication pathways in an organism that has no nervous system. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Drink coffee to reduce rosacea risk, research finds

A long term study reveals caffeine is linked to lower rates of chronic skin condition. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

In a quiet grove, a quoll appears

Australian photographer captures a stunning image of a creature rarely seen in the wild. Original Link

TB came from Europe, but drug-resistant strains are local affairs

The killer disease mirrors colonisation, but hard-to-treat versions arise independently. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

The largest organism on Earth is dying

Thousands of years old, a unique clone forest in the US is in decline. Jeff Glorfeld reports. Original Link

Primate portrait wins major prize

The winner of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is announced. Original Link

Father’s nicotine use affects future generations

Mouse study implicates epigenetic changes in paternal sperm DNA. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Blood test means some cancer patients could skip chemo

Trials in Australia and the US find biopsies can predict cancer relapse risk. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

A sting in the tail

Photographs reveals an insect’s hidden weapon. Original Link

Earth has lost 2.5 billion years’ worth of evolutionary history very quickly

Replenishing lost diversity will take more time than humans have got. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Climate change is real and the Beerpocalypse will prove it

Research shows barley will be hard hit, resulting in ale shortages and lager hyper-prices. Lydia Hales reports. Original Link

Hundreds of diet supplements spiked with hidden pharmaceuticals

US researchers find Viagra, antidepressants and banned weight-loss meds in over-the-counter products. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Revealed: the small dreams of lizards

Lizards enjoy something akin to REM sleep, raising the possibility that they dream. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Deep inside a mouse

Microphotography reveals intricate secrets of rodent organ. Original Link

Watch: an embryo on show

Microscope provides unique inside view as a new life begins. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Insect eye attracts compound interest

Winning entry in microphotography exhibition reveals a weevil eye in exquisite detail. Original Link

Combining police and genealogy DNA could catch more crims – and threaten more privacy

Proof-of-concept study is set to prompt furious debate around law enforcement and liberty conflicts. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Mice with two mums raise many questions

Successful mammalian bi-maternal reproduction marks a technical triumph, but may cross ethical boundaries. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

How will our crop seeds cope with a warming world?

Molecular biology and an old Soviet seedbank may hold the key to future food production. Fiona McMillan reports. Original Link

An image of pure weevil

Micro-photography competition reveals the unseen in startling detail. Original Link

Disagreement flares over “Hippocratic Oath” proposal for scientists

Can public trust in science be bolstered by an oath similar to the one taken by medical doctors? Stephen Fleischfresser reports. Original Link

Stem cells reveal how hearts are made – and broken

Australian researchers induce 40,000 skin cells to turn into heart cells and beat in perfect rhythm. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

Statins no good for non-cardiovascular conditions, major review concludes

Claims that statins can be used to treat dementia, cancer, and other diseases are not supported by evidence. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

Researchers deploy Forrest Gump in brain study

Tom Hanks (and Alfred Hitchcock) are helping to illuminate how humans remember things. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Why huskies have blue eyes

Doggy DNA testing is now a thing, and business is expected to be brisk. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

The next flu pandemic will be thoroughly modern

There are lessons to be learned from the worst ever outbreak 100 years ago. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

For farmers, smarter living through guardian dogs, fencing, and ‘fladry’

Methods aimed at cutting stock losses from predation often do more harm than good. Lily van Eeden, Adrian Treves and Euan Ritchie spell out what works, and what doesn’t. Original Link

Gluten-free bonanza a dubious benefit for coeliacs

The burgeoning gluten-free food market brings dangers as well as choice for people with the autoimmune condition. Andrew Masterson reports.  Original Link

Watch: Taking care of coral babies

Improving coral reproductive success is one key to saving reefs. Original Link

How kangaroos evolved with a quick jump

Roos’ teeth tell the story of changing diet and how that drove evolution. (But we still don’t know why they hop). Lyndal Byford reports. Original Link

Researchers fear US agricultural research masks bioweapons development

Department of Defence funding for insect-virus experiments may breach the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. Jeff Glorfeld reports. Original Link

Researchers fear US agricultural project masks bioweapons development

Department of Defence funding for insect-virus experiments may breach the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. Jeff Glorfeld reports. Original Link

Better wine through chemistry

Tasmanian researchers are digging down to the molecular level to find ways to make better sparkling wine, faster. Fiona McMillan reports. Original Link

Call for a global microbial “Noah’s ark”

Preserving gut diversity will save lives, researchers say, but only if worldwide action is taken now. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

A pseudo-embryo forms

Scientists watch as stem cells organise into a proto-foetus. Original Link

Puttin’ on the Ritz: tap-dancing songbirds love an audience

One species dances like no one’s watching – but mainly when everyone is. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

Genetics play little part in altruistic behaviour

Bee study finds colony, not kin, is the arbiter of cooperation. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

Algae go “ping”, and that could be useful

The discovery that algae are far from silent could provide a new measure for reef health. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

For elephants, cracked and wrinkly skin is a good thing

Crevices in mighty mammal are more common in non-living materials. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Gene-tinkering improves maize yield

Tweaking photosynthesis promises more robust crops for globally important cereal. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Human skin is a battlefield

Mutated skin cells are subject to savage evolutionary pressure, suppressing cancer growth. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

There really are snakes on planes

Slithery hitchhikers devastated Guam’s birds and have Hawaii in their sights. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Invading plants boost blue carbon

Carbon storage sometimes rockets when feral plants take hold. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

A gulping worm and other micro marvels

Photomicrography films reveal multitudes of small-scale action. Original Link

How lizards do a good ‘wheelie’

Moving their bodies and legs at just the right time gets some species up on two legs more quickly. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Many of the world’s killer whales may die because of PCBs

Study finds populations are at risk from chemical compounds banned decades ago. Kimberly Riskas reports. Original Link

Bird flu switches from chickens to ducks

Researchers find unexpected mutations enabled the pathogen to adopt a new host. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

In New York’s war between cats and rats, the rats win hands down

Contrary to myth, alley cats are hopeless at catching rats. Tanya Loos reports. Original Link