Fossil colour studies are changing our idea of how dinosaurs looked

In-depth fossil analysis could help us understand the true functions of colour. Image credit: Aline Dassel/Pixabay, licensed under Pixabay licence

by Gareth Willmer What colour were the dinosaurs? If you have a picture in your head, fresh studies suggest you may need to revise it. New fossil research also suggests that pigment-producing structures go beyond how the dinosaurs looked and may have played a fundamental role inside their bodies too. The latest findings have also … Read more

‘Browning’ white fat cells opens new avenue to obesity prevention

by: Vittoria D’Alessio Scientists are getting closer to understanding how to turn the body’s energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning beige fat cells, opening up hopes that fat deposits could one day be deliberately manipulated to prevent obesity and related health conditions. Professor Mirko Trajkovski from the Laboratory of Metabolic Health at Geneva University, Switzerland, … Read more

Why meerkats and mongooses have a cooperative approach to raising their pups

Mongooses, like humans, are among the few mammals that go to war with each another. Image credit - Harry Marshall

Raising children can be a tough job, especially when doing it alone, but some animals like meerkats and mongooses work together to raise their young. Studies of these cooperative creatures are revealing how this highly social behaviour evolved and is shedding light on the roots of our own species’ collaborative abilities. Living in the flat, … Read more

‘Online voting isn’t ready for high-stakes elections’

Image credit - Santeri Viinamäki, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Online voting is often considered a way to improve voter turnout and security. But according to Dr Steve Kremer of the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation, computer scientists have got a long way to go before they make it a viable alternative to pencils and paper. He is researching ways of making … Read more

Road upgrades to help humans drive alongside automated cars

Image credit - Pixabay/0532-2008, licensed under pixabay license

As new self-driving vehicles appear on the streets, the traffic clogging our cities and highways could get a lot worse unless the roads themselves become smarter. Automated vehicles are often lauded as the solution to Europe’s congested road networks due to their ability to drive closer together and at higher speeds than humans can do … Read more