Solving an ancient dairy mystery could help cure modern food ills

Studying the culture of Mongolian herders may help crack the mystery of why humans started consuming animal milk before populations evolved to be able to digest it. Image credit - Matthäus Rest

by Alex Whiting Genghis Khan’s conquering armies fed on dried curd as they crossed the vast steppes of Eurasia, ancient Romans imported pungent cheeses from France, and Bedouin tribes crossing the Arabian Desert have for centuries survived on camel’s milk. Dairy has been central to people’s existence since at least 6,500 years BC. But a mystery … Read more

DNA gives insight into prehistoric bonds between dogs and humans

Scientists believe that modern-day dogs originated from two different populations of wolves. Image credit - Pixabay

Domestic dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but the animals we now regard as man’s best friend may have originated from just two populations of wolves, research suggests. The findings, along with studies on other domesticated animals, are providing new insights into how our ancestors’ lives and movements transformed these creatures forever. The domestication … Read more

Studying ant cooperation is revealing how brains work together

Image Credit - Antoine Wystrach

By Jonathan O’Callaghan As a child, you almost certainly at one stage spent hours watching ants move about from their nest. Maybe you dropped a piece of food and watched as a group of ants came and picked it up, carrying it home in an impressive display of cooperation. What you probably didn’t realise, however, … Read more