Researchers at New Mexico State University recently discovered the world’s hottest chile pepper. Bhut Jolokia, a variety of chile pepper originating in Assam, India, has earned Guiness World Records’ recognition as the world’s hottest chile pepper by blasting past the previous champion Red Savina.
Changes in gene expression patterns in zebrafish embryos resulting from exposure to environmental toxins can identify the individual toxins at work, according to research published in the online open access journal Genome Biology. The genetic response of zebrafish to each toxin can be read like a barcode, offering researchers a potential method for identifying the effects of the toxin on developing vertebrate embryos.
Scientists have shown that birds with higher stress levels adopt bolder behaviour than their normally more relaxed peers in stressful situations. A University of Exeter research team studied zebra finches, which had been selectively bred to produce three distinct types — ‘laid-back’, ‘normal’ and ‘stressed’ — based on their levels of stress hormone. The group was surprised to find that the ‘stressed’ birds were bolder and took more risks in a new environment than the group that was usually more laid-back.