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My picks from ScienceDaily

Searching For Shut Eye: Possible ‘Sleep Gene’ Identified:

While scientists and physicians know what happens if you don’t get six to eight hours of shut-eye a night, investigators have long been puzzled about what controls the actual need for sleep. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine might have an answer, at least in fruit flies. In a recent study of fruit flies, they identified a gene that controls sleep.

Did Dinosaur Soft Tissues Still Survive? New Research Challenges Notion:

Paleontologists in 2005 hailed research that apparently showed that soft, pliable tissues had been recovered from dissolved dinosaur bones, a major finding that would substantially widen the known range of preserved biomolecules.

Lost An Appendage? Grow Another:

Cut off one finger from a salamander and one will grow back. Cut off two and two will grow back. It sounds logical, but how the salamander always regenerates the right number of fingers is still a biological mystery.

Fertility: Newly Discovered Proteins In Seminal Fluid Transferred During Mating May Affect Odds Of Producing Offspring:

Seminal fluid contains protein factors that, when transferred from a male to a female at mating, affect reproductive success. This is true of many different animals, from crickets to primates.

European Birds Flock To Warming Britain, While Some Northern Species Not Faring As Well:

Researchers at Durham, the RSPB and Cambridge University have found that birds such as the Cirl Bunting and Dartford Warbler are becoming more common across a wide range of habitats in Britain as temperatures rise.

The Buzz Of The Chase: Scientists Test Technique Used To Catch Serial Killers … On Bumblebees:

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London are helping to perfect a technique used to catch serial killers, by testing it on bumblebees.

‘Chicken And Chips’ Theory Of Pacific Migration:

A new study of DNA from ancient and modern chickens has shed light on the controversy about the extent of pre-historic Polynesian contact with the Americas.

Life In A Bubble: Mathematicians Explain How Insects Breathe Underwater:

Hundreds of insect species spend much of their time underwater, where food may be more plentiful. MIT mathematicians have now figured out exactly how those insects breathe underwater.

Olfactory Fine-tuning Helps Fruit Flies Find Their Mates:

Fruit flies fine-tune their olfactory systems by recalibrating the sensitivity of different odor channels in response to changing concentrations of environmental cues, a new study has shown. Disable this calibration system, and flies have trouble finding a mate, the researchers found.