My picks from ScienceDaily

Same-sex Attraction Is Genetically Wired In Nematode's Brain:

University of Utah biologists genetically manipulated nematode worms so the animals were attracted to worms of the same sex -- part of a study that shows sexual orientation is wired in the creatures' brains.

Secrets Behind Butterfly Wing Patterns Uncovered:

The genes that make a fruit fly's eyes red also produce red wing patterns in the Heliconius butterfly found in South and Central America, finds a new study by a UC Irvine entomologist.

Ancient DNA Reveals That Some Neanderthals Were Redheads:

Ancient DNA retrieved from the bones of two Neanderthals suggests that at least some of them had red hair and pale skin, scientists report in the journal Science. The international team says that Neanderthals' pigmentation may even have been as varied as that of modern humans, and that at least 1 percent of Neanderthals were likely redheads.

Colorful View For First Land Animals:

When prehistoric fish made their first forays onto land, what did they see? According to a study published in the online open access journal, BMC Evolutionary Biology, it's likely that creatures venturing out of the depths viewed their new environment in full colour.

Endangered Wandering Albatross Catches Prey Differently Than Previously Thought:

An international team of scientists has overturned an ecological study on how some animals search for food. Previously it was believed that wandering albatrosses and other species forage using a Lévy flight strategy - a cluster of short moves connected by infrequent longer ones. Published this week in the journal Nature, the team discovered that further analyses and new data tell a different story for the albatrosses and possibly for other species too.

Age Increases Chance Of Success As Two-timer For Coal Tit Males:

Older coal tit males conceive significantly more offspring with a 'bit' on the side than younger ones. The coal tit appears to live a strictly monogamous life. Couples often stay together for their whole lives. But researchers found out that's only a façade. This indigenous songbird is among the top ten two-timers worldwide.

Not 'Junk DNA' After All: Tiny RNAs Play Big Role Controlling Genes:

A study by researchers at the Yale Stem Cell Center for the first time demonstrates that piRNAs, a recently discovered class of tiny RNAs, play an important role in controlling gene function.


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Wild specimen of the butterfly species, Heliconius heurippa. Researchers recently demonstrated that this species is a naturally-occurring hybrid between H. cydno and H. melpomene. Image: Christian Salcedo / University of Florida, Gainesville. Speciation typically occurs after one lineage splits…
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Walk through the rainforests of Ecuador and you might encounter a beautiful butterfly called Heliconius cydno. It's extremely varied in its colours. Even among one subspecies, H.cydno alithea, you can find individuals with white wingbands and those with yellow. Despite their different hues, they…