Cockroaches evolve in 5 years to avoid poison bait

German cockroaches were used in the study. Photo: NYT

People have been getting rid of cockroaches for decades by laying bait mixed with poison. But in the late 1980s, in the test kitchen of a flat in Florida, something went very wrong.

Saturday, 25 May, 2013, 3:37am

Lab Report

Lab Report

Traditional theory goes that our early ancestors took to two feet because they were forced out of trees when climate change reduced tree cover.

27 May 2013 - 10:45am

Book review: Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live, by Marlene Zuk

Book review: Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live, by Marlene Zuk

Marlene Zuk is an evolutionary biologist at the University of Minnesota and Paleofantasy targets the movement that insists we are biologically adapted to a Palaeolithic diet and lifestyle.

5 May 2013 - 4:27pm

Researchers back claim that Flores 'hobbits' grew smaller as they evolved

Researchers back claim that Flores 'hobbits' grew smaller as they evolved

The most detailed computerised scan of a skull of Homo floresiensis (Flores man) backs theories that the tiny humans were a local product of evolution. The team said the marooned descendants of a hominid called Homo erectus progressively "dwarfed" to match the availability of food on the island.

18 Apr 2013 - 2:46am

New study reverses theory of chameleons' origins

Chameleons can not only catch bugs, but waves. Photo: AFP

Chameleons took to the waves to migrate from Africa to Madagascar about 65 million years ago, said a study published last week that seeks to resolve a roiling biological debate.

31 Mar 2013 - 1:06am

Volcano-induced die-off paved way for dinosaurs, study suggests

A massive volcanic event that tore apart a mega-continent more than 200 million years ago set the stage for dinosaurs to take over.

More than 200 million years ago, toothy crocodile-like creatures stalked a hot, dry mega-continent while squid-like mollusks with spiral shells drifted in the surrounding ocean. Then, in what passes for an instant in geologic time, they vanished - making way for the age of the dinosaurs.

24 Mar 2013 - 4:43am

Primitive birds used four wings for flight

The fossil of a Sapeornis bird that was not believed to have hind feathers until now. Some primitive birds used four wings. Photo: AFP

Previous research had uncovered the existence of bird-like dinosaurs with hind limb feathers, but evidence has remained slim in birds, which are widely believed to have evolved from dinosaurs.

17 Mar 2013 - 7:29am

Lack of brainpower for socialising may have wiped out Neanderthals

The skeletons of a Neanderthal (right) and modern human. Photo: AP

Neanderthals' bigger eyes and bodies meant they had less brain space to dedicate to social networking, which may explain why they died out and Homo sapiens conquered the planet, a study said yesterday.

14 Mar 2013 - 5:20am

Cancer reflects the processes of the evolution of life

A prostate cancer cell. Photo: Science Photo Library

In the frantic search for an elusive "cure", few researchers stand back and ask a very basic question: why does cancer exist? What is its place in the grand story of life? Astonishingly, in spite of decades of research, there is no agreed theory of cancer, no explanation for why, inside almost all healthy cells, there lurks a highly efficient cancer subroutine that can be activated by a variety of agents - radiation, chemicals, inflammation and infection.

27 Jan 2013 - 7:25am

Human desire for equality is innate, science suggests

Frans de Waal brings up convincing evidence of collaboration and empathy in primates, our closest relatives in the animal world.

In the 17th century, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes described the natural condition of humanity as "every man against every man". But more recently, research on primates is suggesting that we are naturally hard-wired for collaboration and communality.

7 Jan 2013 - 5:44am

Shape of human hands may have evolved for punching

Why are our hands shaped the way they are? Compared with those of other apes, the thumb is long and the palms and fingers are short.

22 Dec 2012 - 3:44am

Apes suffer midlife blues too, research suggests

He won't be buying a sports car just yet. Photo: Reuters

Chimpanzees in a midlife crisis? It sounds like the set-up for a joke.

But there it is, in the title of a report published on Monday in a scientific journal: "Evidence for a midlife crisis in great apes."

So what do these apes do? Buy red Ferraris? Leave their mates for some cute young bonobos?

21 Nov 2012 - 3:05am

Cooking gave humans larger brains than primates, researchers say

Though gorillas typically spend up to eight hours feeding, supporting big bodies and big brains would be almost impossible on a raw food diet. Photo: AFP

If human beings had not invented cooking as a way of increasing the number of calories they consumed, they could only have evolved the 86 billion neurons in our big brains by spending an impossible nine hours or more each day eating raw food, according to a scientific paper.

24 Oct 2012 - 4:31am

He Knew He Was Right

He Knew He Was Right by John & Mary Gribbin Penguin, HK$142

29 Nov 2009 - 12:00am

Media recipe for throwing investors off balance

When governments announce bailout plans or anything else, the media coverage is pretty much guaranteed to contain a quote from someone to say that they did not go far enough and someone else to say that they went too far.

28 Jun 2009 - 12:00am