Zebrafish genes may hold the key to fixing human scars

A new study based in the UK is now underway to determine if the genes of the rapidly-healing zebrafish can help people afflicted by scarring. If successful it could be life changing for millions of people. Last month saw the start of a new five-year study, led by researchers from the University of Bristol, into … More Zebrafish genes may hold the key to fixing human scars

Fish carcasses deliver toxic mercury pollution to the deepest parts of the ocean

A new study into deep-sea fish and crustaceans has revealed the presence of anthropogenic mercury pollution at the deepest points in the ocean, including the Marianna Trench. Researchers suggest that the most likely source of the toxic chemical is the sinking bodies of dead fish from the surface. Mercury pollution in the ocean is an … More Fish carcasses deliver toxic mercury pollution to the deepest parts of the ocean

The secret surfing skills of hitchhiking remoras

A new study into the fluid dynamics of blue whales has given researchers the first ocean recordings of their famous hitchhiking partner, the remora, revealing the suckerfish’s secret whale-surfing skills as they ride aboard the world’s largest animal. Sticking to the bodies of sharks, whales and other large marine creatures is a well-known specialty of … More The secret surfing skills of hitchhiking remoras

New 500m tall coral reef discovered in Great Barrier Reef

Australian scientists on-board the Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor, have discovered a massive detached reef in the Great Barrier Reef. It highlights that there is still so much to be discovered in our oceans, even in one of the most well documented regions on Earth. For the first time in over 120 years, a … More New 500m tall coral reef discovered in Great Barrier Reef

Algae & the asteroid: how single-celled plankton succeeded where the dinosaurs failed

New research has revealed how photosynthetic algae managed to survive the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, by quickly adapting to hunt other microbes in the absence of sunlight. Not only did this help them thrive when so many species were wiped out, but it also provided a much needed lifeline to our early oceans. Around … More Algae & the asteroid: how single-celled plankton succeeded where the dinosaurs failed

The evolution of gill covers in fish (and humans)

New research has uncovered the genetic origin of gill covers in fish, which occurred over 430 million years ago. It sheds light on one of the most important evolutionary developments for fish, as well as over vertebrates such as humans. If you ask a palaeontologist what the most important change in vertebrate evolution was, they … More The evolution of gill covers in fish (and humans)

Are bacteria responsible for the magnetic ‘sixth sense’ of marine animals?

A new paper has suggested that a symbiotic relationship with magnetotactic bacteria, capable of sensing the Earth’s magnetic field, may be behind the incredible navigational skills of marine animals including penguins, turtles and whales. So is this what is going on? Or is it too soon to tell? Since the invention and advancement of satellite … More Are bacteria responsible for the magnetic ‘sixth sense’ of marine animals?

Number of anemone arms depends on how much food they eat

A new study into the starlet sea anemone (Nematostella vectensis) has revealed the number of tentacle arms they can grow throughout their life is determined by how much food they eat, which opens up interesting questions about the genetics of developmental biology.   In almost all animal species in the natural kingdom, the number of … More Number of anemone arms depends on how much food they eat