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Highlighted Articles

  • Interpreting the colours of damselflies darting by the campus pond

    Interpreting the colours of damselflies darting by the campus pond

    If you have spent some time by the pond near the main canteen on campus, you might have noticed tiny damselflies zipping along by the edge of the pond. Because they are so small, you have to look closely to see their beautiful, vivid reds and blues. What do these colours mean? Do they signal something, and to whom? As humans, we signal a lot with the colour of our clothes, and have the luxury of changing them at will. For most animals, colour is not really a behavioural choice, but reflects myriad selection pressures in their evolutionary history.

  • Insect virtual reality: What it’s really like to be the fly on the wall

    Insect virtual reality: What it’s really like to be the fly on the wall

    If you’ve ever tried to swat a fly, you know how hard it is to follow its movements as it ducks and weaves around to escape. You can easily appreciate that a scientist trying to observe and understand the behavior of insects in the natural world has their work cut out.

  • Molecular route to bacterial evolution

    Molecular route to bacterial evolution

    “The world will not be inherited by the strongest; it will be inherited by those most able to change.”

    This quote by evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin is quite appreciable in the microscopic world of bacteria and viruses.

    Bacteria, in the natural world are swamped by a myriad of environmental stressors. Changes at the genetic level often beget bacterial adaptations to these challenges, helping them find a fine balance between growth and stress tolerance.