Geneticists get the skinny on fat-control gene

Queensland fruit fly
Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni). Photo by James Niland.

A gene identified over 50 years ago in fruit flies could provide a valuable weapon in the battle of the bulge. The gene, which influences which fruit flies are svelte and which ones are zaftig, is found in humans as well. Whether it will one day lead to the mythical “skinny pill,” however, remains anyone’s guess.

Scientists find ‘skinny’ gene’s value

From the Shire to the Smithsonian: Placing hobbits on the human family tree

Skull of a Homo floresiensis
Homo floresiensis. Photo by Ryan Somma.

J.R.R. Tolkien may have talked up their hairy feet, but it’s hobbits’ wrists that interest anthropologists. In this article, I look at how an international team of researchers used Arizona State University’s cutting-edge imaging technology to crack the mystery of Homo floresiensis, a three-foot-tall, 18,000-year-old skeleton nicknamed the “hobbit.”

ASU PRISM shines new light on “hobbit”

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