Mutant protein in Siamese cats may be involved in neurodegenerative disorders

Dr Niesman studies mutant tyrosinase in feline brain cells.

Siamese cats and humans share the same pathology when it comes to neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Ingrid Niesman, based at San Diego State University, USA, believes it’s all down to a mutation in a protein called tyrosinase. The researcher wants to understand the impact of this malfunctioning protein, as well as use these cats as a basis […]

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Birds prefer sound texture over sound order

For zebra finches, the subtle nuances in sound texture or timbre are more important than the sequence of repeated sounds.

How exactly do birds ‘talk’ to one another? And might research into how birds listen to birdsong help us understand communication both in humans and birds? Dr Robert Dooling and his team, based at the University of Maryland, USA, showed that – for zebra finches at least – the subtle nuances in sound texture or timbre are more important than […]

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