Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Bye-Bye Birdie

Everyone knows that birds migrate, but until now, it's been unclear how they know where to go and when to leave, says New Scientist's Janelle Weaver. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology recently set out to find out the "how" of bird migration — their results are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. They trapped birds from 14 populations of the European blackcap — they do their migrating at night — and took blood samples to see whether they could find genetic markers to explain the birds' nocturnal behaviors, Weaver says. And they found one — gene ADCYAP1. The longer the allele, they found, the more restless the bird became at night. "The gene may do more than simply encourage night-time fidgeting: it encodes a protein called PACAP, which plays a major role in melatonin secretion, energy metabolism and feeding," Weaver says. "These functions are crucial for preparing birds for long flights."

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.