The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions. In descending order of seniority, these are: Only the highest two ranks automatically cause an individual to become a knight or dame, an honour allowing the recipient to use the title "Sir" (male) or "Dame" (female) before their first name (though men can be knighted separately from this and other Orders of Chivalry). Honorary knighthoods, given to individuals who are not nationals of a realm where Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State, permit use of the honour as a post-nominal but not as a title before their name. Awards in the Order of the British Empire in the Commonwealth Realms were discontinued with the establishment of national systems of honours and awards such as the Order of Australia, the Order of Canada and the New Zealand Order of Merit. Foreign recipients are classified as honorary members of the Order they receive, and do not contribute to the numbers restricted to that Order as full members do. There is also a related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are not members
Birds of a feather: Pigeon head crest findings extend to domesticated doves
Evolutionary biologist Michael Shapiro and his team from the University of Utah made international headlines in 2013 when they found that a prominent change in pigeon plumage, head crests, could be traced ...
Ice age camel bones found in Yukon redraw species' lineage
Miners in northwestern Canada have discovered ice age camel bones whose DNA is forcing scientists to redraw the family tree of the now-extinct species.
Genetic maps help conservation managers maintain healthy bears
Last year, researchers at the University of Missouri published a study on genetic diversity in American black bears in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma and determined that conservation management is needed ...
In evolution, 'house of cards' model wins
Using sophisticated modeling of genomic data from diverse species, Yale researchers have answered a longstanding question about which competing model of evolution works best.
Kissing cousins, arranged marriages and genetic diversity
In the first study of its kind, a research team led by Massey University professor Murray Cox et al., in a publication in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, has examined the ef ...
Most comprehensive study to date reveals evolutionary history of citrus
Citrus fruits—delectable oranges, lemons, limes, kumquats and grapefruits—are among the most important commercially cultivated fruit trees in the world, yet little is known of the origin of the citrus species and the ...
New deer mouse study examines muscle performance and high altitude adaptation
Life has adapted to all sorts of extreme environments on Earth, among them, animals like the deer mouse, shimmying and shivering about, and having to squeeze enough energy from the cold, thin air to fuel their bodies and ...
New genetic evidence resolves origins of modern Japanese
Was there a single migration event or gradual mixing of cultures that gave rise to modern Japanese?
Getting to the origins of photosynthesis
One of the most important areas in all of biology is the evolution of photosynthesis. Some species of single celled cyanobacteria, through photosynthesis, forever changed the atmosphere of the early Earth by filling it with ...
Scientists unlock tangled mysteries of DNA
Chromosomal proteins hold the key to our DNA and they are changing, according to Jose Eirin-Lopez, marine sciences professor in the Florida International University Department of Biological Sciences.
Turning a vole into a mighty rodent
Take a wild, common forest-dwelling mouse-like rodent, known as a vole, and subject it to 13 rounds of selection for increased aerobic exercise metabolism, and what do you get? A mighty "mouse" with a 48 percent higher peak ...
Study identifies first-ever human population adaptation to toxic chemical, arsenic
High up in the high Andes mountains of Argentina, researchers have identified the first-ever evidence of a population uniquely adapted to tolerate the toxic chemical arsenic.
Grand tree of life study shows a clock-like trend in new species emergence and diversity
Temple University researchers have assembled the largest and most accurate tree of life calibrated to time, and surprisingly, it reveals that life has been expanding at a constant rate.
Carnivorous plant packs big wonders into tiny genome
Great, wonderful, wacky things can come in small genomic packages.
Research finds that malaria parasites are unlikely to jump to humans
In recent years, public health experts have increasingly explored the idea of eliminating the most dangerous malaria-causing parasite. But they have questioned whether getting rid of this species, called ...