Tweet: Scientists decode songbird’s genome

Nearly all animals make sounds instinctively, but baby songbirds learn to sing in virtually the same way human infants learn to speak: by imitating a parent. Now, an international team of scientists, led by the School of Medicine, has decoded the genome of a songbird — the Australian zebra finch — to reveal intriguing clues about the genetic basis and evolution of vocal learning. 

Birds ‘one-up’ humans in ability to see color

Researchers at the School of Medicine have peered deep into the eye of the chicken and found a masterpiece of biological design. They plan follow-up studies that could eventually provide helpful insights for scientists seeking to use stem cell and other techniques to treat the nearly 200 genetic disorders that can cause various forms of blindness.