Scientists have challenged a popular theory behind the evolution of similar traits in island lizards, in a study published recently in eLife.
The number of mutations that can contribute to ageing may be significantly higher than previously believed, according to new research on fruit flies. The study by scientists at Linköping University, Sweden, supports a new theory about the type of mutation that can lie behind ageing. The results have been published in BMC Biology.
Millipedes, those many-legged denizens of the soil surface, don't always get the recognition they deserve. But a new study by Jerome Hui of Chinese University of Hong Kong and colleagues puts them in the spotlight, sequencing and analyzing complete genomes from two very different millipede species. The study, publishing on September 29th in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, provides important insights into arthropod evolution, and highlights the genetic underpinnings of unique features of millipede physiology.
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS), USC Stem Cell scientists and their collaborators have identified a key modification to the genome that led to the evolution of gill covers more than 430 million years ago.
Researcher Steven Emslie encountered a puzzle at Cape Irizar, a rocky cape located just south of the Drygalski Ice Tongue on the Scott Coast, Ross Sea. He found both ancient and what appeared to be fresh remains of Adelie penguins, mostly of chicks, which frequently die and accumulate at these colonies. However, the "fresh" remains were puzzling, he says, because there are no records of an active penguin colony at this site.
Every region has its place in the brain. However, it has been unclear why brain regions are located where they are. Now, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have defined two main axes along which brain regions are genetically organized, stretching from posterior to anterior and inferior to superior in the brain. These axes are mainly shaped by genes and evolution.
Evolution leaves its traces in particular in genomes. A team headed by Dr. Jürgen Schmitz from the Institute of Experimental Pathology at Münster University uses its '2-n-way' software to determine the relationships between species or individuals and compare any genome of and for anyone. The results are published in the journal 'Genome Research'.
Research led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath found that a range of factors affected the fidelity and parenting behaviour of plovers, rather than being defined by the species.
Pterosaur expert Dr David Unwin from the University of Leicester's Centre for Palaeobiology Research, and Professor Dave Martill, of the University of Portsmouth have examined the evidence that these creatures had feathers and believe they were in fact bald
The Small-banded Kukri Snake seems to have evolved a particularly macabre feeding habit that has never been witnessed in a serpent before. Danish-Thai researchers documented three occasions where a snake uses its enlarged posterior maxillary teeth to cut open the abdomen of a large poisonous toad, then inserts its entire head to pull out the organs one by one, while the prey is still alive. The discovery was published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Herpetozoa.