UTA researchers set out to determine whether pythons could have adapted to an extreme Florida freeze event in 2010. They generated data for dozens of samples before and after the freeze event. By scanning regions of the Burmese python genome, they identified parts of the genome that changed significantly between the two time periods, providing clear evidence of evolution occurring over a very short time scale in this population.
Michigan State University researchers have improved an introductory biology class to make it more accessible for students not majoring in life sciences. The new course, 'Integrative Biology: From DNA to Populations,' features Avida-ED, a digital evolution software program that allows populations of digital organisms, aka Avidians, to undergo actual, not simulated, evolutionary change.
People who have better spatial memory are also better at identifying odors, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications. The study builds on a recent theory that the main reason that a sense of smell evolved was to aid in navigation, since most animals rely primarily on smell to find food and avoid predators.
Computational image analysis of behaving cuttlefish reveals principles of control and development of a biological invisibility cloak.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the University of Leipzig presented experienced human raters with digital images of rhesus macaques of different ages and asked them to identify related individuals. They found that although infant rhesus macaque faces are individually distinguishable, only just before they reach puberty can offspring be matched correctly to the faces of their parents.
Scientists studying a valuable, but vulnerable, species of poplar have identified the genetic mechanism responsible for the species' inability to resist a pervasive and deadly disease. Their finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to more successful hybrid poplar varieties for increased biofuels and forestry production and protect native trees against infection.
A new type of blow fly spotted in Indiana points to shifting species populations due to climate change. Researchers at IUPUI have observed the first evidence of Lucilia cuprina in Indiana, an insect previously known to populate southern states from Virginia to California.
A University of Colorado Denver-led research team for the first time developed reliable genetic markers known as nuclear microsatellites for the whitebark pine, a discovery that could improve the tree's prospects for survival. Whitebark pine, which is declining rapidly nearly range-wide, is currently being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Scientists at Oregon State University have shed light on the evolutionary history of a soil-borne bacteria that is so dangerous to grazing animals it is kept behind lock-and-key to prevent its spread.
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and colleagues have found that corals living in more productive waters take advantage of the increased food availability. The findings reevaluate scientific understanding of how corals survive and could aid predictions on coral recovery in the face of climate change.