Contrary to our previous beliefs, identical twins are not genetically identical. This surprising finding may be of great significance for research on hereditary diseases and for the development of new diagnostic methods. How can it be that one identical twin might develop Parkinson’s disease, for instance, but not the other? Until now, the reasons have been sought in environmental factors. The current study complicates the picture.
The newly sequenced genome of a one-celled, planktonic marine organism, reported Feb. 14 in the journal Nature, is already telling scientists about the evolutionary changes that accompanied the jump from one-celled life forms to multicellular animals like ourselves.
To a fruit fly, a piece of rotting fruit or the food in your picnic basket is a little slice of heaven. It’s where the tiny animal–not much more than a speck on your fingertip can find food and a mate, the two passions of its short, two-month lifespan. But the odor plume of a food source can be very slight, subject to the vagaries of wind and other weather, in a world that looms large to this tiny bug. Yet the fly is uncanny in finding a meal. How? By using more than just its sense of smell.
If you’re a land owner and animals such as coyotes or wild pigs are driving you hog wild, help may soon be on the way to control their numbers in a humane way — in the form of a birth control pill for animals being developed at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The concept would be to get it to wild animals through baited food, researchers say.
A giant frog fossil from Madagascar dubbed Beelzebufo or ‘the frog from Hell’ has been identified by scientists from UCL (University College London) and Stony Brook University, New York. The discovery of the 70 million year-old fossil frog, of a kind once thought unique to South America, lends weight to a new theory that Madagascar, India and South America were linked until late in the Age of Dinosaurs.
New research shows that the second most diverse group of hard corals first evolved in the deep sea, and not in shallow waters. Stylasterids, or lace corals, diversified in deep waters before launching at least three successful invasions of shallow water habitats in the past 30 million years. This finding contradicts a long-established theory that suggests corals and other marine animals all evolved in shallow water before migrating into deeper habitats.