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» genetics, microbiology and evolution

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image: High-Flying Ducks

High-Flying Ducks

By | July 1, 2015

Five species of waterfowl have evolved a variety of adaptations to adjust to the high altitude of South America’s Lake Titicaca.

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image: Touchy Feely

Touchy Feely

By | June 1, 2015

Physical contact helps determine who’s present among baboons’ gut bacteria.


image: A Deathly Pallor

A Deathly Pallor

By | March 1, 2015

Global warming could lead to lighter-colored insects with waning immune defenses.


image: Falling Out of the Family Tree

Falling Out of the Family Tree

By | March 1, 2015

A mutation in an ethanol-metabolizing enzyme arose around the time that arboreal primates shifted to a more terrestrial lifestyle, perhaps as an adaptation to eating fermented fruit.

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image: Microflora for Hire

Microflora for Hire

By | December 1, 2014

The guts of cows and termites harbor microbes that are renowned complex-carbohydrate digesters, but the human gastrointestinal tract has flora that just might measure up.


image: Predator Demoted

Predator Demoted

By | October 1, 2014

Extinct, giant arthropods, long assumed to be top predators of ancient seas, didn’t have sharp enough eyesight to be refined hunters.

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image: Seeds of Hopelessness

Seeds of Hopelessness

By | August 1, 2014

Can seed banks adequately prepare for the future if wild plant populations are already lagging behind in adapting to rapid climate change?


image: Parsing Pathogens

Parsing Pathogens

By | June 1, 2014

Meet the peptide-covered microcantilever device capable of differentiating subtypes of Salmonella.


image: Dermatologically Derived

Dermatologically Derived

By | April 1, 2014

Inspired by turkey skin, researchers devise a bacteriophage-based sensor whose color changes upon binding specific molecules.


image: Self-Improvement Through the Ages

Self-Improvement Through the Ages

By | February 1, 2014

A 50,000-generation-long experiment shows that bacteria keep getting fitter.


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