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A Cape ground squirrel sits upright on its hind legs, holding its forelimbs up to its face.
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World
Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World

Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.

Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.

adaptation
Illustration of blue and gray amino acids loosely forming protein
Fungal Cold Adaptation Linked to Protein Structure Changes: Study
Patience Asanga | Sep 20, 2022 | 4 min read
Environmental pressure seems to spawn changes in the intrinsically disordered regions of enzymes in polar yeasts, allowing them to adapt to extreme cold.
Illustration of pink and blue DNA molecules.
Historic Adaptations May Now Make Us Susceptible to Disease
Dan Robitzski | Sep 16, 2022 | 5 min read
Researchers made the find using an algorithm that purportedly distinguishes between mutations that were selected for and those that came along for the ride by coincidence, a feat that has long eluded scientists.
Uncovering Ancient Residual DNA
Uncovering Ancient Residual DNA
The Scientist Creative Services Team | 1 min read
A look at how ancient events crafted modern human DNA and their potential impact on human health.
Brown coral in shallow water branching upward with blue fish in front. 
Corals Upend Longstanding Idea About Genetic Inheritance
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Sep 1, 2022 | 4 min read
Most animals can’t pass on mutations that arise spontaneously throughout their lives—but Elkhorn corals can.
Adélie penguin family
Penguins Are Among the World’s Slowest-Evolving Birds: Study
Catherine Offord | Jul 19, 2022 | 2 min read
The findings mean that penguins may struggle to adapt under rapid climate change, researchers say.
38480-ts-transplantation-immunity-cta-banner-jp800x560
What's Mine is Yours: The Immunogenetics of Mating in Anglerfish
Sejal Davla, PhD | 1 min read
A suppressed immune system in anglerfish uncovers potential strategies for tissue transplantation.
Salamander on log
Science Snapshot: Free Fallin’ Salamanders
Lisa Winter | May 26, 2022 | 1 min read
Arboreal salamanders use skydiving techniques to avoid smashing to the ground after a fall.
a giant isopod in an aquarium
Genome Spotlight: Giant Isopod (Bathynomus jamesi)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | May 26, 2022 | 3 min read
The first high-quality genome for a marine isopod may shed light on how this group of crustaceans adapted to the deep, dark depths of the ocean.
Drosophila melanogaster on cactus leaf
Fruit Flies Evolve in Time with the Seasons: Study
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Mar 17, 2022 | 5 min read
Researchers find that evolution can operate on extraordinarily fast timescales.
Human DNA abstract dotwork vector illustration made of cloud of colored dots.
Adapting with a Little Help from Jumping Genes
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Jan 17, 2022 | 10+ min read
Long lambasted as junk DNA or genomic parasites, transposable elements turn out to be contributors to adaptation.
Organisms from infographic about transposable elements
Infographic: How Transposable Elements Can Shape Evolution
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Jan 17, 2022 | 2 min read
The movements of so-called jumping genes can generate the genetic diversity needed to drive evolutionary change in populations over time.  
A smiling Black man leans against a colorful wall
Shane Campbell-Staton Dissects the Anthropocene
Lisa Winter | Sep 1, 2021 | 4 min read
The Princeton University evolutionary biologist studies how animals are changing due to human activity.
Illustration of humans and mice and their gut microbiota
Infographic: Microbiome-Driven Adaptations in Animals
Catherine Offord | Jul 1, 2021 | 2 min read
Researchers are using experiments and observational studies to look for host genetic variation that could be partly determined by the gut microbiota.
An illustration of green bacteria floating above neutral-colored intestinal villi
The Inside Guide: The Gut Microbiome’s Role in Host Evolution
Catherine Offord | Jul 1, 2021 | 10+ min read
Bacteria that live in the digestive tracts of animals may influence the adaptive trajectories of their hosts.
giraffe, genetics & genomics, CRISPR, gene editing, genome, physiology, hypertension, bone growth, techniques, mouse model
Genome Reveals Clues to Giraffes’ “Blatantly Strange” Body Shape
Amanda Heidt | Mar 19, 2021 | 5 min read
The physiological demands of that long neck get support from a gene involved in strengthening bones and blood vessels, researchers find after inserting the sequence in mice.
Certain Color Varieties of a Coral Are More Protected from Bleaching
Lisa Winter | Feb 25, 2021 | 2 min read
In yellow-green and purple versions of the reef-building Acropora tenuis, the genes that code for particular fluorescent and other colorful proteins become more active in the summer, protecting symbiotic algae from thermal stress and resisting bleaching.
Shrew Brains Shrink During Winter
Abby Olena, PhD | Dec 3, 2020 | 4 min read
The animals kill off around one-quarter of the neurons in their somatosensory cortex, perhaps to save energy, and the cells appear to return the following summer.
Image of the Day: Bubble Suckers
Amy Schleunes | Feb 28, 2020 | 1 min read
Unable to break through the water’s surface, tadpoles have a unique workaround for breathing air.
Circadian Clock Genes Help a Crop Pest Adapt to Climate Change
Emily Makowski | Jan 13, 2020 | 3 min read
As global temperatures rise and winters shorten, caterpillars of the corn borer moth are emerging earlier in parts of the US thanks to changes in two genes, researchers find.
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