The American electorate stunned the world this week, voting Donald Trump to be the 45th US President. Following Trump’s unexpected victory, biopharma stocks rallied while the scientific community expressed concern over the potential effects of a Trump administration on research and development. Forty-two percent of 158 respondents to a The Scientist Twitter poll indicated that they believed research funding would be most impacted by the incoming administration. “I am taking a breath and trying to explain to my children that science matters, that global climate change is indeed occurring and we are watching it happen via species migration, storm intensity, and inundation on our coastlines,” wrote Deanne Caffee-Cooper on The Scientist’s Facebook page.
See “Trumping Science?”
Neanderthal DNA may have helped modern humans adapt to diverse environments, according to a genomic analysis published in Current Biology this week (November 10). A team led by researchers at the University of Washington compared the genomes of a diverse cohort of modern humans with those from Neanderthal and Denisovan samples, finding advantageous alleles in the former group of genomes that appear to be inherited from the latter.
“The study expands our knowledge of the extent to which Neanderthals and Denisovans contributed functionally relevant genetic variation to modern humans,” Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, who was not involved in the work, wrote in an email.
Gene expression in mustard hill coral (Porites astreoides) is altered to match the marine invertebrate’s environment, scientists from the University of Texas at Austin showed in Nature Ecology & Evolution this week (November 7).
“This paper shows that variable environments may have given [inshore coral] the ability to respond to a variety of conditions, which makes sense. If at home your environment is always changing, you’re going to have to be more flexible to survive there,” said Dan Barshis, an assistant professor of biology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, who was not involved in the study.
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