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Gene Expression in Neurons Solves a Brain Evolution Puzzle
The neocortex of our brain is the seat of our intellect. New data suggests that mammals created it with new types of cells that they developed only after their evolutionary split from reptiles.
The Gut Microbiome Helps Social Skills Develop in the Brain
New research in fish suggests that gut microbes can have a crucial early influence on the brain’s social development.
How Supergenes Fuel Evolution Despite Harmful Mutations
Supergenes that lock inherited traits together are widespread in nature. Recent work shows that their blend of genetic benefits and risks for species can be complex.
How Genes Can Leap From Snakes to Frogs in Madagascar
The discovery of a hot spot for horizontal gene transfer draws attention to the possible roles of parasites and ecology in such changes.
Record-Breaking Robot Highlights How Animals Excel at Jumping
Robots can surpass the limitations on how high and far animals can jump, but their success only underscores nature’s ingenuity in making the most of what’s available.
Electric Fish Genomes Reveal How Evolution Repeats Itself
By studying how electric organs arose in different lineages of fish, scientists gain new insights into a long-standing question of evolutionary biology.
Epigenetic ‘Clocks’ Predict Animals’ True Biological Age
A statistical analysis of chemical tags on DNA may help unify disparate theories of aging.
Geometric Analysis Reveals How Birds Mastered Flight
Partnerships between engineers and biologists have begun to reveal how birds evolved their superb maneuverability.
Reshuffled Rivers Bolster the Amazon’s Hyper-Biodiversity
The lush biodiversity of the Amazon may be due in part to the dynamics of branching rivers, which serve as invisible fences that continuously barricade and merge bird populations.