Plant viruses may be reshaping our world

The community of viruses is staggeringly vast. Occupying every conceivable biological niche, from searing undersea vents to frigid tundra, these enigmatic invaders, hovering between inert matter and life, circumnavigate the ...

Modeling early meteorite impacts on the moon

As our solar system was forming nearly four and a half billion years ago, a planet-sized object struck the early Earth, leading to the formation of the moon, possibly from a hot, spinning cloud of rock vapor called a synestia. ...

History of Andromeda galaxy studied through stellar remains

The Andromeda galaxy (or M31) is the massive galaxy nearest to us, and it is an excellent laboratory to study the characteristics and the history of great galactic spirals such as our own Milky Way. An international group ...

Explainer: What is the molecular clock?

In the 150 years since Charles Darwin recognised the kinship of all life, scientists have worked to fulfil his dream of a complete Tree of Life. Today, the methods used to trace the evolutionary branches back through time ...

'Be different or die' does not drive evolution

A new study has found that species living together are not forced to evolve differently to avoid competing with each other, challenging a theory that has held since Darwin's Origin of Species.

Research confirms Chinese origin of NZ's PSA outbreak

University of Otago scientists have today published persuasive evidence that the PSA strains responsible for the outbreak in North Island kiwifruit orchards came directly from China, as did those responsible for the 2008 ...

Researchers find our inner reptile hearts

An elaborate system of leads spreads across our hearts. These leads – the heart's electrical system – control our pulse and coordinate contraction of the heart chambers. While the structure of the human heart has been ...

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