Evolving a bigger brain with human DNA

The size of the human brain expanded dramatically during the course of evolution, imparting us with unique capabilities to use abstract language and do complex math. But how did the human brain get larger than that of our ...

Scientists report first genome sequence of frog

A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the University of California, Berkeley, is publishing this week the first genome sequence of an amphibian, the African clawed frog Xenopus ...

Tracking life's first step: Two molecules 'awaken' brand new genome

Within hours after fertilization, a unique genome forms from chromosomes contributed by the egg and sperm. However, this new genome is initially inactive and must be "awakened" to begin the transcription of its DNA and start ...

Environmental oxygen triggers loss of webbed digits

Free fingers have many obvious advantages on land, such as in locomotion and grasping, while webbed fingers are typical of aquatic or gliding animals. But both amphibians and amniotes—which include mammals, reptiles, and ...

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