Shedding new light on the evolution of the squid

Octopus, cuttlefish and squid are well known in the invertebrate world. With their ink-squirting decoy technique, ability to change colour, bizarre body plan and remarkable intelligence they highlight that lacking a back-bone ...

New genes linked with bigger brains identified

A number of new links between families of genes and brain size have been identified by UK scientists, opening up a whole new avenue of research to better understand brain development and diseases like dementia.

How rattlesnakes got, and lost, their venom

Millions of years ago, as the snake family tree grew new branches, the ancestor of modern rattlesnakes was endowed with a genetic arsenal of toxic weaponry, including genes for toxins that poison the blood, toxins that damage ...

Smarter brains are blood-thirsty brains

A University of Adelaide-led project has overturned the theory that the evolution of human intelligence was simply related to the size of the brain—but rather linked more closely to the supply of blood to the brain.

GAGA may be the secret of the sexes—at least in insects

Without a way to equalize the gene expression of the two sex chromosomes—males have XY and females have XX—gender could never have evolved. Scientists are still discovering many details on how the sexes came to be, but ...

Ancient gene network helps plants adapt to their environments

The only constant is change. In evolution, there are, however, some exceptions. While the enormous diversity of life suggests that organisms are constantly being refitted with new or modified parts, many of the tools used ...

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