DNA reveals the evolutionary history of museum specimens

Museum specimens held in natural history collections around the world represent a wealth of underutilized genetic information due to the poor state of preservation of the DNA, which often makes it difficult to sequence. An ...

Fish have been swallowing microplastics since the 1950s

Forget diamonds—plastic is forever. It takes decades, or even centuries, for plastic to break down, and nearly every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some form today. We've known for a while that big pieces of ...

Shining a (UV) light on the glow-in-the-dark platypus

The fur of the platypus—an Australian species threatened with extinction—glows green under ultraviolet light, a new study finds. This is the first observation of biofluorescence in an egg-laying mammal (monotreme), suggesting ...

DNA extracted in museum samples can reveal genetic secrets

DNA in preserved museum specimens can allow scientists to explore the history of species and humanities impact on the ecosystem, but samples are typically preserved in formaldehyde which can damage DNA and make very difficult ...

New species of giant salamander is world's biggest amphibian

Using DNA from museum specimens collected in the early 20th century, researchers from ZSL (Zoological Society of London) and London's Natural History Museum identified two new species of giant salamander—one of which they ...

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