Researchers discover how animals grow their pointy body parts

An interdisciplinary team at Monash University discovered a new universal rule of biological growth that explains surprising similarities in the shapes of sharp structures across the tree of life, including teeth, horns, ...

Study resolves the position of fleas on the tree of life

A study of more than 1,400 protein-coding genes of fleas has resolved one of the longest standing mysteries in the evolution of insects, reordering their placement in the tree of life and pinpointing who their closest relatives ...

Lizard skull fossil is new and 'perplexing' extinct species

In 2017, while browsing the fossil collections of Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History, University of Texas at Austin graduate student Simon Scarpetta came across a small lizard skull, just under an inch long.

Genetics of the tree of life

The African baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) is called the tree of life. Baobab trees can live for more than a thousand years and provide food, livestock fodder, medicinal compounds, and raw materials. Baobab trees are incredibly ...

Study tracks evolutionary history of metabolic networks

By analyzing how metabolic enzymes are built and organized, researchers have reconstructed the evolutionary history of metabolism. Their study shows how metabolic networks—which drive every cellular process from protein ...

Looking for LUCA, the last universal common ancestor

Around 4 billion years ago there lived a microbe called LUCA: the Last Universal Common Ancestor. There is evidence that it could have lived a somewhat 'alien' lifestyle, hidden away deep underground in iron-sulfur rich hydrothermal ...

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