Advances in genome sequencing are providing vast amounts of genetic information that researchers are using to explore the plant family tree. This special issue showcases cutting-edge techniques that are providing solutions to challenges in the study of evolution of species (or phylogenetics); issue highlights include an overview of current options for phylogenomic studies, a new natural language processing pipeline, metagenomics pipeline comparisons, and reviews of sequence capture methods and custom pipelines for marker selection.
When their colony is threatened by an intruder, workers of a newly discovered species of ant can actually tear their own body apart, in order to release toxins and either kill or hold off the enemy. Discovered by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Austria, Thailand and Brunei, the new species is the first of the so-called 'exploding ants' to be described since 1935. The study is published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.
Scientists are digitizing the wealth of data attached to herbarium specimens and using those data to address questions ranging from species identification to global climate change. This special issue explores methods, challenges, and applications of these collections data, with articles addressing topics including globally unique identifiers, deep learning and computer recognition, and citizen science initiatives.
Scientists have long wondered why the physical traits of Neanderthals, the ancestors of modern humans, differ greatly from today's man. Now, a research team led by a professor at the University of New England in Australia, with the aid of an anatomy and fluid dynamics expert at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM at A-State), may have the answer.
Bumblebees living in the city have genes that differ from their relatives in the countryside. Although genetic differences are minor, they may influence how well the insects adapt to their habitat. These differences in genetic makeup are an indication that urban life does impact the evolutionary trajectory of a species, write researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Leipzig-Jena in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
University of Otago paleontologists are rewriting the history of New Zealand's ancient whales by describing a previously unknown genus of baleen whale, alive more than 27.5 million years ago and found in the Hakataramea Valley, South Canterbury.
Selective breeding just before and during the Iron Age nearly 3,000 years ago is likely the reason for the lack of variability in modern domestic horses' paternally inherited DNA, a trait unique among livestock animals.
A sea turtle discovered in Alabama is a new species from the Late Cretaceous epoch, according to a study published April 18, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Drew Gentry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ala., USA, and colleagues.
Why do the Earth's oceans contain such a staggering diversity of fish of so many different sizes, shapes, colors and ecologies? The answer, a UCLA-led team of biologists reports, dates back 66 million years ago, when a six-mile-wide asteroid crashed to Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and approximately 75 percent of animal and plant species worldwide.
New research, published in Biological Reviews and conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool and Escola Superior de Ciências da Saúde (Brasília, Brazil) has found some type of cancers unique to humans may be a result of evolutionary accidents.