How do you study a group of organisms with over 300,000 species, dispersed across all seven continents, and with up to 50 times as much DNA content as the human genome? This is the question posed to biologists studying the evolutionary history of flowering plants, called angiosperms, whose rapid diversification […]

Frontal and lateral view of a Muna-type (AD 750-900) paneled flask with distinctive serrated-edge decoration. Credit: WSU Scientists have identified the presence of a non-tobacco plant in ancient Maya drug containers for the first time. The Washington State University researchers detected Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) in residues taken from 14 […]

A new study applies machine learning to the fossil record to visualize life’s history, showing the impacts of major evolutionary events. This shows the long-term evolutionary and ecological impacts of major events of extinction and speciation. Colors represent the geological periods from the Tonian, starting 1 billion years ago, in […]

An image obtained from the system showing barcoded bees inside the observation hive. Outlines reflect whether a barcode could be decoded successfully (green), could not be decoded (red), or was not detected (no outline). The hive entrance is in the lower-right corner, and the inset reveals two bees that were […]

Timeline of early eukaryotic evolution unveiled the mitochondrial acquisition occurred in a scenario of increasing complexity. Credit: Utrecht University, IRB Barcelona By analyzing duplicates of thousands of genes, researchers have reconstructed the evolutionary events leading to the creation of eukaryotic cells, the precursors to virtually all life you can see […]

Work by Wyss Core Faculty member Peng Yin in collaboration with Collins and others has demonstrated that different toehold switches can be combined to compute the presence of multiple “triggers,” similar to a computer’s logic board. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University DNA and RNA have been compared to “instruction manuals” containing the […]

A fully automated microchip electrophoresis analyzer could someday be deployed in the search for life on other worlds. Credit: Adapted from Analytical Chemistry 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c01628 Although Earth is uniquely situated in the solar system to support creatures that call it home, different forms of life could have once existed, […]

International scientists and Ngātiwai, a Māori tribe, teamed up to sequence the genome of a rare reptile, the tuatara, uncovering some unique aspects of the tuatara’s evolution. The genome sequence will enable comparative studies to better understand the evolution of the tuatara and its distant relatives: other reptiles, birds, and […]

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Ivannikov Institute for System Programming, and the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Schepens Eye Research Institute have developed a neural network capable of recognizing retinal tissues during the process of their differentiation in a dish. Unlike humans, the algorithm achieves this without the […]