There is an entire community of pigeon collectors living amongst us. They marvel at the diversity of plumage, color, and patterning that this single species displays. In fact, none other than Charles Darwin himself fancied the pigeon species. These pigeon enthusiasts understand that we can learn a lot from pigeon diversity. In a recent publication, … Continue reading Lessons from the Urban Pigeon
Strength in numbers: extra copies of the TP53 gene helps elephants fight cancer
Today’s story begins with Peto’s paradox – the observation that larger animals should have higher cancer incidence than smaller animals, but don’t (1). Fundamentally, cancer is caused by DNA damage. Large animals have many cells and usually also have long lifespans. As a result, their numerous cells duplicate many times and are exposed to a … Continue reading Strength in numbers: extra copies of the TP53 gene helps elephants fight cancer
Bird Genomes: Winging our way
Recently, 40+ bird genomes were sequenced, and we are still just beginning to sift through the data. How did birds lose their teeth? (Yes, teeth.) How did they evolve to learn complex songs? Has flying made their genomes smaller? Get the scoop from Allison Schultz.
Polar bear genomics: a tale of rapid evolution
What makes a polar bear a polar bear? Allison Shultz explains that the difference between polar bears and their cousins, the brown bears, is more than skin deep.
Ancient DNA from ancient birds: A tale of two palaeognathae papers
Phil Grayson explains how improvements in mitochondrial and nuclear genomics have rewritten what seemed like an open-and-shut case in the evolution of flightless birds.