Current Vertebrates News and Events

Current Vertebrates News and Events, Vertebrates News Articles.
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New comprehensive study on feeding patterns of tiger mosquitos in Europe
This study, published recently in the international journal Insects, was conducted by researchers from the University of Granada, the Doñana Biological Station, and the Biomedical Research Networking Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) (2021-02-23)

'Jumping genes' repeatedly form new genes over evolution
A study, 'Recurrent Evolution of Vertebrate Transcription Factors by Transposase Capture,' published Feb. 19 in Science, investigates how genetic elements called transposons, or ''jumping genes,'' are added into the mix during evolution to assemble new genes through exon shuffling. (2021-02-22)

The distribution of vertebrate animals redefines temperate and cold climate regions
The distribution of vegetation is routinely used to classify climate regions worldwide, yet whether these regions are relevant to other organisms is unknown. Umeå researchers have established climate regions based on vertebrate species' distributions in a new study published in eLife. They found that while high-energy climate regions are similar across vertebrate and plant groups, there are large differences in temperate and cold climates. (2021-02-18)

More than half of Earth's rivers strongly impacted by human activity
Few of Earth's freshwater areas remain untouched by humans. More than half of the planet's freshwater river basins have been heavily impacted by human activities, according to a new study, which presents a novel, multi-faceted approach for evaluating biodiversity change at a global scale. (2021-02-18)

Researchers replicate a potential step of the fin-to-limb transition in zebrafish
By tweaking a single gene, scientists engineered zebrafish that show the beginnings of limb-like appendages. The researchers stumbled upon this mutation, which may shed light on the sea-to-land transition of vertebrates, while screening for gene mutants and their impact on fish development. Their discovery, outlined February 4th in the journal Cell, marks a fundamental step in our understanding of fin-to-limb evolution and how simple genetic changes can create leaps in the development of complex structures. (2021-02-04)

Surprising new research: We're more like primitive fishes than once believed
People traditionally think that lungs and limbs are key innovations that came with the vertebrate transition from water to land. But in fact, the genetic basis of air-breathing and limb movement was already established in our fish ancestor 50 million years earlier. This, according to a recent genome mapping of primitive fish conducted by the University of Copenhagen, among others. The new study changes our understanding of a key milestone in our own evolutionary history. (2021-02-04)

'Virtual anatomy' imaging yields new insight into ancient platypus fish
The inner ear of a 400 million-year-old 'platypus fish' has yielded new insights into early vertebrate evolution, suggesting this ancient creature may be more closely related to modern-day sharks and bony fish than previously thought. (2021-01-27)

New findings on devonian 'platypus fish' cast light on evolution of modern jawed vertebrates
New findings on the brain and inner ear cavity of a 400-million-year-old platypus-like fish cast light on the evolution of modern jawed vertebrates, according to a study led by Dr. ZHU Youan and Dr. LU Jing from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. (2021-01-27)

Concordia researchers find melatonin is effective against polycystic kidney disease
Melatonin, a hormone commonly associated with sleep-wake regulation, has been found to reduce cysts in fruit flies, according to Concordia researchers. It's a finding that may affect the way we treat some kidney diseases and reduce the need for kidney transplants. (2021-01-26)

What the lungfishes' genome teaches us about the vertebrates' conquest of land
The genome of the Australian lungfish is the largest sequenced animal genome and helps us to better understand the conquest of land by vertebrates - study led by evolutionary biologists from the University of Konstanz (2021-01-18)

The ABCs of species evolution
Almost four decades of research have led scientists at Japan's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) to propose that a family of transporter proteins has played an important role in species evolution. One protein in particular, called ABCA1, was likely crucial for vertebrate evolution by helping regulate when signals involved in cell proliferation, differentiation and migration enter a cell. This process was necessary for vertebrates to develop into more complex organisms with sophisticated body structures. (2020-12-23)

Nanoplastics alter intestinal microbiome and threaten human health
A review study led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the CREAF and the University of Aveiro concludes that nanoplastics change the composition and diversity of gut microbiome in vertebrates and invertebrates. The effects of a widespread and prolonged exposure to nanoplastics observed in animal models could be applied to humans. (2020-12-21)

Ensuring a proper body plan
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have shown that the enzyme lysine demethylase 7a helps ensure the ordered axial development of the mouse embryo by modulating Hox genes which specify positional characteristics along the head-to-tail axis. Their findings suggest that the enzyme modulates Hox gene activation by regulating the repressive histone mark H3K9me2, an epigenetic modification of the DNA packaging protein Histone H3. This study opens avenues for further research into evolutionary developmental biology. (2020-12-16)

Global warming is faster than evolution
If global warming happens too quickly, not all species will be able to adapt in time. (2020-12-14)

Gasdermin offers insight into coral necrotic death
A research team led by Professor SUN Li from the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS), in collaboration with Professor ZHOU Zhi from Hainan University, has identified gasdermin E (GSDME) from the reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata and demonstrated that coral GSDME triggers pyroptosis and is involved in pathogen-induced coral death. (2020-12-04)

From fins to limbs and water to land
The study shows how and when the first groups of land explorers became better walkers than swimmers. The analysis spans the fin-to-limb transition and reconstructs the evolution of terrestrial movement in early tetrapods. (2020-11-25)

Identical evolution of isolated organisms
Palaeontologists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the University of Calgary in Canada have provided new proof of parallel evolution: conodonts, early vertebrates from the Permian period, adapted to new habitats in almost identical ways despite living in different geographical regions. The researchers were able to prove that this was the case using fossil teeth found in different geographical locations. (2020-11-23)

Palaeontologists describe a unique preservation process analyzing remains found in amber
A team of palaeontologists described two amber pieces found in sites in Teruel (Spain) with remains from vertebrates corresponding to the Early Cretaceous. Both pieces have their origins in the same conservation process of resins, described for the first time by the researchers. One of these remains corresponds to the finding of the oldest mammalian hair in amber worldwide, and the remains found in the other piece correspond to dinosaur feathers. (2020-11-19)

Large tides may have driven evolution of fish towards life on land
Big tidal ranges some 400 million years ago may have initiated the evolution of bony fish and land vertebrates. This theory is now supported by researchers in the UK and at Uppsala University who, for the first time, have used established mathematical models to simulate tides on Earth during this period. The study has been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A. (2020-10-27)

Regeneration of eye cells: Warning lights discovered
Moving around in the half-light is difficult but not impossible. To help us in this undertaking we have the rods, a type of photoreceptors present in the retina of vertebrates, capable of detecting very low lights. They are the protagonists of the new study published in PNAS by a team of researchers of SISSA and CNR-Iom which reveals new and essential details of how the retina works and in particular photoreceptors. (2020-10-23)

Pituitary puzzle gets a new piece, revising evolutionary history
For decades, the front lobe of the pituitary was thought to be an evolutionary development that arose in vertebrates from a particular type of embryonic structure located in the ectoderm. USC researchers now present evidence that, in some vertebrates, the endoderm also forms part of the pituitary's front lobe. Findings from the study suggest that the gland may have a longer evolutionary history than previously thought. (2020-10-22)

New study examines what human physiology can tell us about how animals cope with stress
Research from the University of South Florida offers a novel perspective on how vertebrates may regulate flexibility in coping with stress. (2020-10-14)

Snakes reveal the origin of skin colours
The skin colour of vertebrates depends on chromatophores. A team from the University of Geneva is studying the variety of colours within the corn snake species. The research, demonstrates that the dull colour of the lavender variant of corn snake is caused by the mutation of a gene involved in forming lysosomes enough to affect every skin colour. The UNIGE study marks a step forward in our understanding of the origin of skin colours. (2020-10-05)

Tweaks to land-based conservation efforts would pay huge freshwater ecosystem dividends
Conservation projects aimed at protecting land-dwelling species could net major gains in helping species living in streams, lakes and wetlands with relatively minor adjustments. (2020-10-02)

Mud-slurping chinless ancestors had all the moves
A team of researchers, led by the University of Bristol, has revealed our most ancient ancestors were ecologically diverse, despite lacking jaws and paired fins. (2020-10-01)

Integrated terrestrial-freshwater planning doubles tropical freshwater conservation
Freshwater species are sometimes considered an afterthought in conservation planning, which typically prioritizes terrestrial ecosystems and their inhabitants. (2020-10-01)

Amazon study shows big conservation gains possible for imperilled freshwater ecosystems
A new study by an international team of environmental scientists in the Brazilian Amazon shows that redesigned conservation projects could deliver big gains for critical freshwater ecosystems - raising hopes for the futures of thousands of species. (2020-10-01)

USC-led study traces the evolution of gill covers
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS), USC Stem Cell scientists and their collaborators have identified a key modification to the genome that led to the evolution of gill covers more than 430 million years ago. (2020-09-28)

Evolutionary paths: Scientists have found new patterns in protein evolution
Russian scientists studied the trends in the evolution of amino acid sequences of proteins in vertebrates and insects. External factors can be considered as a reason for positive selection affecting genomic positions and serve as an essential aspect of the rapid evolution. But the effect of epistasis is manifested in positions under negative selection, as a result of which substitutions occur less often in them - they evolve more slowly. (2020-09-18)

Humans develop more slowly than mice because our chemistry is different
Scientists have found that the ''segmentation clock''--a genetic network that governs the body pattern formation of embryos--progresses more slowly in humans than in mice because the biochemical reactions are slower in human cells. The differences in the speeds of biochemical reactions may underlie differences between species in the tempo of development. (2020-09-17)

Marine animals live where ocean is most breathable, ranges may shrink with climate change
New research from the University of Washington shows that a wide variety of marine animals -- from vertebrates to crustaceans to mollusks -- already inhabit the maximum range of breathable ocean that their physiology will allow. The findings provide a warning about climate change: Since warmer waters will harbor less oxygen, some stretches of ocean that are breathable today for a given species may not be in the future. (2020-09-16)

Scientists identify gene family key to unlocking vertebrate evolution
New University of Colorado Boulder-led research finds that the traits that make vertebrates distinct from invertebrates were made possible by the emergence of a new set of genes 500 million years ago, documenting an important episode in evolution where new genes played a significant role in the evolution of novel traits in vertebrates. (2020-09-16)

Muscle weakness in patients in intensive care: Potential approach to treatment
Critical Illness Myopathy (CIM) has taken on a new relevance as a result of the Corona virus. CIM is the specialists' term for a muscle weakness which occurs in patients being treated in intensive care for a longer period of time. In a severe case of a Covid19 infection, for example, many patients need artificial ventilation. Researchers have now found a potential method of treating CIM. The results have been published in ''Nature Communications''. (2020-09-09)

Ancient bony fish forces rethink of how sharks evolved
Sharks' non-bony skeletons were thought to be the template before bony internal skeletons evolved, but a new fossil discovery suggests otherwise. (2020-09-07)

Researchers warn of food-web threats from common insecticides
In an opinion in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from North Carolina State University and Pennsylvania State University argued for curbing the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. (2020-09-02)

Life in a nutshell: New species found in the carapace of late cretaceous marine turtle
Fossils have often been known to tell stories of immobile organisms living in the hard tissues of dead ancient marine animals. Now, scientists from Japan have discovered a new species of extinct bivalves that seem to have lived in a unique habitat: the shell of an ancient, now extinct, leatherback sea turtle while the turtle was alive, which allowed this species to colonize new environments and facilitated the evolution of new species. (2020-08-25)

Mineral dust ingested with food leaves characteristic wear on herbivore teeth
In a controlled feeding study of guinea pigs, paleontologists have discovered that mineral dust ingested with food causes distinct signs of wear on the teeth of plant-eating vertebrates, which can differ considerably depending on the type of dust. (2020-08-25)

Illegal trade with terrestrial vertebrates in markets and households of Laos
Scientists provide the first interdisciplinary assessment of human involvement into the terrestrial vertebrate trade in Laos and its impact on the survival of the local fauna populations. Sixty-six traded species found on wildlife trade markets were documented in the paper, published in the open-access journal Nature Conservation, and more than half of them were found to be the species protected either by national law or international convention. (2020-08-19)

Who's your daddy? Male seahorses transport nutrients to embryos
New research by Dr Camilla Whittington and her team at the University of Sydney has found male seahorses transport nutrients to their developing babies during pregnancy. This discovery provides an opportunity for further comparative evolutionary research. (2020-08-13)

Searching the ancient depths of a reptilian genome yields insight into all vertebrates
An Iowa State University scientists contributed to a global effort to assemble the genome of the tuatara, a rare reptile species native to New Zealand. The tuatara genome sheds light on the genomic structure of a huge range of species, including humans. (2020-08-12)

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