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Hofstenia miamia regenerating head fragment 48 hours post-amputation with neural gene expression in yellow and stem cell gene expression in magenta.

Neural Architecture and Regeneration in Three-Banded Panther Worm

July 22, 2020

A major transition in animal evolution is the origin of bilateral symmetry, which coincided with the evolution of organized nervous systems. Animals with bilateral symmetry are known to prominently feature a complex brain with many different neural cell types located near the front of the animal's head. To understand the appearance of the brain and its diverse neurons studies of the nervous system in animals that diverged early from their ancestor lineage are needed.

In a study...

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Scott Edwards courtesy of James Deshler

Scott Edwards fulfills a lifelong dream while also raising awareness

July 5, 2020

When COVID-19 sent students home and halted lab research, Scott Edwards, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Ornithology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, decided to fulfill his lifelong dream of cycling from the Atlantic to Pacific. Two weeks before his departure on June 6, nationwide protests broke out over the murder of George Floyd by a police officer. On the same day a video of a racist encounter in Central Park involving a Black birder and white woman went viral. As a result of that incident, a group of Black birders and naturalists launched...

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The animals sampled in the analysis. Colors indicates rates of evolution: warm colors high rates and cool colors low rates

Did Adaptive Radiations Shape Reptiles?

July 3, 2020

Some of the most fundamental questions in evolution remain unanswered, such as when and how extremely diverse groups of animals – for example reptiles – first evolved. For 75 years, adaptive radiations – the relatively fast evolution of many species from a single common ancestor – have been considered as the major cause of biological diversity, including the origins of major body plans (structural and developmental characteristics that identify a group of animals) and new lineages. However, past research examining these rapid rates of evolution was largely constrained by the methods...

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