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Scientists knew neochrome was odd before they started rooting around in its family tree. A union of independent proteins — red-sensing phytochrome and blue-sensing phototropin — the super-protein combines two already-great pieces into one fantastic whole that helps plants grow toward dim, filtered light.
An unassuming little fern has left scientists scratching their heads at the feat of reproductive hijinks it apparently represents. The fern, xCystocarpium roskamianum(the prefix ‘x’ indicates it is a hybrid), collected in the French Pyrenees, appeared to be a blend of two ferns they know well.