Deep beneath the waters of Costa Rica, dozens of crabs are waving their claws in unison, in what seems to be a rhythmic performance. It's almost as if these crabs are locked in a ritual dance.
These are not the best of times for amphibians. All around the world, populations of frogs, salamanders and newts are declining. At least 489 species (7.8% of all known amphibians) are nearing extinction.
Summary: Scientists show that vertebrate-specific globins originated in two rounds of genome duplication. We vertebrates work for our O2. Whether we’re a fish or antelope, we all have gills and lungs to filter oxygen out of air or water.
Welcome to the sixteenth edition of the MolBio Carnival! Some great blog posts on cellular and molecular biology have been submitted, many of them written by first-time contributors, so I urge you to check them all out.
Few people will find delight in the dredge that is hauled from the ocean floor. But for the British biologist Ray Lankester, such hauls represented an unseen world of wonder.
The plague bacteria that swept through medieval Europe had been declared extinct just over a month ago. A quick google search reveals articles with headlines such as 'Medieval plague bacteria strain probably extinct' and 'Black death strain extinct'.
Every animal has its own parasites to worry about, but canivorous reptiles and amphibians have to deal with particularly gruesome ones. They can become infected with small, worm-like creatures called pentastomes that live inside their lungs, where they suck blood from ruptured blood vessels.
Cell division is like an intricate dance, where chromosomes have to follow a tight choreography. The chromosomes first have to find and pair with their partners, proceed with an exchange of DNA and then part ways again.
Three years ago, a friend and I were eating a slice of lime. If we had had any normal sense of taste, the sour fruit would have made us squint our eyes and twist our faces.
The history of penguins in Africa is a history of false starts. The first penguin pioneers that settled Africa millions of years ago all went extinct.
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