13 news posts related to Genetics/Genomics

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Broccoli in space: How probiotics could help grow veggies in microgravity

A new experiment will test whether microbes can help broccoli grow better in challenging conditions in space.

Astronauts at the International Space Station are spending more time away from Earth, but they still need their daily serving of vegetables. In the quest to find a viable way for crew to grow their own veggies while orbiting, student researchers are sending broccoli seeds coated with a healthy dose of probiotics to space. Six broccoli seeds are aboard the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft that launched last week from Wallops Island, Virginia, as part of a space station cargo resupply mission. 

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Two species of ravens nevermore? New research finds evidence of ‘speciation reversal’

Two ravens sitting on a tree branch.

For over a century, speciation — where one species splits into two — has been a central focus of evolutionary research. But a new study almost 20 years in the making suggests “speciation reversal” — where two distinct lineages hybridize and eventually merge into one — can also be extremely important. The paper, appearing March 2 in Nature Communications, provides some of the strongest evidence yet of the phenomenon in two lineages of common ravens. 

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There's a deeper fish in the sea

Researchers recover a trap after it landed on the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Meet the deepest fish in the ocean, a new species named the Mariana snailfish by an international team of researchers that discovered it. They’re small, translucent, bereft of scales — and highly adept at living where few other organisms can. The Mariana snailfish (Pseudoliparis swirei) thrives at depths of up to about 8,000 meters (26,200 feet) along the Mariana Trench near Guam. 

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Our closest worm kin regrow body parts, raising hopes of regeneration in humans

A close-up view of the cut site and tail end of the worm.

What if humans could regrow an amputated arm or leg, or completely restore nervous system function after a spinal cord injury? A new study of one of our closest invertebrate relatives, the acorn worm, reveals that this feat might one day be possible. Acorn worms burrow in the sand around coral reefs, but their ancestral relationship to chordates means they have a genetic makeup and body plan surprisingly similar to ours. 

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