10 news posts related to Genetics/Genomics

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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. 

Read more at UW Today »

Herring fishery's strength is in the sum of its parts, study finds

Young adult herring from Puget Sound.

A wise investor plays the financial market by maintaining a variety of stocks. In the long run, the whole portfolio will be more stable because of the diversity of the investments it contains. It’s this mindset that resource managers should adopt when considering Pacific herring, one of the most ecologically significant fish in Puget Sound and along the entire West Coast, argue the authors of a recent paper appearing in the journal Oecologia. 

Read more at UW Today »

Puget Sound’s clingfish could inspire better medical devices, whale tags

Northern clingfish.

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories are studying the Northern clingfish, a finger-sized fish that scoots around the coastal waters of Puget Sound and can use suction forces to hold up to 150 times its own body weight. They’re trying to better understand how clingfish summon such massive power in wet, slimy environments—something current industrial suction devices can’t do—and if the biomechanics of clingfish could be instructive in designing surgical instruments and, possibly, a new way to tag whales without puncturing their skin with darts.  

Read more at UW Today »

UW scientist offers new insights on Earth's evolution in recently published book

“A New History of Life” by Earth and Space Sciences’ Peter Ward and Joseph L. Kirschvink from the California Institute of Technology draws on their years of experience in paleontology, biology, chemistry, and astrobiology to illuminate recent scientific developments about the evolution of life on Earth. More than 150 years after Darwin published his evolutionary theories, Ward and Kirschvink argue that chaos and catastrophe shaped the evolution of life on Earth; that it was not an elegant, gradual process.  

Read more at The Wall Street Journal »