Recent Posts by Pangaea Biosciences

Found: Rare beetle collected by Darwin 180 years ago

A brightly colored beetlecollected by Charles Darwin more than 180 years ago has been identified as a new species after hiding in museum storage for decades. The discovery of Darwinilus sedarisi whose scientific epithet honors both Charles Darwin and the writer David Sedaris was announced Wednesday (Feb. 12) to coincide with the 205th anniversary of Darwin's birthday. The South…
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Scientists identify gene linking brain structure to intelligence

For the first time, scientists at King's College London have identified a gene linking the thickness of the grey matter in the brain to intelligence. The study is published today in Molecular Psychiatry and may help scientists understand biological mechanisms behind some forms of intellectual impairment. The researchers looked at the cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of…
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Out of Africa … And Back Again?

Every person on the planet can trace their genetic roots to Africa, the source of the great migration of humanity that began some 60,000 years ago. But it turns out that one group may have staged an epic return trek, erased by the sands of time and lost to human memory—until now. Scientists have uncovered…
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‘Steak-knife’ teeth reveal ecology of oldest land predators

The first top predators to walk on land were not afraid to bite off more than they could chew, a University of Toronto Mississauga study has found. Graduate student and lead author Kirstin Brink along with Professor Robert Reisz from U of T Mississauga's Department of Biology suggest that Dimetrodon, a carnivore that walked on land…
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Novel genes determine division of labor in insect societies

Novel or highly modified genes play a major role in the development of the different castes within ant colonies. Evolutionary biologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) came to this conclusion in a recent gene expression study. Dr. Barbara Feldmeyer and her colleagues at the JGU Institute of Zoology studied the question how the different…
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From one cell to many: How did multicellularity evolve?

In the beginning there were single cells. Today, many millions of years later, most plants, animals, fungi, and algae are composed of multiple cells that work collaboratively as a single being. Despite the various ways these organisms achieved multicellularity, their conglomeration of cells operate cooperatively to consume energy, survive, and reproduce. But how did multicellularity…
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Can Moths Explain Why Sloths Poo On the Ground?

Here’s a memorable encounter between David Attenborough and a three-toed sloth, as shown in Life of Mammals. Sloths normally spend their lives hanging from high branches, but this one ambles down to the ground at the 1:10 mark. “It wants to defecate,” says Attenborough, “and the only place it’s happy doing that, oddly enough, is down on…
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