Brave new world

Brave new world

Faced with extreme weather events and unprecedented environmental change, animals and plants are scrambling to catch up — with mixed results. A new model developed by Carlos Botero, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, helps to predict the types of changes that could drive a given species to extinction.
New maps hint at how electric fish got their big brains

New maps hint at how electric fish got their big brains

Washington University researchers have mapped the regions of the brain in mormyrid fish in extremely high detail. In a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Current Biology, they report that the part of the brain called the cerebellum is bigger in members of this fish family compared to related fish — and this may be associated with their use of weak electric discharges to locate prey and to communicate with one another.
Replaying the tape of life: Is it possible?

Replaying the tape of life: Is it possible?

A review published in the Nov. 9 issue of Science explores the complexity of evolution’s predictability in extraordinary detail. Jonathan Losos of Arts & Sciences takes on a classic question posed by Stephen Jay Gould in an effort to fully interrogate ideas about contingency’s role in evolution.
Birds that babysit

Birds that babysit

It’s easy to make up a story to explain an evolved trait; proving that’s what happened is much harder. Here scientists test ideas about cooperative breeding in birds and find a solution that resolves earlier disagreements.
Supporting evolution educators

Supporting evolution educators

Evolution educators continue to face resistance from parents, lawmakers and school boards. And a recent Pew Research Center survey on science and society shows that one-third of the population denies evolution. The Institute of School Partnership, through Darwin Day and other programs, help K-12 teachers bring this core concept to their classrooms.
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