And what they tell us about fate
Paul Brakefield is a world authority on spots. His laboratory team delves into wide-ranging questions about the circles and dots on butterfly wings: What genes change the spots' size? Do different spots evolve separately or in concert? What kinds of spots wow the opposite sex? Brakefield argues that butterfly wings, particularly their freckles, offer science a rare opportunity. They're good for experiments in an unusually wide range of scientific disciplines, so researchers can combine insights and deepen their understanding of how evolution works.