COURTESY OF STEFAN SIEBERT/BROWN UNIV.
Scientists continue to decode the genetic blueprints of the planet’s myriad flora and fauna — both alive and long dead — shedding light on biology, evolution and disease. Highlights from the year include:
1. Comb jellies
A genomic analysis of comb jellies confirmed that the squishy marine predators are the new oldest animals, bumping the much simpler sea sponges from the base of the animal evolutionary tree (SN Online: 12/12/13; SN: 5/18/13, p. 20).
2. Ancient horse
The oldest genome yet sequenced came from a horse’s foot bone dating to between 780,000 and 560,000 years ago that was excavated in Canada’s Yukon. The feat revealed that horse ancestors