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Molecular Evolution

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Tasmanian devil

SURVIVAL GEAR  Some genetic variants may have allowed a small number of Tasmanian devils to withstand a deadly contagious facial tumor that has killed up to 95 percent of them in some locales. The discovery could be good news for the species. 

E. coli

PINCH HITTERS  When E. coli (shown here) loses genes that make important enzymes, other enzymes will find a new way to do the same job. 

silhouettes of primates

EASY RIDER  Gut bacteria have been passed down from the ancestors of humans and African apes for millennia, evolving alongside their hosts, says a new study that looked at bacteria from gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees and humans. 

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