Latest Issue of Science News

5/2/15 Cover

Molecular Evolution

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Siglec genes

LONGEVITY BY THE NUMBERS  How long a species lives depends upon the number of “Siglec” genes it carries. Siglec genes encode immune proteins that may protect against aging by fighting oxidants. Source: Schwarz et al./eLife 2015; Adapted by E. Otwel.  

Big Brain

FOLD IT  A gene that only humans have can make the normally smooth outer layer of mouse brains develop folds similar to those in human brains (upper right center). The gene may have been important for the evolution of big human brains.

Large ground finch

BLUNT BEAK  Changes in a single gene are largely responsible for the blunt beaks of some Darwin’s finches, like this large ground finch (Geospiza magnirostris) from Daphne Major Island in the Galápagos Islands.

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