Molecular Evolution

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mouse embryo

TRUE BLUE The blue coloring in this mouse embryo shows that a genetic switch that controls production of a bone- and tissue-building protein turns on genes in the lower half of the embryo’s body. 

Chickens

LOOK, NO HENS  Roosters sometimes hand mitochondria down to their chicks, DNA analysis of White Plymouth Rock chickens reveals. Usually mitochondria, energy-producing organelles in cells, are inherited from the mother. 

water bear

NO WATER, NO PROBLEM  Known as water bears, tardigrades (one seen under a light microscope) are famous for withstanding desiccation. Drying out allows the animals to absorb DNA from other organisms, which may confer stress tolerance.

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