Russian scientists give an explanation for the wonder of beaver survival throughout the 19th century, when these animals were badly endangered and lived in conditions that would be fatal for another mammalian species.
A population of beavers can survive, if it includes only three animals living together. Such a small size of viable population is explained by the genetic adaptation of beavers to inbreeding. Beaver genome and behaviour account for an outstanding viability of this species, as is established by A.N. Milishnikov and his colleagues from the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution in Moscow.
Beavers have a rather puritan character: as distinct from other mammalian species, they dont give way to promiscuity, but live as couples and even families. Several families make up a settlement (colony) that is a larger society of beavers. However, families maintain their genetic isolation and do not interbreed. Each family resides within a certain area of a river and bank, where the others cannot enter (trespassers are severely punished).
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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Researchers at King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom have for the first time demonstrated a direct link between the Wbp2 gene and progressive hearing loss. The scientists report that the loss of Wbp2 expression leads to progressive high-frequency hearing loss in mouse as well as in two clinical cases of children with deafness with no other obvious features. The results are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.
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Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg's Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously.
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