Tarsiers are indigenous to the islands of Southeast Asia, but visitors to the zoo should also be familiar with these charming monkeys with their conspicuously big eyes. A meeting with them in the monkey house is practically a visit with our own relatives, a new study now shows.
For decades, we remained in the dark regarding the evolutionary origin of the tarsiers, but now a new scientific study has brought light into this dark corner of our knowledge; the tarsiers, or Ghost Monkeys, are indisputably much more closely related to humans and other higher primates than previously imagined. The research group of Dr. Jürgen Schmitz in the Institute of Experimental Pathology at the University of Münster in Germany, funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG), has finally resolved the controversial question of the phylogenetic decent and evolutionary history of this branch of higher primates. The results of their scientific analyses have just been published online in the journal "Nature Scientific Reports".The tarsiers were long thought to represent the very first branching on the evolutionary tree of primates, and thus more distantly related to humans and other higher primates. But this view was already shaken in 2001, when Dr. Jürgen Schmitz and his colleagues identified 50-million-year-old so called ‘Jumping genes’ in the current genomes of tarsiers. “These jumping genes are contemporary, quasi fossilized genomic witnesses of tarsiers much closer relationship to humans than to other prosimians,” explained Schmitz. Unfortunately, over the next twelve years, others’ analyses of tarsier DNA sequences could not definitively confirm their placement on this branch of the evolutionary tree of primates – until now.
Dr. Christina Heimken | idw
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02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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