In an article published in the May 2004 issue of The American Naturalist, Wilte G. Zijlstra (University of Leiden), Marc J. Steigenga (University of Leiden), P. Bernhardt Koch (University of Erlangen), Bas Zwaan (University of Leiden), and Paul M. Brakefield (University of Leiden) explore the relationship between hormones and environmental adaptation in butterflies.
Hormones are crucial for the development of organisms. In the tropical butterfly, Bicyclus anynana, ecdysone affects eyespot size on the ventral wings and developmental time, both important fitness components. This is reflected in a strong genetic correlation between the traits, and there is evidence that ecdysone is the mechanism for this connection: high levels of ecdysone result in large eyespots and fast development, while low lead to small eyespots and slow development. They selected simultaneously on these two traits and succeeded not only in making more extreme phenotypes, but also in breaking the connection and obtaining phenotypes with large eyespots and slow development, or with small eyespots with fast development. They examined ecdysone physiology to show that both the sensitivity to ecdsyone and the titers of the hormone are only affected by selection on developmental time. This result is important because it shows that in the field the adaptation in life history to changing environments is not hampered by a hormonal mechanism that controls several traits. It further shows that the developmental system is flexible enough to allow evolution in directions opposing the correlation: phenotypes can change by genetic variation in other, independent, pathways.
Carrie Olivia Adams | EurekAlert!
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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