USC researchers detail process of beak formation in journal Science
The shapes of avian beaks are determined by areas of active growth amidst areas of slow growth in a developing embryo, and are associated with activity levels of a specific protein called bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), according to a group of researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Their paper, which describes this molecular beak-shaping process, will be published in this week’s issue of the journal Science. A report on this paper and another closely related study will appear in the journal’s news section.
Different bird species tend to have differently shaped beaks, which are said to reflect the different evolutionary pressures under which they develop. In fact, Charles Darwin looked to 13 different species of finch from the Galapagos Islands to help bolster his theories of evolution, showing that while the Galapagos finches had most likely descended from a common ancestor, they had developed into distinct species based on differences in their beaks-differences which corresponded with their confinement to different islands in the archipelago and their adaptation to different ecological niches.
Jon Weiner | EurekAlert!
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
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Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
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21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy