Kellie Heckman, from Yale University collaborated with colleagues from other institutions in the USA to sequence a mitochondrial gene called cytochrome b, in 70 mouse lemurs. The lemurs were thought to belong to up to three different species because they live in different forest habitats and have distinctive coat colours.
However, surprisingly, Heckman et al.’s phylogenetic analysis reveals that the 70 lemurs do not differ genetically. According to their cytochrome b sequence, they all belong to the same, previously identified species, Microcebus griseorufus. The authors also show that the three different coat colours observed are found in all three geographical locations in similar proportions. Because they are nocturnal animals, these lemurs tend to depend more on auditory cues or smell to recognise each other, than on visual cues, such as coat colour. This could explain why a certain amount of variation in coat colour does not affect species recognition in mouse lemurs.
The authors of the study recommend caution when identifying new species of lemurs. They conclude that an approach combining morphological, genetic, geographic, and ecological data is the most likely to give an accurate picture of species diversity.
Juliette Savin | alfa
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy