Researchers at the University of Rochester have produced compelling evidence of how the hand of natural selection caused one species of fruit fly to split into two more than 2 million years ago. The study, appearing in todays issue of Nature, answers one of evolutionary biologists most basic questions--how do species divide--by looking at the very DNA responsible for the division. Understanding why certain genes evolve the way they do during speciation can shed light on some of the least understood aspects of evolution.
"The study of speciation has a reputation for wild speculation because every time we find a curious genetic element, we suspect it of causing speciation," says Daven Presgraves, lead author on the study and postdoctoral fellow at the University. "We know embarrassingly little about a core process in evolutionary biology, but now weve nailed down the exact sequence of a gene that we know was involved in keeping two species separated. We can see that it was natural selection that made the gene the way it is."
The study breaks ground in two ways: First, its the first time that a gene known to be involved in speciation has had its DNA fully revealed.
Jonathan Sherwood | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg present a new method which can double the energy of a proton beam produced by laser-based particle accelerators. The breakthrough could lead to more compact, cheaper equipment that could be useful for many applications, including proton therapy.
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Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
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With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
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