blind

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Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus) are a fascinating example of divergent evolution. Over time, some of these freshwater river fish washed into caves where they continue to live. With perpetual darkness, these cavefish have lost their ability to see along with their skin pigmentation. Oxygen and food are also hard to come by in the caves.…

The evolutionary capacitor

Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) helps keep proteins in the body folded properly and is thought to compensate for variations that occur in proteins over time. In a study published in Science magazine, Dr. Nicolas Rohner and colleagues showed that stress can affect the ability for HSP90 to do its job thereby unmasking these alternative…

New discovery about dog eyes

I came across this really interesting press release from the University of Pennsylvania that I just had to share. Despite having a close relationship with dogs for thousands of years, we are still making new discoveries about our canine friends. Drs. William Beltran (School of Veterinary Medicine), Artur Cideciyan (Perelman School of Medicine), and colleagues…

By injecting the eyes of blind mice with a chemical called AAQ, Dr. Richard Kramer and colleagues at UC Berkeley and the University of Washington have found that the animals are able to detect bright light. When these treated mice were exposed to an LED lamp, they actually turned and ran away from the light.…