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Biologists shed light on how microbes evolve, affect hosts

November 4, 2020

The era of COVID-19 and the need to constantly wash one's hands and sanitize things have brought microbes to new levels of scrutiny, particularly for their impact on an individual's health.

While associations between microbes and their hosts, from the beneficial - think probiotics in yogurt - to the harmful - such as with viruses spread by touch - have long been known, little is known about how microbes evolve and how their evolution affects the health of their hosts.


November 4, 2020


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Pattern analysis of phylogenetic trees could reveal connections between evolution, ecology

June 26, 2020

In biology, phylogenetic trees represent the evolutionary history and diversification of species – the “family tree” of Life. Phylogenetic trees not only describe the evolution of a group of organisms but can also be constructed from the organisms within a particular environment or ecosystem, such as the human microbiome. In this way, they can describe how this ecosystem evolved and what its functional capabilities might be.


June 26, 2020


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Genomic study ties insect evolution to the ability to detect airborne odors

August 2, 2018

A new study reveals that all insects use specialized odorant receptors that enable them to detect and pursue mates, identify enemies, find food and – unfortunately for humans – spread disease. This puts to rest a recent hypothesis that only some insects evolved the ability to detect airborne odors as an adaptation to flight, the researchers said.

The findings are reported in the journal eLife.


August 2, 2018


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