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A horse of a different color patterning mutation

Connecting genotypes to the complex phenotypes they produce is a fundamental goal of genetics. Variation in coat color pigmentation, partly due to the relative ease at which different patterns can be identified, is one of the best-characterized traits at the genetic level, with examples from sheep (Zhang et al., 2017), cattle (Li et al., 2016), […]

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Is European bison really back?

Humans constantly interact with their environment. They modify habitats, transfer species from one place to another, domesticate some species while contributing to the extinction of others. To reverse the process of extinction, we’ve been reintroducing taxa since the 1800s. Reintroduction refers to the action of establishing self-sustaining and healthy populations of extinct or critically endangered […]

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What happens when hunting history, whale culture, genetics, and an international collaboration work towards a common goal?

Right whales were given their name because they were the rightwhales to hunt: they swim slowly near the ocean’s surface and make predictable annual migrations to easily accessible bays along the coast. They were hunted to near extinction before international protections were enacted in 1935. As the species recovered, researchers have acquired a myriad of […]

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Surviving cyanide – one path or many?

Cyanide is deadly – to most things. In high enough doses it blocks the body’s ability to create energy by interrupting cellular respiration. But even at non-lethal doses it has knock-on effects throughout the body. Despite this, a few mammals eat it regularly. In my last post, I described how I found multiple ways in […]

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Surviving Cyanide – Part One

Eating is dangerous. Are you drinking a glass of wine? Perhaps planning pesto for dinner? The very flavors that attract us to those foods come from toxins plants produce to protect themselves. We humans know to the deadly ones. But imagine you’re a wild herbivore – every bite you take is a risk. Bamboos, and […]

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