Latest Casey Dunn Stories

2011-03-15 15:18:10

Brown University biologist uses sophisticated genomic and computational techniques in a study of deep-sea creatures to examine the origins of a diversity of life The National Science Foundation (NSF) has named its awardee for this year's Alan T. Waterman Award: Casey Dunn, a biologist at Brown University. Dunn's work involves genome analyses to better understand relationships between groups of animals.  He investigates the origins of biological complexity through work with deep-sea...

2009-09-23 09:59:18

In the most computationally intensive phylogenetic analysis to date, an international research team led by Brown University has found the first evolutionary branching for bilateral animals. The researchers determined that the flatworm group Acoelomorpha is a product of the deepest split within the bilateral creatures "” multicelled organisms that, like humans, have symmetrical body forms. Results appear online in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. When it comes to understanding a...

2008-04-10 16:22:37

Earth's first animal was the ocean-drifting comb jelly, not the simple sponge, according to a new find that has shocked scientists who didn't imagine the earliest critter could be so complex. The mystery of the first animal denizen of the planet can only be inferred from fossils and by studying related animals today. To get to the bottom of that, scientists analyzed massive volumes of genetic data to define the earliest splits at the base of the animal tree of life. The tree of life is...

2008-04-10 13:30:00

A new study mapping the evolutionary history of animals indicates that Earth's first animal--a mysterious creature whose characteristics can only be inferred from fossils and studies of living animals--was probably significantly more complex than previously believed. The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is the cover story of the April 10, 2008 issue of Nature. Using new high-powered technologies for analyzing massive volumes of genetic data, the study defined...

2008-03-05 13:00:00

A study led by Brown University biologist Casey Dunn uses new genomics tools to answer old questions about animal evolution. The study is the most comprehensive animal phylogenomic research project to date, involving 40 million base pairs of new DNA data taken from 29 animal species. The study, which appears in Nature, settles some long-standing debates about the relationships between major groups of animals and offers up a few surprises. The big shocker: Comb jellyfish "“ common and...

Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.