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Latest Lancelet Stories

2013-02-07 15:27:50

Among the animals that are appealing “cover models” for scientific journals, lancelets don´t spring readily to mind. Slender, limbless, primitive blobs that look pretty much the same end to end, lancelets “are extremely boring. I wouldn´t recommend them for a home aquarium,” says Enrico Nasi, adjunct senior scientist in the MBL´s Cellular Dynamics Program. Yet Nasi and his collaborators managed to land a lancelet on the cover of The Journal of...

2012-03-14 22:03:04

In a brainless marine worm, MBL researchers find the developmental 'scaffold' for the vertebrate brain The origin of the exquisitely complex vertebrate brain is somewhat mysterious. "In terms of evolution, it basically pops up out of nowhere. You don't see anything anatomically like it in other animals," says Ariel Pani, an investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole and a graduate student at the University of Chicago. But this week in the journal Nature, Pani...

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2011-12-30 13:43:58

A brainless and faceless fish was one of 15 species discovered this year in a series of Scottish marine excavations. The amphioxus was found in Tankerness in Orkney.  It has a nerve cord down its back and is said to be regarded as a representative of the first animals to evolve a backbone. Scientists also discovered giant mussels with shells measuring 18-inches around the Small Isles.  These are said to be the largest sea shells in Scotland. Over 100 specimens of the Fan...

2010-09-02 12:36:53

EMBL scientists uncover counterpart of cerebral cortex in marine worms Our cerebral cortex, or pallium, is a big part of what makes us human: art, literature and science would not exist had this most fascinating part of our brain not emerged in some less intelligent ancestor in prehistoric times. But when did this occur and what were these ancestors? Unexpectedly, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have now discovered a true counterpart of...

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2010-01-31 13:27:43

Revelations of rotting fish provide scientists with clearer picture of early life Decaying corpses are usually the domain of forensic scientists, but paleontologists have discovered that studying rotting fish sheds new light on our earliest ancestry. The researchers, from the Department of Geology at the University of Leicester, devised a new method for extracting information from 500 million year old fossils - they studied the way fish decompose to gain a clearer picture of how our ancient...

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2009-05-21 08:03:55

Scripps scientists find unexpected role for proteins: antioxidants Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered a family of green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) in a primitive sea animal, along with new clues about the role of the proteins that has nothing to do with their famous glow. GFPs recently gained international attention with the awarding of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, shared by UC San Diego's...

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2008-06-19 10:20:00

Ancestor to all chordates, including the vertebrates, confirms 40-year-old theory The newly sequenced genome of a dainty, quill-like sea creature called a lancelet provides the best evidence yet that vertebrates evolved over the past 550 million years through a four-fold duplication of the genes of more primitive ancestors. The late geneticist Susumu Ohno argued in 1970 that gene duplication was the most important force in the evolution of higher organisms, and Ohno's theory was the basis for...

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2006-11-06 15:26:43

Genetic analysis of an obscure, worm-like creature retrieved from the depths of the North Atlantic has led to the discovery of a new phylum, a rare event in an era when most organisms have already been grouped into major evolutionary categories. The analysis also appears to shed light on the ancestor of chordates, the backboned animals that include human beings and two small invertebrate groups closely related to one another: lancelets and tunicates. Its a tremendous surprise that this...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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