Recent findings suggest the repeated evolution of similar traits in island lizards was not channelled by developmental responses to the environment, as commonly thought — ScienceDaily

Scientists have challenged a popular theory behind the evolution of similar traits in island lizards, in a study published recently in eLife.

The findings in Greater Antillean Anolis lizards provide insights on why creatures often evolve similar physical features independently when living in similar habitats. They suggest that the role of developmental plasticity in shaping adaptive evolution may be less important than commonly thought.

Developmental plasticity refers to how development responds to the environment, in particular the way that an organism’s genetic constitution (or genotype) interacts with its environment during development to produce a particular set of characteristics (or phenotype).

“Anolis lizards that live on all four of the Greater Antillean islands have independently and repeatedly evolved six different body types for maneuvering through their given habitat,” says lead author Nathalie Feiner, Researcher at the Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden. “As a result, they make a great model

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Women who have had repeated and unexplained pregnancy loss have an altered perception and brain response to men’s body odor — ScienceDaily

Women who have suffered unexplained repeated pregnancy loss (uRPL) have altered perceptions and brain responses to male body odours, in comparison to those with no history of uRPL, suggests a new study published today in eLife.

The results could lead to urgently needed answers for many women who experience repeat miscarriage with no clear underlying explanation.

Around 50% of human conceptions and 15% of human pregnancies result in miscarriage, but only a limited number of these can be explained. Body odour has been linked to many aspects of healthy human reproduction — such as synchrony of menstruation between women who live together, and the influence of body odours of breast-feeding women on the timing of ovulation and menstruation in others.

“Given that sense of smell is associated with human reproduction, we hypothesised that it may also be related to disorders of human reproduction,” explains lead author Liron Rozenkrantz, who

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