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genetics

This tag is associated with 19 posts

Baby, you light up my world: Using genetics to understand how velvet belly lanternsharks produce light

Eat or be eaten is the way of the ocean, and many marine species have adapted ways to accomplish one while avoiding the other. The velvet belly lanternshark (Etmopterus spinax) is a small deep sea dogfish species found in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Lanternsharks get their name from their ability to light up like a […]

Are you feeding your pet endangered sharks?

Did you know there could be shark in your dog or cat’s food? Did you know they could also be in your beauty products? Now that you’re back from reading your product labels, I’ll tell you the bad news. They might be there even if it isn’t on the label. Keep reading to learn how […]

How the anglerfish gets its light

Deep-sea anglerfishes are known for their prominent glowing lure extending from their heads. Bacteria are behind the scenes, enabling anglerfish to create their bioluminescence. How and when do anglerfish form the bond with their bioluminescent bacterial partners? Scientists may now have an answer. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island […]

Skin that Sees: Evolution and Mechanism of Phototaxis in Sea Snake Tails

Researchers have discovered light sensing abilities in the tails of sea snakes. This unique adaptation in one genus of snakes may allow them to sense and respond to impending danger. Crowe-Riddell, J. M., Simões, B. F., Partridge, J. C., Hunt, D. M., Delean, S., Schwerdt, J. G., … Sanders, K. L. (2019). Phototactic tails: Evolution and […]

The Coral Dilemma: Is Hybridization the Key?

Coral: a mineral, plant, and animal all in one (oh my!) Unfortunately, coral is in danger- and the many reefs which support a wide variety of organisms (including humans) are rapidly dying. Does interspecific hybridization hold the key to our coral dilemma? Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator and policy analyst with an MS in […]

Microbe Mishap: Microplastic Pollution on the Coast of China

Marine plastic pollution has vast negative effects on the environment and human health. Microbes on the plastic may be transferring disease-causing microorganisms around the ocean or reducing the plastic’s toxicity. Researchers studied these plastic associated microbes on the coast of Shanghai, China. LeAundra JeffsI am a Master’s Candidate at University of Delaware where I study […]

Riding the phage wave: Emerging role of viruses in the ocean

Viruses live in the ocean, where they infect bacteria who also live in the ocean. Ocean viruses are crucial to the ecosystem, but we don’t know very much about how they ‘survive’ in the ocean. Scientists used data from samples collected all over the world, and explored what types of viruses were in these samples. […]

The answer to starvation? Diversity

Photosynthetic microorganisms can’t go it alone, so they succeed by playing host to a diverse array of microbial partners Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find microbes where they are in the seafloor, and what are they doing there? […]

The ocean’s tiny, mysterious majority

The earth has more viruses than the universe has stars – but we know far less about our tiny majority at home than we do about the glowing balls of gas in our night sky. Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why […]

Now we got bad blood: Oxygen binding is not affected by haemoglobin subtype in Atlantic cod

Why do northern and southern populations of Atlantic cod have different haemoglobin subtypes? A recent study upsets over 50 years of theory. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and […]

Swashbuckling spiders sailed the high seas

Long before the Vikings reached North America, a group of coastal spiders was already sailing around the world using prevailing winds, currents, and rafts. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the […]

Parenthood: The Most Rewarding Experience or The Ultimate Sacrifice?

Our human parents make a lot of sacrifices for us! They devote their time and energy, provide for us, invest in us (monetarily, sure, but also emotionally), nurture us, attempt to teach us, make career decisions with us in mind, and lose a lot of sleep worrying about us. However, in the marine world things […]

You look like your mom: parental effects in Atlantic salmon

In honour of our Mother’s Day theme week, we’ll look at how the environment experienced by parents during reproduction and their early life history influences their offspring. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and […]

A cod by any other name would taste as sweet?

Seafood is a staple of the American diet, particularly on the coasts. Distributors frequently mislabel seafood, accidentally or fraudulently, because seafood species may be difficult to tell apart after chemical and physical processing. We need a fast, reliable, and cost-effective way to accurately identify seafood species in order to reduce fraud. This paper presents a […]

Healthy Obesity: Whales and Dolphins Benefit from their Blubber

Scientists study the genetic underpinnings of blubber formation in whales and dolphins, highlighting genes that may play a key role in human obesity. Dina NavonI am a doctoral candidate in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I’m interested in how an individual’s genes and the environment in which it […]

Like father, like son? Is survival under ocean acidification heritable?

Can marine life adapt to ocean acidification? Well, first we need to understand if these favourable characteristics (survival under elevated CO2 conditions) are genetically determined and can be passed on to the offspring! Catarina SilvaHi! I am a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington. I study the genetic structure of organisms and how the […]

Sunlight and Sex Determination: how environmental cues help shape sex ratios in larval fish

If you are a fish like the California grunion, environmental cues are going to play a role in determining whether you are a male or female fish. If the environment is colder, you are more likely to be female; if the environment is warmer, odds are you’ll be male. But it seems that temperature isn’t […]

Are whale sharks in trouble?

A recent study at the global scale suggests that there are two distinct populations of whale shark (Indo-Pacific and Atlantic Ocean). Authors show the evidence that populations of sharks aggregating at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia have been declining in genetic diversity from 2007 to 2012. Catarina SilvaHi! I am a PhD candidate at Victoria […]

Baby Beluga is at Heightened Risk: Pollutant Accumulation in Arctic Predators Affects Gene Expression

Analyzing changes in gene transcription is a way to detect adverse effects in organisms before they are observable on the whole organism level. Here, a Canadian research group set out to determine whether beluga whales in the relatively pristine Beaufort Sea are accumulating toxic pollutants at levels that could affect the future health of the […]

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