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genetics

This tag is associated with 10 posts
Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) [Wikimedia]

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.

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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.

Figure 3. Deep sea octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica). Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author: NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Photo also used as featured image.

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 can get much more extreme? Some animals make the ultimate sacrifice by literally dying to reproduce. Find out more about some of these marine creatures in today’s Oceanbites!

Young alevin of a Pacific species, the chum salmon.

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.

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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 simplified procedure for seafood DNA extraction that yields sufficient DNA for genetic analyses.

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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.

Figure 1: Changes in seawater chemistry from the 1800s to 2100 (projected) and impacts on marine calcifiers (organisms that deposit calcium salts in their body tissues) © Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

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!

Fig 1: California grunion (Leuresthes tenuis).

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 the only environmental cue influencing sex. Researchers have found that photoperiod, or the duration of sunlight during the day, influences sex ratios in some fish.

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus). Photograph by Brian J. Skerry

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.

The adorable study subject (photo from Wikipedia)

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 beluga population.

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