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Vanderbilt evolutionary biologist makes finals of a national award for young scientists

Jun. 6, 2017—Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor in Biological Sciences Antonis Rokas has been selected as a finalist for the $250,000 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

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Climate change helped kill off super-sized Ice Age animals in Australia

Jan. 26, 2017—A new study has compared the diet of a variety of Australian megafaunal herbivores from the period when they were widespread (350,000 to 570,000 years ago) to a period when they were in decline (30,000 to 40,000 years ago) by studying their fossil teeth. The analysis suggests that climate change had a significant impact on their diets and may well have been a primary factor in their extinction.

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Each animal species hosts a unique microbial community and benefits from it

Nov. 28, 2016—A laboratory study of four animal species and their microbiota finds that each species hosts a unique community of microbes that can significantly improve its health and fitness.

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Life, Earth and Space Research


Transcription factor evolution

Aug. 11, 2016—Vanderbilt researchers have discovered a novel model of evolution for factors that control gene expression.

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Health and Medicine Reporter Research


Discovery of male-harming DNA mutation reinforces ‘mother’s curse’ hypothesis

Aug. 2, 2016—There is new evidence that the "mother’s curse" – the possibility that moms may transmit genes to their children that harm their sons but not their daughters – holds true in animals.

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Life, Earth and Space Research


Newly discovered fossils strengthen proposition that world’s first mass extinction engineered by early animals

Jul. 29, 2016—New fossil evidence strengthens the proposition that the world’s first mass extinction was caused by ‘ecosystem engineers’ – newly evolved organisms that radically altered the environment.

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Neanderthal DNA has subtle but significant impact on human traits

Feb. 11, 2016—The first study that directly compares Neanderthal DNA in the genomes of a significant population of adults of European ancestry with their clinical records confirms that this archaic genetic legacy has a subtle but significant impact on modern human biology.

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Evidence that Earth’s first mass extinction was caused by critters, not catastrophe

Sep. 2, 2015—The Earth's first mass extinction event 540 million years ago was caused not by a meteorite impact or volcanic super-eruption, but by the rise of early animals that dramatically changed to prehistoric environment.

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Life, Earth and Space Research


The pronoun ‘I’ is becoming obsolete

Aug. 19, 2015—Recent microbiological research has shown that plants and animals, including humans, are not autonomous individuals but are holobionts: biomolecular networks that consist of visible hosts plus millions of invisible microbes.

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Life, Earth and Space Research


Evolutionary history of whales, dolphins and sea turtles

Apr. 17, 2015—The evolutionary history of whales, sea turtles and other land animals that have returned to the sea details the radical changes to their life style, body shape, physiology that they made to survive in an aquatic environment.

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Life, Earth and Space releases Research


This Easter weekend, hunt for fossils, not colored eggs

Mar. 24, 2015—Vanderbilt students will give visitors a glimpse of Tennessee’s ancient past April 4 by guiding fossil hunts, identifying fossils and giving presentations and guided tours.

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Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

Mar. 24, 2014—By shifting evolution into reverse to produce an expensive HIV drug out of a simple sugar, Vanderbilt chemist Brian Bachmann has shown that it may be possible to manufacture exotic and expensive synthetic drugs as easily as brewing beer.

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Life, Earth and Space Research


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