Rodent Study Questions Common Understanding of Evolution According to new research, studying the rodent family tree can shed some light on how species evolve after they move into a new area. Conducted in part by researchers at Florida State University, the study of the evolutionary history of rodents calls into doubt a generally held understanding that when a species colonizes a new region, evolution leads to a dramatic increase in the number and variety of species.
Land Use Decisions Impact Forest Benefits A new study by Harvard University's Harvard Forest and the Smithsonian Institution reveals that, if left unchecked, recent trends in the loss of forests to development will undermine significant land conservation gains in Massachusetts, jeopardize water quality and limit the natural landscape's ability to protect against climate change.
Environment and genetics Interplay between genes and the environment has been pondered at least since the phrase "nature versus nurture" was coined in the mid-1800s.
But until the arrival of modern genomic sequencing tools, it was hard to measure the extent that the environment had on a species' genetic makeup.
Now, researchers with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech studying fruit flies that live on opposite slopes of a unique natural environment known as "Evolution Canyon" show that even with migration, cross-breeding, and sometimes the obliteration of the populations, the driving force in the gene pool is largely the environment.
The Unintended Consequences of Reflective Pavements Among the most interesting exhibitors at the recent Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia may have been the Asphalt Pavement Alliance challenging what we thought we knew about urban heat island effect with new research from Arizona State University.