Scientists noticed a dramatic increase in nesting of critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles including the highest nest counts since a conservation project began there in 2000.

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Researchers have found genetic evidence that highly toxic venom proteins were evolutionarily ‘born’ from non-toxic genes, which have other ordinary jobs around the body, such as regulation of cellular functions or digestion of food.

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The average animal cell is 10 microns across but why? Bioengineers take their story of gravity in cells one step further, describing how cells manage to support thousands of membrane-less compartments inside the nucleus.

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Charles Darwin noted more than 150 years ago that animals on the Galapagos Islands, including finches and marine iguanas, were more docile than mainland creatures. He attributed this tameness to the fact that there are fewer predators on remote islands.

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A team of scientists has reconstructed a detailed ‘tree of life’ for turtles. Next generation sequencing technologies have generated unprecedented amounts of genetic information for a thrilling new look at turtles’ evolutionary history. Scientists place turtles in the newly named group ‘Archelosauria’ with their closest relatives: birds, crocodiles, and dinosaurs.

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Do parents defend their offspring whenever necessary, and do self-sacrificing parents really exist? To answer this question, researchers examined defense behaviors of parent blue tits. They investigated whether birds would risk everything to protect their young from predators. Their conclusion: parents weigh the risks. It is not only the risk to the nestlings, but also their own risk that plays a role when defending their nests.

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Ice poses major impediments to winter travel, accumulating on car windshields and airplane wings and causing countless unsuspecting pedestrians to dramatically lose their balance. Scientists have now developed a new way to prevent ice buildup on surfaces like airplane wings, finding inspiration in an unusual source: the poison dart frog.

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A genome of a rare species of tapeworm found living inside a patient’s brain has been sequenced for the first time. The study provides insights into potential drug targets within the genome for future treatments.

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A genome of a rare species of tapeworm found living inside a patient’s brain has been sequenced for the first time. The study provides insights into potential drug targets within the genome for future treatments.

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Biologists long assumed that one-way air flow was a special adaptation in birds driven by the intense energy demands of flight. But now scientists have shown that bird-like breathing also developed in green iguanas – reptiles not known for high-capacity aerobic fitness. The finding bolsters the case that unidirectional bird-like flow evolved long before the first birds.

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While a life in the slow lane may be easier, will it be any longer? It will if you’re a reptile. A new study finds that reduced reproductive rates and a plant-rich diet are responsible for the increased lifespan of reptiles.

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The adult human body is made up of about 37 trillion cells. Microbes, mainly bacteria, outnumber body cells by 10 to 1. Increasingly, scientists recognize that this huge community of microbes affects the health, development and evolution of all multicellular organisms, including humans. A fundamental gap in disease ecology and microbiome research has now been addressed by new research, with a study focus on a fungal pathogen of amphibians.

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Through the careful study of modern and early fossil tortoise, researchers now have a better understanding of how tortoises breathe and the evolutionary processes that helped shape their unique breathing apparatus and tortoise shell.

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When it comes to genitalia, nature enjoys variety. Snakes and lizards have two. Birds and people have one. And while the former group’s paired structures are located somewhat at the level of the limbs, ours, and the birds’, appear a bit further down. In fact, snake and lizard genitalia are derived from tissue that gives rise to hind legs, while mammalian genitalia are derived from the tail bud. But despite such noteworthy contrasts, these structures are functionally analogous and express similar genes. Researchers have now discovered how functionally analogous genitalia can arise from divergent tissue.

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Starting with a simple DNA swab taken from fang marks on people bitten by snakes, an international research team correctly identified the species of the biting snake 100 percent of the time in a first-of-its-kind clinical study.

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