SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Microscopic Neighbors, Evolving Together
from the New York Times (Registration Required)
It seems obvious that how different living things in a community or ecological system bump up against one another would affect how they evolve. That would include everything from the mix of fish in a lake to the bacteria, fungi and insects that coexist in rainwater that pools in the roots at the base of a beech tree.
But, says Diane Lawrence, a graduate student in biology at Imperial College London, what actually happens when a number of species grow together over generations has rarely been examined in the laboratory, since most studies of adaptation involve one species alone, or perhaps two species.
She and Timothy G. Barraclough, a professor of evolutionary biology at the college, and colleagues collected five species of bacteria from beech tree water pools. They ended up using only four species, because one didn't grow well in the lab. They grew each strain in isolation and all four strains together, feeding the bacteria tea made with autumn beech leaves.
Connect With Us:
VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones
The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.