(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Biology & Evolution

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Biology & Evolution


Biology & Evolution

World’s Smallest Reptile

  • An international group of German and Malagasy scientists led by the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology (ZSMSNSB) has discovered a tiny new species of chameleon — Brookesia nana. The species is an apparently adult male with a body size of 13.5 mm and a total length of 22 mm having a tail. 
  • “At a body length of just 13.5 mm and a total length of just 22 mm including the tail, the male Nano-Chameleon is the smallest known male of all higher vertebrates,” says Frank Glaw, Curator of Herpetology, ZSM-SNSB. The researchers compared fifty-one other chameleon species and found that the new species has exceptionally large genitals.

Unravelling Viruses

  • For the first time, researchers at the University of Leeds and University of York have unveiled how viruses like the poliovirus and the common cold virus ‘package up’ their genetic code to infect cells. 
  • The findings have been published in the journal PLOS Pathogens. The research can help in developing drugs or anti-viral agents that would stop such diseases.

Homo bodoensis — New Species of Human Ancestor

  • Researchers led by University of Winnipeg palaeoanthropologist Dr Mirjana Roksandic, have named a new species of human ancestor Homo bodoensis. 
  • The newly discovered species lived in Africa around half a million years ago. In a study, published in Evolutionary Anthropology, researchers suggested that H. bodoensis is the direct ancestor to H. sapiens.

‘Rare Discovery’ Dinosaur Fossil Sitting on Nest of Eggs

  • Marking a rare discovery, the fossil of a non-avian dinosaur was found sitting on a nest of eggs with preserved embryos in Ganzhou City in China. 
  • The remains of an oviraptorosaur (bird-like dinosaurs) fossil were unearthed from uppermost Cretaceous-aged rocks that are believed to be 70 million years old.

Discovery of Two Ancient Burrowing Mammals

  • As reported in the journal Nature, scientists have found two new species of mammal-like, digging creatures that lived around 120 million years ago in what is currently northeastern China. 
  • The newly discovered species are in directly related however independently evolved characters. They represent the first “scratch-diggers” known to this ecosystem.

Database of Genomic Variants of Oral Cancer

  • DBT (Dept of Biotechnology) funded autonomous institute DBT-National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani, has developed a database for genomic variations in oral cancer. 
  • The database dbGENVOC (browsable online database of GENomic Variants of Oral Cancer) is publicly-accessible and a free-resource. 
  • The database has a built-in powerful search engine capable of recognising variants in associated altered pathways in oral cancer.

Frilled Dinosaur Menefee Ceratops sealeyi

  • In the journal PalZ (Paläontologische Zeitschrift), a group of researchers from Penn and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History has described a new horned dinosaur which is the earliest of its kind. 
  • Menefee Ceratops sealeyi with a frilled head and beaked face is believed to have lived 82 million years ago in New Mexico. 
  • These are one of the earliest known horned or frilled dinosaurs (ceratopsid).



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Courtesy: Science Reporter