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Blind Cave Fish Can See Again

Can blind cave fish get their lost eyes back?  Yes, if they hybridize with other cave fish that lost them due to different mutations.  An article on Science Daily described experiments at New York University that showed that the progeny of two independent cave populations could have fully functioning eyes.  Why?  Because “the genetic deficiencies […]

Darwinian Dogma Doubted: Cave Fish Go Blind on Purpose

Contrary to previous belief, blind cave fish have the genes to build eyes but turn them off during development, reports Science Now.  When a body part is no longer needed, scientists usually assume that mutations accumulate in the genes controlling the structure, eventually preventing it from working or being made.  “That was the dogma,” says […]

Archer Fish Learns the Laws of Optics

Imagine you’re a kid in a swimming pool, underwater with a squirt gun.  Lurking under the surface, you detect the wavy, distorted image of your big brother standing on the deck.  You sneak up, fire from below– and miss, because you didn’t know how to correct for refraction and distance through the air-water interface.  There’s […]

New Techniques Reveal Deep Sea Wonders

Operation Deep Scope has a new Eye-in-the-Sea deep-sea camera system that is revealing amazing animals never before seen, says EurekAlert.  A test run in the Gulf of Mexico by Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute saw a fluorescent shark, a fluorescent sea anemone, a large squid and some fish that became invisible at certain angles in polarized […]

Fish Evolved by Sunbathing

A new slant on how the first land creatures evolved is found in New Scientist: sunbathing fish received more energy, and this made them better predators.  In all seriousness, James Randerson writes, Our distant fishy ancestors first hauled themselves on to land in order to warm up in the Sun.  So claims a team that […]

Evolution of Jaws: A Hox on Storytelling

Lampreys are jawless fish, unlike Jaws and his kin.  M.J. Cohn found that Hox genes are expressed in a lamprey in the first pharangeal arch.  Noting that fish with jaws do not express Hox genes in the first pharangeal arch [PA1], from which the jaws develop, Cohn hypothesized that jaw evolution proceeded with a retreat […]

Fish Antifreeze Provided by “Pseudogene”

Freezing water forms crystals that can rip and tear at cells.  Yet there are fish in arctic waters that can survive even below the freezing point of sea water.  They accomplish this by means of special “antifreeze proteins” that interfere with the damaging effects of water crystals.     Scientists knew about AFP (anti-freeze protein) […]
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