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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
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Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
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ScienceShot: How Some Goldfish Got Two Tails
25 February 2014 11:00 am
The twin tails of some prized goldfish varieties didn't arise naturally: Ancient Chinese fish aficionados deliberately bred for this trait. Chinese started keeping goldfish for their ornamental value around the year 1000, during the Song Dynasty. About 600 years later, during the Ming Dynasty, domesticated goldfish with one right tail and another on the left appear in historical records. Such fish are rarely seen in nature. Researchers have now traced this distinctive feature to a genetic mutation in a gene that controls development of the back end of the spine. In normal goldfish, there is a single set of bones in the tail. In goldfish with the mutation, the tail skeleton splits into mirror image left and right sides. The genetic mutation arose naturally, but then twin-tail goldfish varieties were "established and maintained by breeders in Song to Ming dynasty China," the researchers report online today in Nature Communications.