23 March 2020

Nature, nurture, noise

A new feature by Jordana Cepelewicz in Quanta Magazine starts off using marbled crayfish to make a point about variation:

In the 1990s, an army of clones invaded Germany. Within a decade, they had spread to Italy, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Sweden, France, Japan and Madagascar — wreaking havoc in rivers and lakes, rice paddies and swamps; in waters warm and cold, acidic and basic. The culprits: six-inch-long, lobster-like creatures called marbled crayfish. ...

New research on crayfish and scores of other organisms is revealing an important role for a third, often-overlooked source of variation and diversity — a surprising foundation for what makes us unique that begins in the first days of an embryo’s development: random, intrinsic noise.
Marmorkrebs are not the point of the article, but it’s nice to see them so prominent featured. It’s a nice example of how marbled crayfish can be used as a model for general biological problems.

External links

Nature Versus Nurture? Add ‘Noise’ to the Debate.

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