Tag: species

Using recent gene flow to define microbe populations

Identifying species among plants and animals has been a full-time occupation for some biologists, but the task is even more daunting for the myriad microbes that inhabit the planet. Now, MIT researchers have developed a simple measurement of gene flow that can define ecologically important populations among bacteria and archaea, including pinpointing populations associated with […]

Tuna are spawning in marine protected areas

Marine protected areas are large swaths of coastal seas or open ocean that are protected by governments from activities such as commercial fishing and mining. Such marine sanctuaries have had rehabilitating effects on at-risk species living within their borders. But it’s been less clear how they benefit highly migratory species such as tuna. Now researchers […]

Genetic study takes research on sex differences to new heights

Throughout the animal kingdom, males and females frequently exhibit sexual dimorphism: differences in characteristic traits that often make it easy to tell them apart. In mammals, one of the most common sex-biased traits is size, with males typically being larger than females. This is true in humans: Men are, on average, taller than women. However, […]

How a declining environment affects populations

Stable ecosystems occasionally experience events that cause widespread death — for example, bacteria in the human gut may be wiped out by antibiotics, or ocean life may be depleted by overfishing. A new study from MIT physicists reveals how these events affect dynamics between different species within a community. In their studies, performed in bacteria, […]