In Nature this week, University of California, Berkeley, researchers publish the draft genomes of two annelids — a freshwater leech and a marine polychaete — and one mollusk — the owl limpet — providing new insights into the evolution of bilateral symmetry. By comparing these genomes with those of other animals, the team identified some of the genetic changes that gave rise to bilaterians.
Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.
Meanwhile, in Nature Genetics, Chinese scientists report on their whole-genome sequencing of 34 giant pandas and combined the findings with data from the previously deep-sequenced panda genome to reconstruct a continuous demographic history of pandas from their origin to the present day. They identified two population expansions, two bottlenecks, and two divergences, and conclude that human activities and not global climate changes have driven recent population divergence and decline.
GenomeWeb Daily News also covers this paper here.