Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

What Kind of Wolf?

What is a "canis"? asks blogger Dog Zombie at Scientific American. "The more you dig into wild canines in North America, the more unclear it is where any species lines should be drawn," Dog Zombie says. A paper in Genome Research from earlier this year used SNP genotyping to look at variation at more than 48,000 loci in wolves and related species, and, as Dog Zombie points out, shows that many wolves and coyotes are admixtures of wolf, coyote, and dog. "Canis soup has been used before as an example of the blurriness of some species lines and the inadequacy of many existing definitions of a species, but it also provides some interesting insights into the fluidity of canid morphology and behavioral characteristics," Dog Zombie writes. "How did something as large and wild as a wolf become something as variably sized and tame as a dog? Moreover, how did this change happen (presumably) without a carefully planned breeding program?"

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.