Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Australian Rabbit Scourge Traced Back to Historical Wild Rabbit Introduction

In a PNAS study, a team based in Portugal, the UK, and elsewhere consider the history of invasive rabbits in Australia that originated in Europe. After analyzing available genetic and historical data, the researchers suggested that the most successful rabbit interlopers are descended from wild rabbits with an advantageous genotype that were brought to mainland Australia by an English settler in the 1850s. In contrast, they explain, other rabbit introductions "established local populations but have not spread geographically." Together with data from Tasmania and New Zealand, the results suggest that "the common denominator of these invasions was the arrival of a new genotype that was better adapted to the natural environment," the authors note. "Before the arrival of this lineage, numerous earlier introductions failed to spread, suggesting that the genetic composition of the introduced individuals played a crucial role in determining the invasion's success."

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.