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Draft Octopus Genome Offers Evolution, Egg Case Clues

With the help of a new draft genome sequence, a Japanese research team explores the evolutionary history of the Argonauta argo, commonly known as the greater argonaut or paper nautilus. The octopus, which is adapted to open ocean "pelagic" zones, is known for producing a shell-like case to protect its eggs. As they report in Genome Biology and Evolution, the researchers put together a 1.1 gigabase draft genome for the cephalopod that contains more than 26,400 predicted protein-coding genes — a genome that is modest in size relative to those of other cephalopods. Through gene cluster, pathway, and comparative genomic analyses, the authors delved into the sequence data to search for explanations for the egg case, among other characteristic features, uncovering egg case evolution distinct from the genes used to produce shells in ancestral species. "We found that this species has an exceptionally small genome size, making it an ideal species for genomic studies," they note, adding that the study "allowed us to gain insights into the genomic basis of adaptation to the open ocean holopelagic lifestyle of this species in particular, and the evolution of cephalopods in general."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

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Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

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The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

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In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.