DToL

๐Ÿธ Warts and all: The differences between frogs and toads

“Croak!” said the Toad, “I’m hungry, I think; To-day I’ve had nothing to eat or to drink” “Ho, ho!” quoth the Frog, “is that what you mean? Then I’ll hop away to the next meadow stream“ Ever wondered what the remarkable differences are between frogs and toads?ย  What does their skin look like, how do they walk and do their eggs form in clumps or strings?ย  How can the genomes that are collected help us understand more about these species?     ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿงฌ Read more about the amphibian discoveries here ๐Ÿงฌ๐Ÿธ  

Posted on April 6, 2022 by modchryssa in DToL, Update | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒŠ Snail hunting in the dark sea caves of Wales

Think the seaside is all about swimming and building sandcastles? Think again! Kesella Scott-Somme and Team Marine at the Marine Biological Association took to the sea caves of Wales, to discover the hidden secrets of Bas’s cave snail (Otina ovata), amongst other species!ย  These fascinating snails look like limpets but they are actually a type of snail that dwells in marine environments clinging to the smoother walls of caves and rockpools. In her post, Kesella explains the importance of these snails as well as starfish and seaweed that they stumbled upon and how their research is shedding light on these species’ important role in the marine ecosystem. ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒŠโญ๐ŸŒฑ Read more here ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒŠโญ๐ŸŒฑ

Posted on March 30, 2022 by modchryssa in DToL, Update | Tagged , | Leave a comment

๐Ÿ„๐Ÿงฌ Chicken of the Woods: Our first fungus genome

Success for the Darwin Tree of Life Project: our first genome of a fungus is live! ๐Ÿ„๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿงฌ If you go down to the woods today, you are in for a big surprise! ๐Ÿ†๐ŸŽ‰ The first genome has been collected and it is none other than the Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus.ย  This fungus is one of the most unusual located in woods throughout the UK.ย  It’s bright orange and yellow colouring is one of the most eye-catching, making its home on many of our native broadleaved species, including oak, sweet chestnut and ash! ๐Ÿ„๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿงฌ The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has been instrumental in helping deliver this genome.ย  Read more about the fascinating history and work here ๐Ÿ„๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿงฌ

Posted on March 18, 2022 by modchryssa in DToL, Update | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

๐Ÿงฌ How bioinformatics can crack the complex case of protist biodiversity

We continue our protist journey by focusing upon the work of Dr Jamie McGowan, a member of our Perfect Protists team, who is collaborating with the Earlham Institute and the University of Oxford to shed some more light on these elusive species.ย  Jamie is working hard to catalogue the different protist species and to ‘analyse the sequencing data, assemble the genomes, work out how they are evolving and how they’re related to each other’… all on a microscopic scale! ๐Ÿงฌ๐Ÿงซ Read more about how the cutting edge research overcomes a number of challenges here ๐Ÿงฌ๐Ÿงซ

Posted on March 14, 2022 by modchryssa in DToL, Update | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

๐Ÿ Parasitoid wasps: Indispensable insects you never think aboutโ€ฆ or never want to!

Imagine a caterpillar.ย  Nice and cosy in its chrysalis and then along comes a wasp who lands on the chrysalis shell, injects some eggs into the chamber and flies away.ย  A couple of months later, what emerges is not what one would expect… instead of a caterpillar, a handful of tiny wasps. Parasites might not be the most cute and cuddly critters but they do have an important role to play in the natural world – they are an essential part of the food chain.ย  Gavin Broad, of our Invertebrate Investigators team, explains why we should be more interested in this diverse group of insects and highlights why it is important to conserve them and more importantly, fill the parasitoid wasp genome gap! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ› Read more about Gavin and his research here ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ›

Posted on March 7, 2022 by modchryssa in DToL, Update | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

๐Ÿ”ฌ Majestic marine worms under the microscope

What do you picture when someone asks you to think of a cute animal?ย  Chances are your first thought isn’t a marine worm… but think again!ย  Kesella Scott-Somme takes a light-hearted look into the world of marine worms and helps prove that even those that wiggle can still be awfully cute! ๐Ÿ”ฌ We love a good microscope image and you cannot beat one where a worm is smiling at you! Check out more of these selfies here ๐Ÿ›

Posted on March 2, 2022 by modchryssa in DToL, Update | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

๐Ÿฆ  Priest Pot: A seldom-studied protist paradise

Ever wondered what lurks beneath the surface in water bodies around the UK?ย  Well, to answer that question is a team of scientists from the University of Oxford who areย studying the lesser known protists – single celled organisms – and their important role in developing complex ecosystems. Read more about their fieldwork journeyย to collect some rare samples from a hidden corner of the Lake District.

Posted on March 1, 2022 by modhannah in DToL, Update | Tagged | Leave a comment