April 4, 2003
Berkeley Lab Science Beat
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 That bug is no insect

Image of a springtail

This springtail looks a lot like an insect; in fact, scientists long thought insects evolved from the group of hexapods it belongs to. But comparative genomics, using mitochondrial DNA, now shows that life's family tree has a whole new branch. Nature, it seems, found two different ways to evolve six legs.

A model old mouse

Image of a mouse

Mice can teach us a lot about life. Keep it simple, stay out of trouble -- and maintain your genome. Researchers who study mouse models of accelerated aging have learned that cataracts, hearing loss, and other traits of old age result when the body's ability to repair its DNA is disrupted.

Squeezing the glass sponge

Image of diatomite
Beds of diatomite hold billions of barrels of oil in tiny pores, only millionths of a meter wide or less. The glassy skeletons of aquatic plants make rock that's light enough to float on water -- but so fragile and impermeable it's hard to get the oil out without wrecking the oilfield.
Features header graphic
Image of the Golden Hinde

Drake's "Plate of Brasse," once California's greatest historical treasure, is now California's most infamous fake.

Tracking cancer in

Comparing genes with the relatives

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