Thu, Aug 24, 2017 | updated 03:00 AM IST

How do conch shells have such huge variety?

Updated: Jan 04, 2017 05:52 IST      
How do conch shells have such huge variety?

Washington D.C. [USA], January 4 (ANI): Conch shells and its varied shapes and size have always been something that has captivated the eyes of collectors.

And with more than 50,000 estimated living species bearing a shell, scientists who study the phylum Mollusca have long sought to understand the molecular underpinnings behind the beautiful array of shell patterns and colors.

In a new study, published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, author Bernard Degnan et al. have begun to peel back the complex gene networks that control the secretions from the outer layer of cells on the mantle. In the largest study ever performed, the authors generated a transcriptome (the complete gene expression network) from 11 different bivalves and gastropods.

From their detailed analyses, surprisingly, they found no unique model or common molecular toolkit behind making every shell. Rather, within the organic layer of a shell, each species has seemed to evolve its own shell "secretome." As it secretes the shell, each mollusk mantle uses a mixture of ancient evolved genes (long before the major mollusk evolutionary radiation 500 million years ago) and more recently evolved genes.

They found that the genes encoding secreted proteins that evolved before the evolution of mollusks are being continually "co-opted" into the mantle gene regulatory network through the evolution of mollusks. The authors conclude that across distant and closely related species, both co-option of existing genes and the rapid evolution of novel genes have been recurring themes in the diversification of mollusk mantle transcriptomes.

Despite this diversity, they did find structural commonalities in all the shell proteomes; among them were the abundance of repetitive low complexity domains (RLCD-containing), extracellular matrix and cell surface proteins.

With pride, collectors now can possess the knowledge that for every species, each species makes a shell as unique as a fingerprint.(ANI)

USA all set to witness the great American Solar eclipse

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 18:59 IST     

New York [USA], August 21 (ANI): People of the United States are all set to see a total solar eclipse, which will take place on Monday, 10.30 pm, according to Indian Standard Time.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 21 (ANI): Soldiering in arctic conditions is tough, but it will not remain so for long now as a team of researchers is all set to all set to change the game.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 20 (ANI): Through analysis of volcanic tracks, a team of researchers has found that hot spots like those that formed the Hawaiian Islands do not move as quickly as previously thought.

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New Delhi [India], Aug 19 (ANI): Vijnana Bharati's JNU chapter commenced with a Dr Vikram Sarabhai Memorial lecture, celebrating the National Remote Sensing Day in the university's School of Environmental Sciences (SES).

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Indian researchers discover two new species of earthworm

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 06:57 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 19 (ANI): A team of Indian researchers has discovered two new primitive species of earthworm in the Western Ghats mountain ranges in Kerala.

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New Delhi [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Two recent studies have highlighted effective ways of reducing antibiotic consumption without any disadvantage for patients.

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Japan introduces solar heat-blocking pavements

Updated: Aug 17, 2017 14:10 IST     

Tokyo [Japan], Aug.16 (ANI): The host city of Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, Tokyo is working on heat blocking methods during the summer.

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New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): The Fortis Foundation recently launched two charitable medical dispensaries at the Anubhavi Ashram in Haridwar, Uttarakhand and at the Aggarwal Dharamshala in New Delhi.

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Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India], Aug.15 (ANI): The public sector Oil and Natural Gas Coroporation (ONGC) has extended a support of Rs 100 crore to turn the vision of affordable world class cancer care facilities in Central India into reality.

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Are tidally-locked exoplanets more common than believed?

Updated: Aug 15, 2017 10:16 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 15 (ANI): There's a possibility for a lot more exoplanets to be tidally locked, according to new research.

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Robots lend a helping hand to esophageal surgeons

Updated: Aug 13, 2017 05:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 13 (ANI): Robots are no longer just useful tools to make life easy and convenient; turns out, some of them can offer key advantages in esophageal surgeries.

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Are USB connections putting your data at risk?

Updated: Aug 11, 2017 04:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 11 (ANI): Turns out, USB connections, the most common interface used globally to connect external devices to computers, make snooping easy.

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Turns out, you can catch 'Science' bug from peers

Updated: Aug 10, 2017 07:17 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 10 (ANI): According to a recent study, developing an interest in Science as is simple as sitting next to a bunch of students fascinated by the topic.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 9 (ANI): During a walk near a reservoir in a small Japanese town, amateur collectors made the discovery of their lives - the first and oldest fossil bird ever identified in their country.

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Ocean's fastest shark at risk of being 'overfished'

Updated: Aug 09, 2017 01:46 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 9 (ANI): Overfishing is putting the ocean's fastest shark at risk, according to a recent research.

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20-month-olds can understand difference between two languages

Updated: Aug 08, 2017 07:12 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 8 (ANI): Are two languages at a time too much for the infant mind? According to a recent study, babies as young as 20 months can understand a lot more than you'd think.

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Washington D.C. [USA], August 7 (ANI): Researchers have developed a learning method to change cognitive function by manipulating connections in the brain.

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Kicking butts to the curb

Updated: Aug 07, 2017 00:57 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 7 (ANI): Cigarette butts are more than mere litter and now, a team of scientists has found a way to pave over the big problem.

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Desert tortoises can't take heat of roadside fencing

Updated: Aug 06, 2017 13:55 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 6 (ANI): US researchers have revealed that roadside fencing, which is meant to help desert tortoise, can actually overheat them leading to their death.

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Scientists unveil how brain works with the help of magic

Updated: Aug 02, 2017 14:58 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 2 (ANI): To tap into brain's 'out-of-the box' thinking, scientists are now relying on magic tricks and illusions.

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