What we’re reading- Feb 28, 2014

Female cowbirds have more accurate spatial memory
Brown-headed cowbirds are brood parasites that lay their eggs in the nests of other species so other species will care for the cowbird chicks. Sex specific differences in spatial cognition may have evolved to help females return to nests when time to lay eggs.

CLOCK1 and climate change
CLOCK is a functional gene in the circadian rhythm pathway and has been linked to multiple species physiological responses to day length. This paper observes that earlier spawning in fish is associated with an evolutionarily derived allele in CLOCK1a. The paper also observes lower diversity at the CLOCK1a locus in the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow, an endangered species, suggesting that low diversity in functional genes may limit response to climate change.

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