A simple tool could radically change how biologists work from now on.
In a paper published this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of scientists explain the process through which plants like mustard came to be – as it turns out, an evolutionary arms race with a caterpillar played a key role.
In short, for a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly it digests itself using enzymes triggered by hormones, before sleeping cells similar to stem cells grow into the body parts of the future butterfly. So you thought puberty was mean? Wait till you read on.
The warm, humid Amazonian forests hold a stunning biodiversity; somewhere, deep in that magnificent area, a pretty normal looking gray bird makes its way to a nest made from dried leaves, to feed its offspring. It would seem that the nest has been devastated by a giant, toxic, bright orange caterpillar… but something magical happens – the caterpillar metamorphoses into a hungry