17 July 2018

Epigenetics, the study of heritable changes in gene expression that don’t involve changes in the DNA sequence, is an extraordinarily active research field in biology nowadays. Epigenetic modifications integrate environmental and genetic information to give a certain phenotype (the set of characteristics showed by an individual) and can be transmitted from generation to generation, making it possible for characters acquired by environmental influence to be inherited and passed on to the descendants.

The most studied epigenetic modification is DNA methylation in promoter regions (those regulating gene expression), which is associated with gene silencing. However, this 'more DNA methylation, more gene silencing' rule is not always accurate, confusing researchers.

In a new study, published in Epigenetics &...

10 July 2018

From 8th to 13th of July takes place the sixth edition of the "Ramon Margalef Summer Colloquia", organized by the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) and the Catalan Association of Oceanographers and Oceanographers (ACOIO). Since its first edition in 2013, it gathers each summer young researchers and experts to exchange ideas on the advances in ecological research.

This year, the course focuses on the use of omics techniques, such as genomics, for the study of ecosystems. From a multidisciplinary perspective, the objective is to discuss how the revolution generated by the irruption of these techniques is contributing to increase our understanding of the composition and functioning of ecosystems and to generate new theoretical frameworks. The course is coordinated by Javier del Campo, Ramiro Logares, Cèlia...

5 July 2018

Tropical oceans teem with the dazzle and flash of colorful reef fishes and contain far more species than the cold ocean waters found at high latitudes. This well-known “latitudinal diversity gradient” is one of the most famous patterns in biology, and scientists have puzzled over its causes for more than 200 years.

A common explanation for the gradient is that warm reef environments serve as evolutionary hot spots for species formation. But a new study that analyzed the evolutionary relationships between more than 30,000 fish species concludes that the fastest rates of species formation have occurred at the highest latitudes and in the coldest ocean waters.

As concludes the new study, published today in Nature, in the past million years, cool-water and polar ocean fishes formed new species twice as...

3 July 2018

Most of sea life is on the illuminated surface (first 200 meters), while the deep ocean (up to 4,000 meters deep) is almost empty. A study led by the Institute of Marine Science (ICM-CSIC) has found that, despite the differences between these regions, the microbial biodiversity of both is intimately connected. The results of the study, which are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), help to better understand the functioning of the planet and the great dispersal capacity of microorganisms.

Scientists from the ICM-CSIC, in Barcelona, ​​and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia, have reached these conclusions after analyzing the samples taken during the 2010 Malaspina Circumnavigation Expedition. "They key was to analyze the diversity of free...

2 July 2018

Today, the new Iberian Society of Ecology (SIBECOL) has been constituted, starting with more than two thousand professionals from Spain and Portugal from all areas of ecology in terrestial and water ecosystems. The signature was made this afternoon at the Institut de Ciències de Mar de Barcelona (ICM-CSIC), which host SIBECOL.

This new partnership has been promoted by four Spanish and Portuguese scientific associations, the Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology (AEET), the Iberian Association of Limnology (AIL), the Sociedade Portuguesa de Ecología (SPECO) and the Spanish Society of Ethology and Evolutionary Ecology (SEEEE), with the support of an important representation of the community of marine scientists that were not yet grouped in any national society. "Joining in the same society researchers...