NIMBioS News

Research Confirms Controversial Darwin Theory of Jump Dispersal

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Charles Darwin hypothesized that species could cross oceans and other vast distances on vegetation rafts, icebergs, or the plumage of birds. Though many were skeptical of Darwin’s idea, a new study suggests that he might have been correct.

The ABCs of Animal Speech: Not So Random After All

The calls of many animals, from whales to wolves, might contain more language-like structure than previously thought, according to a study that raises new questions about the evolutionary origins of human language.

New Textbook Introduces Undergraduates to Mathematics for the Life Sciences

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Today’s students now have a new textbook, Mathematics for the Life Sciences, published this month by Princeton Press and co-authored by scientists at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at UT. It teaches readers about basic mathematical and statistical methods that can be used to explore and explain biological phenomena.

NIMBioS Study Finds Saving Seeds the Right Way Can Save the World’s Plants

Conservationists establish one-size-fits-all seed collections to save the seeds in banks or botanical gardens in hopes of preserving some genetic diversity. But a National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis study has found that more careful tailoring of seed collections to specific species and situations is critical to preserving plant diversity.

Study Predicts Ranavirus as Potential New Culprit in Amphibian Extinctions

Wood frog tadpole hemorrhage from a die-off in Brunswick, Maine, in which it is estimated more than 200,000 tadpoles died in less than twenty-four hours due to ranavirus. Photo credit: Nathaniel Wheelwright

Amphibian declines and extinctions around the world have been linked to an emerging fungal disease called chytridiomycosis, but new research from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis and the Center for Wildlife Health at UT shows that another pathogen, ranavirus, may also contribute.