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Bird Louse Study Shows How Evolution Sometimes Repeats Itself

Published: August 16, 2012.
Released by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Birds of a feather flock together and – according to a new analysis – so do their lice.

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More news from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Report: Photosynthesis Hack Needed to Feed the World by 2050
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Using high-performance computing and genetic engineering to boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, researchers report in the journal Cell.

New Technique Paints Tissue Samples with Light
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- One infrared scan can give pathologists a window into the structures and molecules inside tissues and cells, enabling fast and broad diagnostic assessments, thanks to an imaging technique developed by University of Illinois researchers and clinical partners.

Cultivated Papaya Owes a Lot to the Ancient Maya, Research Suggests
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A genetic study of papaya sex chromosomes reveals that the hermaphrodite version of the plant, which is of most use to growers, arose as a result of human selection, most likely by the ancient Maya some 4,000 years ago.

Survival Gardening Goes Global Via Cellphone Animations
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Subsistence farmers in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean are learning how to construct raised planting beds and install drip irrigation systems to boost their agricultural productivity, conserve water and perhaps even halt the rapid advance of desertification in some drought-prone regions.

More Older Adults from US Doing Volunteer Work in Other Countries
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Nearly 290,000 older adults from the U.S. volunteered abroad during 2012 - an increase of more than 60 percent in less than a decade, a recent study found.

Female Fish That Avoid Mating with Related Species Also Shun Some of Their Own
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new study offers insight into a process that could lead one species to diverge into two, researchers report in The American Naturalist. The study found that female killifish that avoid mating with males of a closely related species also are less likely to mate with males of their own species - if those males come from an unfamiliar population.

Patients with Mental Illness Less Likely to Receive Diet, Exercise Advice
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- More than half of patients with symptoms of mental illness - and nearly one-third of those who also had diabetes - said their health care providers had never told them to exercise or reduce their intake of dietary fat, according to a new study published in Diabetes Educator. The American Diabetes Association recommends that health care providers counsel all patients with diabetes or at high risk of diabetes about physical activity and healthy dietary choices.

Long-term Nitrogen Fertilizer Use Disrupts Plant-microbe Mutualisms
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- When exposed to nitrogen fertilizer over a period of years, nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia evolve to become less beneficial to legumes - the plants they normally serve, researchers report in a new study.

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