diversity

02/23/2012 - 15:28

From spaghetti-like sea anemones to blobby jellyfish to filigreed oak trees, each species in nature is characterized by a unique size and shape. But the evolutionary changes that produce the seemingly limitless diversity of shapes and sizes of organisms on Earth largely remains a mystery. Nevertheless, a better understanding of how cells grow and enable organisms to assume their characteristic sizes and shapes could shed light on diseases that involve cell growth, including cancer and diabetes.

01/27/2012 - 09:12

Ecologists are still arguing about the nature of the factors that determine the species composition of ecological communities. On the one hand, there are those who view interspecies competition as the key element. A second group of influential ecologists postulates that random fluctuations in population structure and rates of species dispersal play the dominant role, particularly in the biological communities found in species-rich tropical rainforests.