An Evolutionary Discovery That “Literally Changes the Textbook”

The Extinction Chronicles

TOPICS:BioinformaticsEvolutionFishGeneticsMarine BiologyMichigan State University

ByMICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITYAPRIL 9, 2021

Behold, the gar’s brain. In this microscope image, the brain’s left hemisphere fluoresces green and the right glows magenta. Yet, at the bottom of the image, nerves of both colors can be seen connecting to both hemispheres. This shows that both of the gar’s eyes are connected to both sides of its brain, like a human’s eyes are. Credit: Reprinted with permission from R.J. Vigouroux et al. Science 372:eabe7790 (2021)

MSU’s expertise in fish biology, genetics helping researchers rewrite evolutionary history and shape future health studies.

The network of nerves connecting our eyes to our brains is sophisticated and researchers have now shown that it evolved much earlier than previously thought, thanks to an unexpected source: the gar fish.

Michigan State University’s Ingo Braasch has helped an international research team show that this connection…

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