Should we believe our eyes or our sequencing machines when it comes to deciding what makes a species, and could Jurassic Park ever become a reality?
Our recent paper in “Nature”  deconstructs molecular arguments that have been used to homologize bilaterian nerve cords. Our work illustrates well the strength of the comparative approach and the broad sampling across the animal tree of life that we use in my research group at the Sars Centre for Marine Molecular Biology. Evo-Devo[…]
“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (Dobzansky, 1973). Our knowledge of the evolutionary relationships between all known organisms, the so-called Tree of Life (ToL), is crucial in all fields of biology. Many researchers in evolutionary biology are working on improving the quality and the comprehensiveness of this ToL. This implies[…]
What is the earliest Phylum of metazoans to possess what we would recognize as a nervous system? Did earlier organisms have all the components of a nervous system in the absence of what we would recognize as neurons? What is a neuron? Did nervous systems evolve independently more than once? Where were all the molecular[…]