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In Review

GENOMICSWhere There’s a Wasp . . .
wasp (Photo: Adam Fenster)

GENERATIONS OF GENES: Tiny wasps are providing big insights into an important question in evolutionary biology: how can the function of genes change so that an organism can adapt and survive? Jack Werren, the Nathaniel and Helen Wisch Professor in Biology, postdoctoral fellow Ellen Martinson, and others in Werren’s lab reported this spring that genes in the tiny jewel wasp take on new roles without, as often understood, making duplicate copies with additional functions. The study in the journal Current Biology is one of the first to document a process in which genes are co-opted to take on new functions.