Last month, en route to a family visit, I stopped by at the Institut de Genomique Fonctionelle de Lyon (IGFL) and learned lots of exciting things about the research they're doing there, connecting physiology, evolution and development with the help of genomics. Essentially, how does a string of DNA turn into a living breathing animal? How did the leopard get its spots, and the croc its teeth? (Disclaimer: they don't do leopards in Lyon, as far as I know, but they have got answers for the croc question!)
There was too much to mention everything but I tried to make a meaningful story out of this, which is out in today's issue of Current Biology:
How does an animal work?
Current Biology, Volume 22, Issue 22, R933-R935, 20 November 2012
For the next two weeks (and then again after a year), the text will be freely accessible:
Note the lovely species portraits by photographers Vincent & Caroline Moncorgé, commissioned by the institute.
Lyon by night - photo from my previous visit ...