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What we inherited from our bug-eating ancestors

May 16, 2018

Humans are known to have one functioning and three non-functioning genes that make an enzyme that digests the hard exoskeletons of insects, which are made of chitin. A new University of California, Berkeley, study shows that nearly all placental mammals have one of five different chitinase genes, though not all are functioning and some are fragmentary. This suggests that the common ancestor of all placental mammals, living with dinosaurs until 66 million years ago, was an insect eater.Full Story

University of California, Berkeley

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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