Feeds

Girl-only fish species survives by cloning

No men or bicycles required

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Researchers are pondering how an exclusively-female fish species has survived without genetically self-destructing itself into extinction, the BBC reports.

The Amazon Molly, found in Mexico and Texas, reproduces by cloning, and while it does "interact" with chaps from other species to "trigger its reproduction process", doesn't utilise any of their DNA in producing offspring.

While this might be considered proof of the old saw that "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle", scientists from the University of Edinburgh applied "complex mathematical models" to demonstrate that the Amazon Molly should in fact have become extinct within the last 70,000 years as a result of the adverse genetic changes resulting from asexual reproduction.

Quite how it has survived remains a mystery, although one theory suggests occasional liaisons with males in which DNA is taken on board to "refresh" the species' genetic make-up.

Dr Laurence Loewe, of the uni's School of Biological Sciences, said: "What we have shown now is that this fish really has something special going on and that some special tricks exist to help this fish survive. Maybe there is still occasional sex with strangers that keeps the species alive. Future research may give us some answers."

The team's findings are published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.