Most people are familiar with the role of DNA: A set of genetic instructions on how a particular living organism should function. This nucleic acid has been widely explored as a way to identify individuals, define illnesses or hereditary diseases and contribute to behavior, among many other clues about an individual. However, there may be another complex feature of human anatomy that influences many surprising aspects of human physiology, immunity and evolution: gut flora.
A scientist unravels the evolution of anthropods, a photographer gets intimate with the bee and its stinger, an angry tree frog displays a bum-shaking warning and the International Institute for Species Exploration announces the Best Species of 2009. Here are highlights in ecology from the third week in May.