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Rapid venom evolution in pit vipers may be defensive
Date:7/18/2011

substitutions undoubtedly affect protein function, suggesting that the vWF protein can no longer be attacked by these snake toxins."

"It is so uncommon to find genes under strong positive selection, that the exceptions are really interesting and often conform to one evolutionary circumstance when two organisms are coevolving with each other," says Voss. "We've known for years that venom genes evolve rapidly in snakes, but the partner in this arms race was unknown until now. Opossums eat snakes because they can."


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Contact: Michael Walker
walker@amnh.org
212-769-5766
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert

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