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See detailThe African coelacanth genome provides insights into tetrapod evolution.
Amemiya, Chris T.; Alfoldi, Jessica; Lee, Alison P. et al

in Nature (2013), 496(7445), 311-6

The discovery of a living coelacanth specimen in 1938 was remarkable, as this lineage of lobe-finned fish was thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago. The modern coelacanth looks remarkably ... [more ▼]

The discovery of a living coelacanth specimen in 1938 was remarkable, as this lineage of lobe-finned fish was thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago. The modern coelacanth looks remarkably similar to many of its ancient relatives, and its evolutionary proximity to our own fish ancestors provides a glimpse of the fish that first walked on land. Here we report the genome sequence of the African coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae. Through a phylogenomic analysis, we conclude that the lungfish, and not the coelacanth, is the closest living relative of tetrapods. Coelacanth protein-coding genes are significantly more slowly evolving than those of tetrapods, unlike other genomic features. Analyses of changes in genes and regulatory elements during the vertebrate adaptation to land highlight genes involved in immunity, nitrogen excretion and the development of fins, tail, ear, eye, brain and olfaction. Functional assays of enhancers involved in the fin-to-limb transition and in the emergence of extra-embryonic tissues show the importance of the coelacanth genome as a blueprint for understanding tetrapod evolution. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-LSS survey. Survey design and first results
Pierre, Marguerite; Valtchanov, Ivan; Altieri, Bruno et al

in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics [= JCAP] (2004), 09

The XMM Large Scale Structure survey (XMM-LSS) is a medium deep large area X-ray survey. Its goal is to extend large scale structure investigations attempted using ROSAT cluster samples to two redshift ... [more ▼]

The XMM Large Scale Structure survey (XMM-LSS) is a medium deep large area X-ray survey. Its goal is to extend large scale structure investigations attempted using ROSAT cluster samples to two redshift bins between 0<z<1 while maintaining the precision of earlier studies. Two main goals have constrained the survey design: the evolutionary study of the cluster cluster correlation function and of the cluster number density. The adopted observing configuration consists of an equatorial mosaic of 10 ks pointings, separated by 20^\prime and covering 8° à 8°, giving a pointsource sensitivity of {\sim } 5\times 10^{-15}~{\mathrm {erg~cm^{-2}~s^{-1}}} in the 0.5 2 keV band. This will yield more than 800 clusters of galaxies and a sample of X-ray AGN with a space density of about 300 deg[SUP]-2[/SUP]. We present the expected cosmological implications of the survey in the context of LgrCDM models and cluster evolution. We give an overview of the first observational results. The XMM-LSS survey is associated with several other major surveys, ranging from the UV to the radio wavebands, which will provide the necessary resources for X-ray source identification and further statistical studies. In particular, the associated CFHTLS weak lensing and AMiBA Sunyaev Zel'dovich surveys over the entire XMM-LSS area will provide for the first time a comprehensive study of the mass distribution and of cluster physics in the universe on scales of a few hundred Mpc. We describe the main characteristics of our wavelet-based X-ray pipeline and source identification procedures, including the classification of the cluster candidates by means of a photometric redshift analysis. This permits the selection of suitable targets for spectroscopic follow-up. We present preliminary results from the first 25 XMM-LSS pointings: X-ray source properties, optical counterparts, and highlights from the first Magellan and VLT/FORS2 spectroscopic runs as well as preliminary results from the NIR search for z>1 clusters. The results are promising and, so far, in accordance with our predictions. In particular: (1) we reproduce the logN logS distribution for point sources obtained from deeper surveys at our sensitivity; (2) we find a cluster number density of 15 20 deg[SUP]-2[/SUP] (3) for the first time, we statistically sample the group mass regime at a redshift out to {\sim } 0.5 . Paper based on observations obtained with the XMM,CFH, ESO (Prg: P70. A-0283 .A-0733), VLA, CTIO and Las Campanas observatories. [less ▲]

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