Author profile

Hans Zauner

Many years ago, Hans did research in evolutionary and developmental biology. He clipped fish fins and handled a laser beam to shoot at reproductive organs of worms. Now in safe distance from any lab bench, he works on various science communication projects.

Nectar, fruits, and blood. A genomic view on the feeding habits of bats.

- June 9, 2020

Bats are mammals like no other – airborne, mostly nocturnal, often hidden away in caves, capable of using echolocation for in-flight navigation. No two bat species are alike, however. Their diversity of morphology, life styles and feeding habits is staggering. New bat genomics research published today in GigaScience explores  the footprints of evolution, to explain […]

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DNA day 2020: The genomes of Dominette and Esperanza

- April 25, 2020

It’s DNA day, celebrating two historic milestones: The publication of the structure of DNA in 1953, and the completion of the human genome project in 2003. What better occasion could there be to take a step back and marvel at the breath-taking progress in genomics over the years. For this year’s special DNA day blog, GigaScience […]

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The genome of an elusive giant

- January 16, 2020

Today, GigaScience published a report on the genome of a truly unique species: the giant squid Architeuthis dux. The elusive animal is the main character in ancient stories about sea monsters and it is known as “the kraken” in many legends. For a long time its mere existence was questionable, until, in 1857, the Danish naturalist Japetus […]

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Big data, big conferences, big plans: 2019 in review

- December 21, 2019

This is the last blog post of 2019 and it is time again to look back at some of the amazing research published in GigaScience over the past year. Besides handling manuscripts, reviews and data, the editors and curators also attended conferences near and far, they contributed to policy discussions and prepared the launch of […]

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Sequencing The Eastern Yellow Robin: Sex chromosomes with a twist

- September 4, 2019

Robin sex chromosomes

Today in Gigascience we published an avian genome assembly with a twist. An Australian team at Monash University discovered unusual, so-called neo-sex chromosomes in the genome of the Eastern Yellow Robin. Being big fans of bird genomes (see our support of the Avian Phylogenomic and B10K projects) it is great to see another one take […]

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DNA Day 2019: How to sequence the genomes of the weird and wonderful

- April 25, 2019

Avian genomics

It’s DNA day, commemorating the publication of the structure of DNA in 1953, as well as the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. Genomics has come a long way since then. Today it is possible to sequence whole genomes with a very reasonable investment of time and money. What an amazing time for […]

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Genomes from paradise

- January 30, 2019

New genomic data from five birds-of-paradise reveal genes that are shaped by selection and help explain the origin of their spectacular plumage. Birds-of-paradise, with their elaborate and colorful feathers and their complex courtship displays, are a school-book example of sexual selection. However, little is known about the genetic variants that distinguish the lavishly colored birds-of-paradise […]

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Prizes given and received, and other 2018 highlights

- December 20, 2018

All I want for Xmas is Tegu

2018 was yet another eventful year at GigaScience. Before most of the editors and data curators take a few days of well-earned break from handling Giga-papers and Giga-data, it’s time to look back over this year’s highlights – of which there are many. Prizes were handed out and received, we travelled to conferences all over […]

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Tegu: the most complete assembly of any reptile genome

- November 28, 2018

Today in GigaScience  we present the genome of the tegu lizard. It is the most complete assembly of any reptile genome so far and will also aid scientists to study other lizards and snakes.  The tegu has mastered a trick that is highly unusual in the reptile world: it can turn on its own heating […]

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Genomes mite surprise you

- November 19, 2018

trombidid mite

In GigaScience, Benjamin Makepiece and his co-authors from Liverpool present genome assemblies of two trombidid mite species, the itch-inducing chigger mite and its more benign cousin, the velvet mite.  The bite of the chigger mite can transmit a life-threatening bacterial disease, scrub typhus.  When the authors explored the gene content of the mites’ genomes, searching clues for […]

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