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NWO grant of 350.000 for Wielstra lab

Ben Wielstra and his team have received a ENW-M-1 grant. This grant of 354.000 euros is awarded by NWO, and will enable the researchers of the Institute of Biology Leiden and Naturalis to continue their evolutionary newt research.

Open Competition Domain Science-M

In the NWO Open Competition Domain Science-M, researchers can apply individually or in collaboration for non-programmed, curiosity-driven research. This funding instrument is open for proposals with a research question in or overlapping the fields of earth sciences, astronomy, chemistry, computer science, life sciences, physics and mathematics.

Developmental drama due to an evolutionary mistake

The research of Wielstra concerns the ‘balanced lethal system’, in which only those offspring that possess two different forms of a particular chromosome survive. Offspring that receive the same form twice from their father and mother, exactly half of the total number, die. That is an incredible waste!

The researchers study developing embryos and their genes simultaneously, to figure out what exactly goes wrong in the unfortunate embryos. With this information they hope to come closer to a solution for the mystery of how something as counterintuitive as a balanced lethal system could possibly evolve.

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