Passion butterfly wing pattern produced by gene editing. Image: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

Via two different gene editing studies, scientists have found that the intricate colors and patterns of butterfly wings develop thanks to just two genes, per Nature.

  • The technique: The research teams used the CRISPR gene editing technique to "turn off" two separate genes — called WntA and optix — to observe the results on the wings of several butterfly species.
  • The results: The WntA gene was found to set borders for the patterns on butterflies' wings as turning it off led colors to bleed together and fade. And the optix gene seemed to do more than just control colors, turning some individuals black or grey while creating iridescence in other butterflies, indicating that the genes also influence the architecture of the wings.
  • Why it matters: The results show how gene editing techniques can be used to discover more about evolution in a laboratory setting.

Go deeper

Durbin on Barrett confirmation: "We can’t stop the outcome"

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on ABC's "This Week" that Senate Democrats can “slow” the process of confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most," but that they "can’t stop the outcome."

Why it matters: Durbin confirmed that Democrats have "no procedural silver bullet" to stop Senate Republicans from confirming Barrett before the election, especially with only two GOP senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voicing their opposition. Instead, Democrats will likely look to retaliate after the election if they win control of the Senate and White House.

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge announced in an op-ed Sunday that he would be voting for Joe Biden.

Why it matters: Ridge, who was also the first secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Former GOP governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge endorses Joe Biden

Tom Ridge. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Tom Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, will vote for Joe Biden, he announced in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed on Sunday.

Why it matters: Ridge, who also served as the first Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, said this would be his first time casting a vote for a Democratic candidate for president. He's now the third former Republican governor from a swing state to endorse Biden and reject Trump — joining John Kasich from Ohio and Rick Snyder from Michigan.