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Latest Evolution of sexual reproduction Stories

2012-08-13 11:12:47

Max Planck scientist investigates the evolutionary model of Muller's ratchet From protozoans to mammals, evolution has created more and more complex structures and better-adapted organisms. This is all the more astonishing as most genetic mutations are deleterious. Especially in small asexual populations that do not recombine their genes, unfavorable mutations can accumulate. This process is known as Muller's ratchet in evolutionary biology. The ratchet, proposed by the American geneticist...

Biologists Turn Back The Clock To Understand Evolution Of Sex Differences
2012-05-03 12:44:23

Battles of sexes shown to spur adaptive sex differences Sex differences account for some of the most of the spectacular traits in nature: the wild colors of male guppies, the plumage of peacocks, tusks on walruses and antlers on moose. Sexual conflict — the battle between males and females over mating — is thought to be a particularly potent force in driving the evolution traits that differ in males and females. However, the genetic processes responsible for producing such...

2012-04-09 13:24:01

Courtship rituals can be all-consuming, demanding time and effort — but now scientists have discovered why it might be worth it Courtship rituals can be all-consuming, demanding time and effort — but now scientists have discovered why it might be worth it. Attracting a mate — which can take significant effort, such as in a peacock's show of feathers or the exhaustive rutting of stags — can produce benefits for a species in the long term, a study suggests....

2012-03-09 10:48:13

Speeding up evolution may increase genetic variation, but surprisingly it can reduce species diversity, according to a study led by Carlos J. Melian The role of sex in driving genetic variation and generating higher biodiversity has been debated for over a century. Speeding up evolution may increase genetic variation, but surprisingly it can reduce species diversity, according to a study led by Carlos J. Melian from Eawag — Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology,...

2011-07-08 02:07:08

Biology textbooks maintain that the main function of sex is to promote genetic diversity. But Henry Heng, Ph.D., associate professor in WSU's Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, says that's not the case. Heng and fellow researcher Root Gorelick, Ph.D., associate professor at Carleton University in Canada, propose that although diversity may result from a combination of genes, the primary function of sex is not about promoting diversity. Rather, it's about keeping the genome context...

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2010-04-16 08:31:19

A multicellular green alga, Volvox carteri, may have finally unlocked the secrets behind the evolution of different sexes. A team led by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has shown that the genetic region that determines sex in Volvox has changed dramatically relative to that of the closely related unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Their findings, which will be published in the April 16th issue of the journal Science, provide the first empirical support for a...

2009-07-07 11:27:35

What's so great about sex? From an evolutionary perspective, the answer is not as obvious as one might think. An article published in the July issue of the American Naturalist suggests that sex may have evolved in part as a defense against parasites. Despite its central role in biology, sex is a bit of an evolutionary mystery. Reproducing without sex"”like microbes, some plants and even a few reptiles"”would seem like a better way to go. Every individual in an asexual...

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2008-11-26 09:51:09

The utility of sex, according to an intriguing new theory of evolutionary biology, may be its ability to promote genes that play well with many other partners rather than those that shine with just one specific set of genes. This idea of genetic mixability, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Nov. 24, hits on the difficulty evolutionary biologists have had in understanding sex, specifically its role in population genetics and Darwin's...

2005-08-26 19:25:00

AUSTIN, Texas -- A biologist at The University of Texas at Austin has presented a new theory that sheds light on how organisms, including viruses like HIV, rapidly evolve in the face of vaccines and antibiotics. Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers says the new model could help identify genes that increase a pathogen's ability to evolve quickly against immune responses. Knowing those genes could help scientists develop new and better vaccines. Meyers' model predicts that populations can evolve "genetic...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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