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Latest Evolution Stories

Connecting Genes To Hominin Teeth Shows Evidence Of Natural Selection
2014-05-06 03:18:44

Duke University Along with our big brains and upright posture, thick tooth enamel is one of the features that distinguishes our genus, Homo, from our primate relatives and forebears. A new study, published May 5 in the Journal of Human Evolution, offers insight into how evolution shaped our teeth, one gene at a time. By comparing the human genome with those of five other primate species, a team of geneticists and evolutionary anthropologists at Duke University has identified two...

2014-05-06 15:07:45

Populations of predators and their prey usually follow predictable cycles. When the number of prey increases, perhaps as their food supply becomes more abundant, predator populations also grow. When the predator population becomes too large, however, the prey population often plummets, leaving too little food for the predators, whose population also then crashes. This canonical view of predator-prey relationships was first identified by mathematical biologists Alfred Lotka and Vito...

2014-04-30 12:14:38

Viruses and other external threats drive evolution of robust architectures The robust defenses that yeast cells have evolved to protect themselves from environmental threats hold lessons that can be used to design computer networks and analyze how secure they are, say computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University. Environmental "noise" is a key evolutionary pressure that shapes the interconnections within cells, as well as those of neural networks and bacterial/ecological networks,...

2014-04-30 12:05:19

This Week in Molecular Biology and Evolution Take a muscle cell, modify it over millions of years, and you end up with an exciting and literally shocking evolutionary result: the electric fish. Electric fish have evolved several times in varying levels of complexity. Two groups of electric fish, one in Africa (Mormyroids) and one in South America (Gymnotiforms), have independently evolved sophisticated communication systems using these cells. By emitting and sensing weak electrical...

Rainbow Trout Genome Sequenced By International Team Of Researchers
2014-04-22 14:58:22

By Eric Sorensen, Washington State University Using fish bred at Washington State University, an international team of researchers has mapped the genetic profile of the rainbow trout, a versatile salmonid whose relatively recent genetic history opens a window into how vertebrates evolve. The 30-person team, led by Yann Guiguen of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, reports its findings this week in Nature Communications. Recent doubling enables study The...

2014-04-22 10:10:51

Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows' gut bacteria. The findings, reported in mBio® the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, hints that cow manure is a potential source of new types of antibiotic resistance genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where food is grown. Thousands of antibiotic resistance (AR) genes have already...

Genetic Study Tackles Slow Plant Domestication Mystery
2014-04-18 08:06:55

By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis Domestication genes tend to be insensitive to the rest of the genome and to the environment. Could finding this subset of robust genes have slowed things down? “The Modern View of Domestication,” a special feature of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published April 29, raises a number of startling questions about a transition in our deep history that most of us take for granted. At the end of the last Ice...

fern
2014-04-15 03:00:24

Erin Weeks, Duke University Bumping sex cells with the hornworts may have done it During the age of the dinosaurs, the arrival of flowering plants as competitors could have spelled doom for the ancient fern lineage. Instead, ferns diversified and flourished under the new canopy -- using a mysterious gene that helped them adapt to low-light environments. A team led by Duke University scientists has pinpointed the curious origins of this gene and determined that it was transferred to...

2014-04-14 14:24:06

Genetic evidence supports role of gene family in cancer development Researchers have found a major piece of genetic evidence that confirms the role of a group of virus-fighting genes in cancer development. Our understanding of the biological processes that cause cancer is limited. UV light and smoking are two well-understood cancer-causing processes. Exposure to either of these processes causes distinguishable patterns of genetic damage, or 'signatures', on the genome that can lead to...

Genetic Distinctness To Guide Global Bird Conservation
2014-04-11 12:08:15

Cell Press In the midst of today's global extinction crisis, decisions about conservation should include prioritizing how best to preserve as much of the tree of life as possible. So say researchers who report in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on the first application of an approach to identify the most evolutionarily distinct of the world's 9,993 bird species. At the very top of their list of the most evolutionary distinct birds is the South American oilbird, which represents...


Latest Evolution Reference Libraries

Paleontology
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Paleontology or Palaeontology is the scientific study of prehistoric life, including the study of fossils to determine the organisms evolution and interactions with each other and their environments. Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier’s work on comparative anatomy, and it developed quickly within the 19th century. The term itself comes from Greek palaios, meaning...

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