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Latest Kin selection Stories

Study Of Sociable Weavers Shows Everybody Needs Good Neighbors
2014-07-07 03:56:07

The University of Sheffield A new insight into one of the biggest questions in science – why some animals, including humans, work together to maintain a common good – has been achieved by scientists at the University of Sheffield. Sociable weavers, a highly social and co-operative breeding bird from the savannahs of southern Africa, build the largest nests of any bird, housing colonies of up to several hundred birds that can often weigh tonnes and last for decades. The massive...

Veil Of Ignorance Is Sometimes Bliss
2013-10-24 08:22:27

Washington University in St. Louis A range of examples suggests a lack of information about their fellows can favor cooperation and prevent conflict among animals — and even among genes For the Oct. 16 issue of Biology Letters, a special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of W.D. Hamilton’s famous paper on kin selection, two Washington University in St. Louis biologists contributed an article describing intriguing exceptions to one of his predictions. The basic idea of...

2012-04-30 15:47:53

Creatures should help each other in different ways in tight times versus times of plenty Not all acts of altruism are alike, says a new study. From bees and wasps that die defending their nests, to elephants that cooperate to care for young, a new mathematical model pinpoints the environmental conditions that favor one form of altruism over another. The model predicts that creatures will help each other in different ways depending on whether key resources such as food and habitat are...

2012-04-19 11:23:56

Study of simple organisms reveals preference for those who resemble themselves In a dog-eat-dog world of ruthless competition and 'survival of the fittest,' new research from the University of Leicester reveals that individuals are genetically programmed to work together and cooperate with those who most resemble themselves. A tendency for similar individuals to cooperate selectively with one another, even if they are not close relatives, can evolve spontaneously in simple organisms....

2011-11-09 16:11:25

In the fight for survival, plants are capable of complex social behaviours and may exhibit altruism towards family members, but aggressively compete with strangers. A growing body of work suggests plants recognize and respond to the presence and identity of their neighbours. But can plants cooperate with their relatives? While some studies have shown that siblings perform best -- suggesting altruism towards relatives -- other studies have shown that when less related plants grow together...

2011-05-04 12:44:59

Using simple robots to simulate genetic evolution over hundreds of generations, Swiss scientists provide quantitative proof of kin selection and shed light on one of the most enduring puzzles in biology: Why do most social animals, including humans, go out of their way to help each other? In next week's issue of the online, open access journal PLoS Biology, EPFL robotics professor Dario Floreano teams up with University of Lausanne biologist Laurent Keller to weigh in on the oft-debated...

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2010-11-17 10:21:28

NSF-supported researchers use digital evolution techniques to examine theories about the evolution of altruism One of the major questions in evolutionary biology is how altruism, or the act of helping another individual at your own expense, evolved. At first glance, "survival of the fittest" may seem to be best achieved by selfish individuals. However, altruistic behavior occurs in many species, and if it were not adaptive, we would expect it to disappear through the process of natural...

2010-09-21 21:40:49

Using digital evolution techniques that give scientists the ability to watch evolution in action, Michigan State University researchers have shed new light on what it is that makes species altruistic. Defined as the ability to sacrifice yourself for the sake of others, altruism has been a bit of a genetic mystery. Understanding why altruism evolves is one of the fundamental challenges in evolutionary theory. However, a paper published online in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society by...

2010-08-26 12:44:07

Work addresses limitations of kin selection, a dominant theory since the 1960s Scientists at Harvard University have sketched a new map of the "evolutionary labyrinth" species must traverse to reach eusociality, the rare but spectacularly successful social structure where individuals cooperate to raise offspring. Mathematical biologists Martin A. Nowak and Corina E. Tarnita and evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson present their work this week in the journal Nature. Their modeling shows...

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2010-02-18 09:25:13

Research on why early termite offspring remained home with their parents, instead of leaving to create their own colonies, could provide a missing link to the evolution of sterility among social insects Natural selection argues for small biological changes that yield greater chances of survival and successful reproduction. Yet, that process does not square well with the evolution of social insects, particularly when their colonies can have over a million non-reproductive members. A new study...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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