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Latest Molecular clock Stories

Ancestral Fungus May Have Influenced Coal Formation
2012-07-01 10:03:04

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study suggests that the evolution of a fungus known as white rot may have ended a 60-million-year-long period responsible for coal deposition. Coal deposits that occurred because of the Carboniferous Period, which ended about 300 million years ago, have fueled about 50 percent of U.S. electric power generation as recently as 2010. The research, presented online in the June 29 edition of Science, points to the evolution of...

2012-05-03 18:36:41

Cypress distribution reflects the breakup of Pangaea In classical mythology, the cypress tree is associated with death, the underworld and eternity. Indeed, the family to which cypresses belong, is an ancient lineage of conifers, and a new study of their evolution affords a unique insight into a turbulent era in the Earth´s history. During the geological era known as the Mesozoic, the continental crust was concentrated in a single huge landmass, the supercontinent Pangea. Pangea...

Endangered Horse Has Ancient Origins And High Genetic Diversity
2011-09-08 09:16:55

  An endangered species of horse -- known as Przewalski's horse -- is much more distantly related to the domestic horse than researchers had previously hypothesized, reports a team of investigators led by Kateryna Makova, a Penn State University associate professor of biology. The scientists tested the portion of the genome passed exclusively from mother to offspring -- the mitochondrial DNA -- of four Przewalski's horse lineages and compared the data to DNA from the domestic horse...

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2010-01-20 08:53:01

A new model for primate origins is presented in Zoologica Scripta, published by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The paper argues that the distributions of the major primate groups are correlated with Mesozoic tectonic features and that their respective ranges are congruent with each evolving locally from a widespread ancestor on the supercontinent of Pangea about 185 million years ago. Michael Heads, a Research Associate of the Buffalo...

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2009-11-10 13:34:17

Penguins that died 44,000 years ago in Antarctica have provided extraordinary frozen DNA samples that challenge the accuracy of traditional genetic aging measurements, and suggest those approaches have been routinely underestimating the age of many specimens by 200 to 600 percent. In other words, a biological specimen determined by traditional DNA testing to be 100,000 years old may actually be 200,000 to 600,000 years old, researchers suggest in a new report in Trends in Genetics, a...

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2009-04-29 09:24:07

During a seminar at another institution several years ago, University of Chicago paleontologist David Jablonski fielded a hostile question: Why bother classifying organisms according to their physical appearance, let alone analyze their evolutionary dynamics, when molecular techniques had already invalidated that approach? With more than a few heads in the audience nodding their agreement, Jablonski, the William Kenan Jr. Professor in Geophysical Sciences, saw more work to be done. The...

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2009-02-10 11:30:29

A new University of Florida study based on DNA analysis from living flowering plants shows that the ancestors of most modern trees diversified extremely rapidly 90 million years ago, ultimately leading to the formation of forests that supported similar evolutionary bursts in animals and other plants. This burst of speciation over a 5-million-year span was one of three major radiations of flowering plants, known as angiosperms. The study focuses on diversification in the rosid clade, a group...

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2008-02-05 17:40:00

Did modern birds originate around the time of the dinosaurs' demise, or have they been around far longer? The question is at the center of a sometimes contentious "rocks versus clocks" debate between paleontologists, whose estimates are based on the fossil record, and scientists who use "molecular clock" methods to study evolutionary history. A new analysis by researchers at the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation Mexico and Central...

2007-07-20 06:04:01

By Manos, Paul S Soltis, Pamela S; Soltis, Douglas E; Manchester, Steven R; Et al Abstract.- It is widely acknowledged that integrating fossils into data sets of extant taxa is imperative for proper placement of fossils, resolution of relationships, and a better understanding of character evolution. The importance of this process has been further magnified because of the crucial role of fossils in dating divergence times. Outstanding issues remain, including appropriate methods to place...

2004-11-28 03:00:21

Abstract. The passerine genus Pomarea (monarchs, Monarchidae) is endemic to eastern Polynesia, where it is distributed on high volcanic islands of the Cook, Society, and Marquesas archipelagos. Recent extinctions of these birds have been documented on several islands, and most of the remaining forms are threatened by introducted rats (Rattus rattus) and habitat loss. We used mitochondrial DNA markers to develop a phylogeny of the entire genus Pomarea, including extinct taxa. This phylogeny...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'