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Latest Natural selection Stories

2012-05-24 20:08:53

UCLA-Tel Aviv University team models genetic variation in 2-D, 3-D space Understanding the genetic diversity within and between populations has important implications for studies of human disease and evolution. This includes identifying associations between genetic variants and disease, detecting genomic regions that have undergone positive selection and highlighting interesting aspects of human population history. Now, a team of researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of...

2012-05-09 11:50:03

Max Planck scientists decode genes for a complex characteristic Organisms are adapted to their environment through their individual characteristics, like body size and body weight. Such complex traits are usually controlled by many genes. As a result, individuals show tremendous variations and can also show subtle gradations. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön have now investigated how evolution alters such traits through selection. To...

Darwinian Selection Continues To Influence Human Evolution
2012-04-30 14:25:37

New evidence proves humans are continuing to evolve and that significant natural and sexual selection is still taking place in our species in the modern world. Despite advancements in medicine and technology, as well as an increased prevalence of monogamy, research reveals humans are continuing to evolve just like other species. Scientists in an international collaboration, which includes the University of Sheffield, analyzed church records of about 6,000 Finnish people born between...

2012-04-27 12:33:30

If Pygmies are known for one trait, it is their short stature: Pygmy men stand just 4'11" on average. But the reason why these groups are so short and neighboring groups are not remains unclear. Scientists have proposed various theories based on natural selection, including that Pygmies' reduced size lowered nutritional requirements, helped them better handle hot climates, or allowed them to reach sexual maturity at an earlier age. Now a new study of the Western African Pygmies in...

2012-04-23 13:15:39

Bacteria evolved way to safeguard crucial genetic material Just as banks store away only the most valuable possessions in the most secure safes, cells prioritize which genes they guard most closely, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory´s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have found. The study, published online today in Nature, shows that bacteria have evolved a mechanism that protects important genes from random mutation, effectively reducing the risk of...

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....

2012-04-05 21:23:44

A single gene mutation can sweep through a population, opening the door for the concept of 'species' in bacteria Bacteria are the most populous organisms on the planet. They thrive in almost every known environment, adapting to different habitats by means of genetic variations that provide the capabilities essential for survival. These genetic innovations arise from what scientists believe is a random mutation and exchange of genes and other bits of DNA among bacteria that sometimes...

Lizard Study Analyzes Importance Of The Founder Effect
2012-02-03 05:54:43

A team of American researchers have reportedly completed what they are calling the first experimental study of the phenomenon known as the founder effect -- the loss of genetic variation that occurs when a new population is established created using a small group from a larger existing population -- in a natural setting. The researchers, whose work was published online Friday in Science Express and is scheduled to appear in the print journal Science on February 17, "had an unprecedented...

Social Networks Provide Clues To Natural Selection
2012-02-01 05:04:07

Think of them as a group of guys, hanging out together, but not spending much time with the ladies, nor getting much "action." Except these "guys" are forked fungus beetles. Forked what? Yes, forked fungus beetles. Like other insects and animals, they have their own societies. Most are highly social, but some hang out in small guy groups. It turns out, maybe not surprisingly, that the cliquish ones — the small groups of male beetles that live on the fringes of society with their...

2012-01-27 10:11:44

In the current issue of Science, researchers at Michigan State University demonstrate how a new virus evolves, which sheds light on how easy it can be for diseases to gain dangerous mutations. The scientists showed for the first time how the virus called “Lambda” evolved to find a new way to attack host cells, an innovation that took four mutations to accomplish. This virus infects bacteria, in particular the common E. coli bacterium. Lambda isn´t dangerous to humans, but...


Word of the Day
ramage
  • Boughs or branches.
  • Warbling of birds in trees.
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