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Latest Natural selection Stories

2010-12-02 20:56:17

TAU investigates how fruit fly bacteria affect mating and evolution Could the bacteria that we carry in our bodies decide who we marry? According to a new study from Tel Aviv University, the answer lies in the gut of a small fruit fly. Prof. Eugene Rosenberg, Prof. Daniel Segel and doctoral student Gil Sharon of Tel Aviv University's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology recently demonstrated that the symbiotic bacteria inside a fruit fly greatly influence its choice of...

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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...

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2010-11-09 14:08:41

Charles Darwin's theory of gradual evolution is not supported by geological history, New York University Geologist Michael Rampino concludes in an essay in the journal Historical Biology. In fact, Rampino notes that a more accurate theory of gradual evolution, positing that long periods of evolutionary stability are disrupted by catastrophic mass extinctions of life, was put forth by Scottish horticulturalist Patrick Matthew prior to Darwin's published work on the topic. "Matthew discovered...

2010-11-03 13:53:41

At a global scale, the sickle cell gene is most commonly found in areas with historically high levels of malaria, adding geographical support to the hypothesis that the gene, whilst potentially deadly, avoids disappearing through natural selection by providing protection against malaria. In a study funded by the Wellcome Trust, geographers, biologists and statisticians at the University of Oxford, together with colleagues from the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme in Kenya, have produced the...

2010-10-15 01:14:28

A gene's location on a chromosome plays a significant role in shaping how an organism's traits vary and evolve, according to findings by genome biologists at New York University's Center for Genomic and Systems Biology and Princeton University's Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. Their research, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Science, suggests that evolution is less a function of what a physical trait is and more a result of where the genes that affect that...

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2010-09-30 06:15:00

Researchers from more than 200 institutions in the U.S. and Europe have identified hundreds of genetic variants that in total account for roughly 10 percent of the inherited variation in human height. The consortium of researchers, named GIANT for Genetic Investigation of ANthropometric Traits, combined data from more than 180,000 individuals, including millions of genetic results from each of 46 separate studies in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. Using this data, they were able to...

2010-09-29 12:56:00

International collaboration maps height 'hotspots' in the genome BOSTON, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An international collaboration of more than 200 institutions, led by researchers at Children's Hospital Boston, the Broad Institute, and a half-dozen other institutions in Europe and North America, has identified hundreds of genetic variants that together account for about 10 percent of the inherited variation of height among people. Known as the GIANT (Genetic Investigation of...

2010-09-23 12:48:23

New research has found that a genetic variant which reduces the chance of contracting diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy is more prevalent in populations with long histories of urban living. The research, published in the journal Evolution, shows that in areas with a long history of urban settlements, today's inhabitants are more likely to possess the genetic variant which provides resistance to infection. In ancient cities, poor sanitation and high population densities would have...

2010-09-15 15:44:16

University of Maryland biologists show how evolutionary changes helped compensate for the loss of vision in Mexican blind cavefish University of Maryland biologists have identified how changes in both behavior and genetics led to the evolution of the Mexican blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus) from its sighted, surface-dwelling ancestor. In research published in the August 12, 2010 online edition of the journal Current Biology, Professor William Jeffery, together with postdoctoral associates...

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2010-09-03 12:50:00

An interactive computer model helps teach students about evolution One hundred fifty-one years after Charles Darwin introduced his theory of evolution, the "E word" remains controversial in science education circles, sparking debate over how to teach it, at what age, and even, in extreme cases, whether it should be taught at all. Yet, essentially there is universal agreement among scientists that evolution by natural selection is the fundamental model that explains the extraordinary...


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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