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Latest Natural selection Stories

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2009-10-29 05:50:00

Evolutionary outcomes can be influenced by culture as well as genes, according to a new study released on Wednesday comparing societies around the world. Natural and social sciences are rarely brought together, but the study analyzed the interaction across 29 countries of two sets of data, genetic and cultural. The researchers discovered that the majority of people living in countries considered to be collectivist have a certain mutation within a gene that regulates the transport of...

2009-10-19 16:22:28

Although advances in medical care have improved standards of living over time, humans aren't entirely sheltered from the forces of natural selection, a new study shows. "There is this idea that because medicine has been so good at reducing mortality rates, that means that natural selection is no longer operating in humans," said Stephen Stearns of Yale University. A recent analysis by Stearns and colleagues turns this idea on its head. As part of a working group sponsored by the National...

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2009-10-18 12:19:32

40,000 generations and counting at Michigan State University A 21-year Michigan State University experiment that distills the essence of evolution in laboratory flasks not only demonstrates natural selection at work, but could lead to biotechnology and medical research advances, researchers said. Charles Darwin's seminal Origin of Species first laid out the case for evolution exactly 150 years ago. Now, MSU professor Richard Lenski and colleagues document the process in their analysis of...

2009-10-01 14:48:30

Cheaters may prosper in the short term, but over time they seem doomed to fail, at least in the microscopic world of amoebas where natural selection favors the noble. But why? Shouldn't "survival of the fittest" give the sneaky cheaters an edge? Not necessarily, as it turns out amoebas that cooperate for the benefit of all "“ and even die for the cause "“ bring their own genetic weapons to the fight. Researchers from Rice University and the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) are...

2009-09-23 14:40:08

By resurrecting ancient proteins, University of Oregon researchers find that evolution can only go forward A University of Oregon research team has found that evolution can never go backwards, because the paths to the genes once present in our ancestors are forever blocked. The findings -- the result of the first rigorous study of reverse evolution at the molecular level -- appear in the Sept. 24 issue of Nature. The team used computational reconstruction of ancestral gene sequences, DNA...

2009-08-11 08:31:58

Biologists have long known how adaptive evolution works. New mutations arise within a population and those that confer some benefits to the organism increase in frequency and eventually become fixed in the population.A significant challenge for evolutionary biologists, however, has been to identify the specific mutations that are responsible for adaptive change. But new research by an international team led by Jay Storz of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has succeeded in identifying the...

2009-07-17 14:20:40

A modern approach to the formation of diverse species is developed without boundaries and ecosystem niches The tremendous diversity of life continues to puzzle scientists, long after the 200 years since Charles Darwin's birth. However, in recent years, consistent patterns of biodiversity have been identified over space, time organism type and geographical region. Two views of the process of "speciation" -- the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise -- dominates...

2009-06-15 10:35:06

One of the mechanisms governing how our physical features and behavioural traits have evolved over centuries has been discovered by researchers at the University of Leeds.Darwin proposed that such traits are passed from a parent to their offspring, with natural selection favouring those that give the greatest advantage for survival, but did not have a scientific explanation for this process.In research published this week, the Leeds team reports that a protein known as REST plays a central...

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2009-06-05 08:30:00

New research indicates that natural selection may shape the human genome much more slowly than previously thought. Other factors -- the movements of humans within and among continents, the expansions and contractions of populations, and the vagaries of genetic chance "“ have heavily influenced the distribution of genetic variations in populations around the world. The study, conducted by a team from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the University of Chicago, the University of...

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2009-04-30 08:37:02

Scientists at Scripps Research make molecules that evolve and compete, mimicking behavior of Darwin's finches As described in an article published this week in an advance, online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the work demonstrates some of the classic principles of evolution. For instance, research shows that when different species directly compete for the same finite resource, only the fittest will survive. The work also demonstrates how, when...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'kardia,' heart.
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