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Latest Phylogenetics Stories

2012-01-26 11:34:11

A tiny mountainous region in southern Siberia may have been the genetic source of the earliest Native Americans, according to new research by a University of Pennsylvania-led team of anthropologists. Lying at the intersection of what is today Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan, the region known as the Altai "is a key area because it's a place that people have been coming and going for thousands and thousands of years," said Theodore Schurr, an associate professor in Penn's Department...

2012-01-04 09:05:41

Increase in content partnerships, growing Spanish-language text, conservation content, and images boost Encyclopedia of Life's value to scientists and general public The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL, www.eol.org) continues to expand at a record pace with the addition of new content and partners. At the start of 2012, EOL provides data on nearly half of all described species, with new content in Spanish, rich information about conservation issues from the International Union for the...

'First Wave' Settlers Had Key Role In Human Evolution
2011-11-04 05:38:01

A new study examining the genealogies of early human pioneers suggests that settlers who were first to colonize a new region of the world produced more offspring than the settlers who followed them, giving them a selective advantage. The international team of researchers, who specialize in studying the effects of rapid territorial and demographic expansions on recent human evolution, analyzed the growth of human colonies in an area of Quebec, Canada, between 1686 and 1960.  They...

Researchers Complete Mollusk Evolutionary Tree
2011-10-27 04:47:06

Mollusks have been around for so long (at least 500 million years), are so prevalent on land and in water (from backyard gardens to the deep ocean), and are so valuable to people (clam chowder, oysters on the half shell) that one might assume scientists had learned everything about them. “Here´s this big, diverse group of animals, and we don´t know how they were related to each other,” said Casey Dunn, an evolutionary biologist at Brown University who specializes in...

New Technique Fills In Fossil Record Gaps
2011-09-20 04:53:20

  University of Pennsylvania evolutionary biologists have resolved a long-standing paleontological problem by reconciling the fossil record of species diversity with modern DNA samples. Cataloging the diversity of life on earth is challenging enough, but when scientists attempt to draw a phylogeny – the branching family tree of a group of species over their evolutionary history – the challenge goes from merely difficult to potentially impossible. The fossil record is...

Encyclopedia Of Life Announces New And Expanded Data
2011-09-06 10:29:49

  In the three years since the Encyclopedia of Life was first released online, the number of individual species of plants and animals listed has grown from 30,000 to an impressive 700,000, meaning that more than a third of all the planets 1.9 million species are now covered. The Encyclopedia of Life (EoL) was launched online in February 2008 and has grown tremendously, seeking the help of citizen scientists from around the world in an ambitious attempt to catalog all the species of...

2011-06-14 23:06:41

A new study provides support for Darwin's hypothesis that the struggle for existence is stronger between more closely related species than those distantly related. While ecologists generally accept the premise, this new study contains the strongest direct experimental evidence yet to support its validity. "We found that species extinction occurred more frequently and more rapidly between species of microorganisms that were more closely related, providing strong support for Darwin's theory,...

2011-03-29 13:34:35

An international research team led by Brown University has amassed the largest evolutionary tree (phylogeny) for plants. It has learned that major groups of plants tinker with their design and performance before rapidly spinning off new species. The finding upends long-held thinking that plants' speciation rates are tied to the first development of a new physical trait or mechanism. Results are published in the American Journal of Botany. Just as a company creates new, better versions of a...

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2011-03-10 06:05:00

Scientists have analyzed the genomes of humans and closely related primates and discovered over 500 regulatory regions that chimpanzees and mammals have that humans do not.  Gill Bejerano, a biologist at Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues found that humans lack the penile spines found in many other mammals, and also why specific regions of human brains are larger than those of our closest relatives. "Rather than looking for species-specific differences in specific...


Word of the Day
bellycheer
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".
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