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Tag: "evo" at biology news

Molecular biology fills gaps in knowledge of bat evolution

One in five mammals living on Earth is a bat, yet their evolutionary history is largely unknown because of a limited fossil record and conflicting or incomplete theories about their origins and divergence. .. . Springer coauthors the paper, titled A Molecular Phylogeny for Bats Illuminates Biogeography and the Fossil Record, with William Murphy...

Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds

After decades of laboratory work studying how animals evolve, researchers sometimes need to put on the hip waders, pull out the fishing net and go learn how their theory compares to the real world. According to a Stanford University School of Medicine study published in the March 25 issue of Science, Mother Nature is more predictable than lab experiments suggest. . In a diverse group of fish call...

Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes

In a stunning example of evolution at work, scientists have now found that changes in a single gene can produce major changes in the skeletal armor of fish living in the wild. .. . "Our motivation is to try to understand how new animal types evolve in nature," said molecular geneticist David M. Kingsley, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the Stanford University School of Medicine....

Family trees of ancient bacteria reveal evolutionary moves

A geomicrobiologist at Washington University in St. Louis has proposed that evolution is the primary driving force in the early Earth's development rather than physical processes, such as plate tectonics. .. Carrine Blank, Ph.D., Washington University assistant professor of geomicrobiology in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences, studying Cyanobacteria ?bacteria...

Scientists discover how fish evolved to float at different sea depths

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered how fish have evolved over the last 400 million years to stay motionless at different water depths. .. . Dr Berenbrink investigated the mechanism that allows fishes to keep the swimbladder inflated with gas even at great water pressure in the depths of the sea. The mechanism com...

Great White shark evolution debate involves WSU Lake Campus geology professor

A significant debate is currently underway in the scientific community over the evolution of the Great White shark, and Chuck Ciampaglio, Ph.D., an assistant professor of geology at the Wright State University Lake Campus, is right in the middle of it. .. . "Most scientists would probably say the Great Whites evolved from the megladon line, which existed from two million to twenty million years a...

Revolutionary nanotechnology illuminates brain cells at work

Until now it has been impossible to accurately measure the levels of important chemicals in living brain cells in real time and at the level of a single cell. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology and Stanford University are the first to overcome this obstacle by successfully applying genetic nanotechnology using molecular sensors to view changes in brain chemical l...

The evolutionary triumph of flower power

Enjoying spring flowers? Flowers have flourished ?their beauty evolving over time ?simply because we like them, says Terry McGuire, associate professor of genetics at Rutgers and co-author of a paper that examines for the first time the whys and wherefores of flowering plants in an evolutionary context. .. While flowers originally came on the scene to attract potential pollinators like bugs and b...

To Stop Evolution: New Way Of Fighting Antibiotic Resistance Demonstrated By Scripps Scientists

A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the University of Wisconsin have demonstrated a new way of fighting antibiotic resistance: by stopping evolution. .. In the June issue of the open-access journal PloS Biology, the team describes how a protein called LexA in the bacterium Escherichia coli promotes mutations and helps the pathogen evolve resistance to antibiotics. The scien...

MicroRNAs play a big part in gene regulation - and evolution

Regulating when and where certain proteins are made is crucial to the normal functioning of living things. To make proteins, information from DNA is transcribed into RNA molecules and then translated into the amino acids building blocks of proteins. But not all genes code for proteins--some make RNA molecules called microRNAs. These small RNA molecules interfere with--and therefore control--the p...

Enlisting genomics to understand flu evolution

Multiple strains of the flu virus, circulating in a population at the same time, can reshuffle their genes and create a new virus, one capable of infecting many more people, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLoS Biology. This finding may help scientists make better predictions about which viral strains will attack during upcoming flu seasons and design more effective flu vaccin...

Evolution of taste receptor may have shaped human sensitivity to toxic compounds

Researchers have found new evidence suggesting that the ability to taste bitter compounds has been strongly advantageous in human evolution. . .. In new work, researchers including Nicole Soranzo of University College London and Bernd Bufe of the German Institute of Human Nutrition...

Variation in HIV's ability to disable host defenses contributes to rapid evolution

One of the reasons HIV is so difficult to contain and treat is its rapid evolution. Understanding how host defenses and viral countermeasures contribute to that evolution is vital. . .. .. Within a single patient, some ver...

Scientists track stealth DNA elements in primate evolution

Louisiana State University scientists in the Department of Biological Sciences have unraveled the details of a 25-million-year-old evolutionary process in the human genome. Specific DNA sequences that appear to have persisted in a latent state for long periods of time may not be simply lying dormant. Instead, the researchers say that these elements have played a crucial role in human evolution by...

Multi-species genome comparison sheds new light on evolutionary processes, cancer mutations

An international team that includes researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has discovered that mammalian chromosomes have evolved by breaking at specific sites rather than randomly as long thought ?and that many of the breakage hotspots are also involved in human cancer. . In a study published in the July 22 issue of...

'Punctuated' evolution in the human genome

Researchers report today that regions of the human genome have been hotspots for acquiring duplicated DNA sequences ?but only at specific time-points during evolution. It appears that long periods of genomic stasis, at least with regard to the accretion of duplicated DNA fragments, are "punctuated" by relatively brief episodes of duplicative activity. This is the first time that such temporal bia...

Science's Breakthrough of the Year: Watching evolution in action

Evolution has been the foundation and guiding theory of biology since Darwin gave the theory its proper scientific debut in 1859. But Darwin probably never dreamed that researchers in 2005 would still be uncovering new details about the nuts and bolts of his theory -- how does evolution actually work in the world of influenza genes and chimpanzee genes and stickleback fish armor? Studies that fol...

Biologists call for better choice of model organisms in 'evo-devo'

Research in evolutionary developmental biology, known as ‘evo-devo? is being held back because the dominant model organisms used by scientists are unable to illustrate key questions about evolution, argue biologists in the latest issue of Nature Reviews Genetics. . .. To help understand how developmental change underpins evolution, evo-devo...

Insight into our sight: A new view on the evolution of the eye lens

The evolution of complex and physiologically remarkable structures such as the vertebrate eye has long been a focus of intrigue and theorizing by biologists. In work reported this week in Current Biology, the evolutionary history of a critical eye protein has revealed a previously unrecognized relationship between certain components of vertebrate eyes and those of the more primitive light-sensing...

Deep sea buffet for bone-devouring worms

Press release based on a recently published article in Environmental MicrobiologyAn unusual relationship between bacteria and a newly discovered group of marine worms is the only known partnership (or symbiosis) which uses sunken marine mammals as its sole source of nutrition. . .. Symbiosis, or the living together of different organisms, allows some species to live in otherwise hostile envir...

Evolution of life on Earth may hold key to finding life in outer space

Questions about the existence of life in outer space may have a surprisingly close-to-home answer, according to one University of Houston professor. .. . In addition to his Earth-based research, Fox collaborated with the Houston Museum of Natural Sc...

Stressed cells spark DNA repair missteps and speed evolution

When Dr. Susan Rosenberg, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, first published her finding that the mutation rate increased in bacteria stressed by starvation, sometimes resulting in a rare change that benefited the bacteria, it was controversial. . .. It all begins with the way that the cell repairs breaks in the double strands of DNA that ar...

DNA traces evolution of extinct sabertooths and the American cheetah-like cat

By performing sequence analysis of ancient DNA, a team of researchers has obtained data that help clarify our view of the evolutionary relationships shared by the large predatory cats that once roamed the prehistoric New World. . .. Toward the end of the last Ice Age, around 13,000 years ago, North and South America were home to a variety of large cats such as the sabertooths (Smilodon and Homoth...

Immune system has evolved to prevent autoimmune disease

Study suggests chronic infections may create autoimmune response .. . The findings will be published in the journal Physical Review Letters. They are based on a new...

NHGRI expands effort to revolutionize sequencing technologies

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced it has awarded grants totaling more than $32 million to advance the development of innovative sequencing technologies intended to reduce the cost of DNA sequencing and expand the use of genomics in biomedical research and health care. . "The efforts are aimed at speeding the rate...

MBL researchers probe how an ancient microbe thrives and evolves without sex

A January 2004 finding by biologists at the Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution added important evidence to the radical conclusion that a group of diminutive aquatic animals called bdelloid rotifers have evolved for tens of millions of years without sexual reproduction, in apparent violation of the rule that abandonment of sexual reproduction is a biological...

Human brain is still evolving

Researchers who have analyzed sequence variations in two genes that regulate brain size in human populations have found evidence that the human brain is still evolving. . They speculate that if the human species continues to survive, the human brain may continue to evolve, driven by the pressures of natural selection. Their data suggest that major variants in these genes arose at roughly the same...

Picky female frogs drive evolution of new species in less than 8,000 years

Picky female frogs in a tiny rainforest outpost of Australia have driven the evolution of a new species in 8,000 years or less, according to scientists from the University of Queensland, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. . .. The yet-to-be-named species arose after two isolated populations of...

New research puts a fresh spin on current thinking of speech evolution in humans

A study, published today in the prestigious journal Nature by Dr. Michael Petrides and colleagues at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) at McGill University, challenges current thinking that speech developed as a result of new structures that evolved in the human brain. Dr. Petrides and colleagues have identified a distinct brain region that controls jaw movements in macaque monkeys that i...

MicroRNAs have shaped the evolution of the majority of mammalian genes

RNA continues to shed its reputation as DNA's faithful sidekick. Now, researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Bartel have found that a class of small RNAs called microRNAs influence the evolution of genes far more widely than previous research had indicated. . .. In order to make a protein, a gene codes for a specific molecule called messenger RNA, or mRNA. Each mRNA molecule c...

A bug's life: Exceptional genomic stability yet rapid protein evolution in a carpenter ant mutualist

The recent surge in the number of microbial genome sequences available to the scientific community is allowing researchers to address interesting ecological questions and to observe how various genomic, evolutionary, and ecological forces interact to define an organism's role in the environment. Today, Dr. Jennifer Wernegreen's group from the Marine Biological Laboratory presents new data that su...

The first laugh: New study posits evolutionary origins of two distinct types of laughter

In an important new study from the forthcoming Quarterly Review of Biology, biologists from Binghamton University explore the evolution of two distinct types of laughter ?laughter which is stimulus-driven and laughter which is self-generated and strategic. . .. Using empirical evidence from across discipl...

Getting an evolutionary handle on life after reproduction

Since many animals live beyond their fertile years, biologists have searched for evolutionary clues to this extended lifespan. What role, if any, does natural selection play in the evolution of the postreproductive lifespan? . For natural selection to shape the twilight years, postreproductive females should contribute to the fitness of their offspring or relatives, a hypothesis called the "gra...

Fruit fly research set to revolutionize study of birth defects

A Queen's University study of fruit flies that may revolutionize the way birth defects are studied has identified the genes affected by a widely-prescribed drug known to cause birth defects. . Methotrexate (MTX), a popular cancer-fighting drug also used to treat psoriasis, ectopic pregnancies, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, lasts a long time in the body and causes birth defects in children fro...

Fish evolve a longer lifespan by evolving a longer reproductive period, researchers find

A UC Riverside-led research team has found that as some populations of an organism evolve a longer lifespan, they do so by increasing only that segment of the lifespan that contributes to "fitness" ?the relative ability of an individual to contribute offspring to the next generation. . Focusing on guppies, small fresh-water fish biologists have studied for long, the researchers found that guppies...

First big influenza genome study reveals flu evolution

Which flu did you get? TIGR scientists survey five New York flu seasons .. . In the study, TIGR scientists and their colleagues sequenced 209 complete genomes of the human infl...

Software might revolutionize glucose monitoring in critically ill patients

Researchers have developed a new computerized system to easilymonitor the levels of glucose in the blood of patients in intensivecare. . A study published today in the open access journal BMC MedicalInformatics and Decision Making reports that GRIP, a computersoftware that assists in the monitoring of glucose levels incritically ill patients, saves nurses time and effort and is moreefficient than...

Genetic analysis of cavefish reveals more about evolution

A multi-institutional study offers additional insight into the evolutionary process by examining how albinism evolves in cavefish. Researchers, including New York University Biology Professor Richard Borowsky, examined two populations of Mexican cavefish and found that albinism in both populations was linked to Oca2--a pigmentation gene also responsible for the most common form of albinism in hu...

Evolutionary conservation of a mechanism of longevity from worms to mammals

Though the study of aging in the nematode model organism C. elegans has provided much insight into this complex process, it is not yet clear whether genes involved in aging in the worm have a similar role in mammals. In a recent study, Dr. Hekimi and colleagues of McGill University (Canada) report that inactivation of the gene mclk1, the murine ortholog of the C. elegans gene clk-1, results in i...

'Perception' gene tracked humanity's evolution, scientists say

A gene thought to influence perception and susceptibility to drug dependence is expressed more readily in human beings than in other primates, and this difference coincides with the evolution of our species, say scientists at Indiana University Bloomington and three other academic institutions. Their report appears in the December issue of Public Library of Science Biology. . .. "Humans have the...
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