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Evolution in Biological News

Research shows that 'invisible hand' guides evolution of cooperative turn-taking

It's not just good manners to wait your turn it's actually down to evolution, according to new research by University of Leicester psychologists. A study in the University's School of Psychology sought to explain how turn-taking has evolved across a range of species. The conclusion is that the...

Study finds role for parasites in evolution of sex

What's so great about sex? From an evolutionary perspective, the answer is not as obvious as one might think. An article published in the July issue of the American Naturalist suggests that sex may have evolved in part as a defense against parasites. Despite its central role in biology, sex i...

Gene evolution process discovered

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 g...

When evolution is not so slow and gradual

What's the secret to surviving during times of environmental change? Evolvequickly. A new article in The American Naturalist finds that guppy populations introduced into new habitats developed new and advantageous traits in just a few years. This is one of only a few studies to look at adapta...

The evolution of gene regulation

Even microbes are governed by the principle of supply and demand at least at the genetic level. Not all of their gene products, the blueprints for proteins, are required at all times. That means most of their genes only become active when they are needed, as is the case in higher organisms. In th...

University of Florida study provides insight into evolution of first flowers

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Charles Darwin described the sudden origin of flowering plants about 130 million years ago as an abominable mystery, one that scientists have yet to solve. But a new University of Florida study, set to appear next week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the Nati...

U of Minnesota study finds high school teachers influence student views of evolution & creationism

College students' views about evolution and creationism are often shaped by what they learned in their high school biology classes, according to a University of Minnesota study published in the May issue of BioScience , the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Co-authors R...

The story of X -- evolution of a sex chromosome

Berkeley -- Move over, Y chromosome it's time X got some attention. In the first evolutionary study of the chromosome associated with being female, University of California, Berkeley, biologist Doris Bachtrog and her colleagues show that the history of the X chromosome is every bit as interest...

Texas Board of Education vote on the way evolution is taught could set national trend

Rice University sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund is available to discuss the Texas Board of Education's upcoming contentious vote on a new science curriculum that outlines the way evolution is taught in Texas public schools. At issue is whether a teacher should raise doubts about evolution whe...

Research links evolution of fins and limbs with that of gills

The genetic toolkit that animals use to build fins and limbs is the same genetic toolkit that controls the development of part of the gill skeleton in sharks, according to research to be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on March 23, 2009, by Andrew Gillis and Neil Shu...

'Undesirable' evolution can be reversed in fish, Stony Brook University scientists show

STONY BROOK, NY, March 3, 2009 "Undesirable" evolution in fish which makes their bodies grow smaller and fishery catches dwindle -- can actually be reversed in a few decades' time by changing our "take-the-biggest-fish" approach to commercial fishing, according to groundbreaking new research pub...

Researchers observe evolution chain reaction

A team of researchers are reporting the ongoing emergence of a new species of fruit fly--and the sequential development of a new species of wasp--in the February 6 issue of the journal Science . Jeff Feder, a University of Notre Dame biologist, and his colleagues say the introduction of apples...

Comparative genomics reveals molecular evolution of Q fever pathogen

Blacksburg, Va. Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Texas A&M Health Center, and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have uncovered genetic clues about why some strains of the pathogen Coxiella burnetii are more virulent than others. ...

Billion-year revision of plant evolution timeline may stem from discovery of lignin in seaweed

Land plants' ability to sprout upward through the air, unsupported except by their own woody tissues, has long been considered one of the characteristics separating them from aquatic plants, which rely on water to support them. Now lignin, one of the chemical underpinnings vital to the self-su...

The Evolution of Human Aggression: Feb. 25-27 conference

SALT LAKE CITY As scientists celebrate 2009 as the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth, experts in anthropology, biology, psychology and other fields will gather at the University of Utah Feb. 25-27 to debate how evolution has shaped human aggression and violence, from war to domestic abuse a...

Reverse evolution in real-time

In his book, Wonderful World, Stephen Jay Gould writes about an experiment of 'replaying life's tape', wherein one could go back in time, let the tape of life play again and see if 'the repetition looks at all like the original'. Evolutionary biology tells us that it wouldn't look the same the ou...

Orangutan's spontaneous whistling opens new chapter in study of evolution of speech

Des Moines, Iowa December 11, 2008 Throughout history, human beings have used the whistle for everything from hailing a cab to carrying a tune. Now, an orangutan's spontaneous whistling is providing scientists at Great Ape Trust of Iowa new insights into the evolution of speech and learning. ...

Scientists shed light on evolution of gene regulation

Scientists at Penn State have shed light on some of the processes that regulate genes -- such as the processes that ensure that proteins are produced at the correct time, place, and amount in an organism -- and they also have shed light on the evolution of the DNA regions that regulate genes. The...

Two from one: Pitt research maps out evolution of genders from hermaphroditic ancestors

PITTSBURGHResearch from the University of Pittsburgh published in the Nov. 20 edition of Heredity could finally provide evidence of the first stages of the evolution of separate sexes, a theory that holds that males and females developed from hermaphroditic ancestors. These early stages are not ...

Biologists, educators recognize excellence in evolution education

Washington, DC The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) will recognize Dr. Randy Moore, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, with the 2008 Evolution Education Award during the NABT annual conference to be held 15-18 October 2008 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Evoluti...

Reproducing early and often is the key to rapid evolution in plants

New Haven, Conn. Yale researchers have harnessed the power of 21st century computing to confirm an idea first proposed in 1916 that plants with rapid reproductive cycles evolve faster. Their findings appear in the October 3rd edition of Science . "Our study has profound consequence for the u...

Mass extinctions and the evolution of dinosaurs

Reporting in Biology Letters, Steve Brusatte, Professor Michael Benton, and colleagues at the University of Bristol show that dinosaurs did not proliferate immediately after they originated, but that their rise was a slow and complicated event, and driven by two mass extinctions. "The sheer ...

Worm genome offers clues to evolution of parasitism

The genome of a humble worm that dines on the microbial organisms covering the carcasses of dead beetles may provide clues to the evolution of parasitic worms, including those that infect humans, say scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Max-Planck Institute f...

Insight into the evolution of parasitism

This release is also available in German . Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, together with American colleagues, have decoded the genome of the Pristionchus pacificus nematode, thereby gaining insight into the evolution of parasitism. In their work, which ha...

Scientists find 'redesigned hammer' that forged evolution of pregnancy in mammals

New Haven, Conn. Yale researchers have shown that the origin and evolution of the placenta and uterus in mammals is associated with evolutionary changes in a single regulatory protein, according to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . "Many past studies have shown that...

Molecular evolution is echoed in bat ears

Bats' ability to echolocate may have evolved more than once, according to research published this week by Queen Mary, University of London scientists. Species of bat with the ability to echolocate do not all group together in the evolutionary tree of life - some are more related to their non-ec...

Gene enhancer in evolution of human opposable thumb

Scientists have discovered a gene enhancer, known as HACNS1, that may have contributed to the evolution of the uniquely opposable human thumb, and possibly also modifications in the ankle or foot that allow humans to walk on two legs, according to a paper published in Science on Sept. 5, 2008. ...

Exploding chromosomes fuel research about evolution of genetic storage

Human cells somehow squeeze two meters of double-stranded DNA into the space of a typical chromosome, a package 10,000 times smaller than the volume of genetic material it contains. "It is like compacting your entire wardrobe into a shoebox," said Riccardo Levi-Setti, Professor Emeritus in Phys...

Study reveals surprising details of the evolution of protein translation

CHAMPAIGN A new study of transfer RNA, a molecule that delivers amino acids to the protein-building machinery of the cell, challenges long-held ideas about the evolutionary history of protein synthesis. In the study, researchers report that the dual functions of transfer RNA (reading the geneti...

Bacteria reveal secret of adaptation at Evolution Canyon

Bacteria living on opposite sides of a canyon have evolved to cope with different temperatures by altering the make-up of their 'skin', or cell membranes. Scientists have found that bacteria change these complex and important structures to adapt to different temperatures by looking at the appearan...

Scientists reveal the lifestyle evolution of wild marine bacteria

Marine bacteria in the wild organize into professions or lifestyle groups that partition many resources rather than competing for them, so that microbes with one lifestyle, such as free-floating cells, flourish in proximity with closely related microbes that may spend life attached to zooplankton ...

Not just for the monkeys: New publication shows evolution is everywhere

To spotlight the widespread importance of evolution, a group of renowned international scientists have launched a scientific journal devoted to using evolutionary biology to tackle the world's major biological crises. The new journal, titled Evolutionary Applications publishes articles that use ev...

Ancient 'Nutcracker Man' challenges ideas on evolution of human diet

Tiny marks on the teeth of an ancient human ancestor known as the "Nutcracker Man" may upset current evolutionary understanding of early hominid diet. Using high-powered microscopes, researchers looked at rough geometric shapes on the teeth of several Nutcracker Man specimens and determined tha...

Rockefeller University hosts 2-day evolution symposium, May 1-2, 2008

Beginning with the molecular origins of life and culminating with the latest findings on human evolution, 18 of the world's leading experts will report on research spanning three billion years of evolution at a two-day symposium at Rockefeller University. The symposium takes place on Thursday, May...

Scientists find a fingerprint of evolution across the human genome

The Human Genome Project revealed that only a small fraction of the 3 billion letter DNA code actually instructs cells to manufacture proteins, the workhorses of most life processes. This has raised the question of what the remaining part of the human genome does. How much of the rest performs oth...

First 'rule' of evolution suggests that life is destined to become more complex

Scientists have revealed what may well be the first pervasive rule of evolution. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers have found evidence which suggests that evolution drives animals to become increasingly more complex. Looking back throug...

The evolution of aversion: Why even children are fearful of snakes

Some of the oldest tales and wisest mythology allude to the snake as a mischievous seducer, dangerous foe or powerful iconoclast; however, the legend surrounding this proverbial predator may not be based solely on fantasy. As scientists from the University of Virginia recently discovered, the comm...

MIT: No easy answers in evolution of human language

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The evolution of human speech was far more complex than is implied by some recent attempts to link it to a specific gene, says Robert Berwick, professor of computational linguistics at MIT. Berwick will describe his ideas about language in a session at the annual meeting of th...

Tomato pathogen genome may offer clues about bacterial evolution at dawn of agriculture

Blacksburg, Va. The availability of new genome sequencing technology has prompted a Virginia Tech plant scientist to test an intriguing hypothesis about how agricultures early beginnings may have impacted the evolution of plant pathogens. Boris Vinatzer, assistant professor of plant pathology,...

Lessons from evolution applied to national security and other threats

DURHAM, N.C. Could lessons learned from Mother Nature help airport security screening checkpoints better protect us from terror threats? The authors of a new book, Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World, believe they can -- if governments are willing to think outside th...
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