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Origin in Biological News

A global model for the origin of species independent of geographical isolation

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 "specia...

Domestication of Capsicum annuum chile pepper provides insights into crop origin and evolution

Without the process of domestication, humans would still be hunters and gatherers, and modern civilization would look very different. Fortunately, for all of us who do not relish the thought of spending our days searching for nuts and berries, early civilizations successfully cultivated many spec...

Public lecture at UC Riverside to discuss origin and fate of universe

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Current findings on how the universe began and evolved will be discussed in a free public lecture at UC Riverside. Bahram Mobasher , a professor in UCR's Department of Physics and Astronomy , will present results from the search for the first generation of stars and galax...

Fossil evidence of missing link in the origin of seals, sea lions, walruses found in Canadian Arctic

Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaResearchers from the United States and Canada have found a fossil skeleton of a newly discovered carnivorous animal, Puijila darwini . New research suggests Puijila is a "missing link" in the evolution of the group that today includes seals, sea lions, and the walrus...

Evolutionary origin of bacterial chromosomes revealed

Blacksburg, Va. Researchers have unveiled the evolutionary origin of the different chromosomal architectures found in three species of Agrobacterium. A comprehensive comparison of the Agrobacterium sequence information with the genome sequences of other bacteria suggests a general model for how s...

New origin found for a critical immune response

DURHAM, N.C. An immune system response that is critical to the first stages of fighting off viruses and harmful bacteria comes from an entirely different direction than most scientists had thought, according to a finding by researchers at the Duke University Medical Center. "This finding will...

Study on origin of mutation that causes fatal familiar insomnia

This release is available in Spanish . A PhD thesis at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has studied the origin of the mutation that causes Fatal Familiar Insomnia (FFI). In the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country there is a high rate of carriers of this mutation 50%...

Synthetic virus supports a bat origin for SARS

SARS severe acute respiratory syndrome alarmed the world five years ago as the first global pandemic of the 21st century. The coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that sickened more than 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 of them may have originated in bats, but the actual animal source is not known. In a...

What is the origin of ethics?

Are human beings "blank slates" that are molded by the cultures into which they are born? Or are our values and predispositions genetically based, shaped solely by evolution? The controversy around evolution and human behaviour has been a hot topic of scientific research since Charles Darwin refra...

Scientists trace molecular origin of proportional development

CINCINNATI When it comes to embryo formation in the lowly fruit fly, a little molecular messiness actually leads to enhanced developmental precision, according to a study in the Oct. 14 Developmental Cell from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. While the fundamentals of this tin...

Scientists develop new method to investigate origin of life

Scientists at Penn State have developed a new computational method that they say will help them to understand how life began on Earth. The team's method has the potential to trace the evolutionary histories of proteins all the way back to either cells or viruses, thus settling the debate once and...

How 'secondary' sex characters can drive the origin of species

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The ostentatious, sometimes bizarre qualities that improve a creature's chances of finding a mate may also drive the reproductive separation of populations and the evolution of new species, say two Indiana University Bloomington biologists. In the September 2008 issue of E...

The cooperative view: New evidence suggests a symbiogenetic origin for the centrosome

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA There are two ways in which cooperation is the theme of a paper published this week by Mark Alliegro and Mary Anne Alliegro, scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratorys (MBL) Josephine Bay Paul Center. One is revealed in the papers acknowledgements, where the Alliegros...

Clues to ancestral origin of placenta emerge in Stanford study

STANFORD, Calif. - Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have uncovered the first clues about the ancient origins of a mother's intricate lifeline to her unborn baby, the placenta, which delivers oxygen and nutrients critical to the baby's health. The evidence suggests the p...

Experts prove the geochemical origin of part of the CO2 emissions in semiarid climates

The implementation of the Kyoto Protocol has raised, among other pressing matters, the need of getting to know the annual levels of carbon in different earths ecosystems. Scientists connected with the CEAMA-Andalusian Centre for the Environment (University of Granada-Andalusian Council) are studyi...

Fungi can tell us about the origin of sex chromosomes

Fungi do not have sexes, just so-called mating types. A new study being published today in the prestigious journal PLoS shows that there are great similarities between the parts of DNA that determine the sex of plants and animals and the parts of DNA that determine mating types in certain fungi. ...

Darwin was wrong about the wild origin of the chicken

Charles Darwin maintained that the domesticated chicken derives from the red jungle fowl, but new research from Uppsala University now shows that the wild origins of the chicken are more complicated than that. The researchers mapped the genes that give most domesticated chickens yellow legs a...

ASU researcher may have discovered key to life before its origin on Earth

TEMPE, ARIZ. -- An important discovery has been made with respect to the mystery of handedness in biomolecules. Researchers led by Sandra Pizzarello, a research professor at Arizona State University, found that some of the possible abiotic precursors to the origin of life on Earth have been shown ...

Hinode: new insights on the origin of solar wind

Spectacular images and data from the Hinode mission have shed new light on the Sun's magnetic field and the origins of solar wind, which can disrupt power grids, satellites and communications on Earth. The results are published in the 7 December issue of the journal Science. Data from Hinode,...

New hypothesis for origin of life proposed

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) Life may have begun in the protected spaces inside of layers of the mineral mica, in ancient oceans, according to a new hypothesis. The hypothesis was developed by Helen Hansma, a research scientist with the University of California, Santa Barbara and a program direct...

Researchers find origin of 'breathable' atmosphere half a billion years ago

COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Ohio State University geologists and their colleagues have uncovered evidence of when Earth may have first supported an oxygen-rich atmosphere similar to the one we breathe today. The study suggests that upheavals in the earth's crust initiated a kind of reverse-greenhouse ef...

The accumulation of sugar in neurons may explain the origin of several neurodegenerative diseases

A phenomenon considered healthy for cells, such as the accumulation of long chains of glucose (glycogen), which tissues store for energy purposes, is harmful for neurons. Published in the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience, this finding has been made by a team of Spanish researchers led by Joan J...

St. Jude settles century-old debate on origin of mammalian network of lymphatic vessels

Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital settled a century-old debate on the origin of the mammalian lymphatic vasculaturethe network of vessels and capillaries critical to various essential housekeeping functions in the body. The finding holds the promise for the development of new ...

Venous origin of the mammalian lymphatic vasculature

In the October 1 issue of G&D, Dr. Guillermo Oliver (St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital) and colleagues present new evidence to resolve a century-old debate over the origin of the mammalian lymphatic vasculature. Understanding the development of the lymphatic vasculature is integral to understa...

Georgia Tech/Emory Center to study origin of life

The Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish "The Origins Project," a center for integrated research, education and public outreach focused on the chemistry that may have led to the origin of life. The...

Good earth: Brown chemists show origin of soil-scented geosmin

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Brown University chemists have found the origins of an odor the sweet smell of fresh dirt. In Nature Chemical Biology, the Brown team shows that the protein that makes geosmin source of the good earth scent has two similar but distinct halves, each playing a...

Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim

Recent probes inside comets show it is overwhelmingly likely that life began in space, according to a new paper by Cardiff University scientists. Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and colleagues at the Universitys Centre for Astrobiology have long argued the case for panspermia - the theory that...

Freshwater herring had salty origin

East Africas Lake Tanganyika has a highly diverse fauna which closely resembles marine animals. A researcher at the University of Zurich has traced the origins of the freshwater herring of the Lake to a marine invasion which occurred in West Africa 25 to 50 million years ago, coincident with a maj...

Surprising origin of cell's internal highways

Scientists have long thought that microtubules, part of the microscopic scaffolding that the cell uses to move things around in order to hold its shape and divide, originated from a tiny structure near the nucleus, called the centrosome. Now, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center ...

Spud origin controversy solved

Molecular studies recently revealed new genetic information concerning the long-disputed origin of the “European potato.?Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of La Laguna, and the International Potato Center used genetic markers to prove that the remnants of the earli...

Scientists learn the origin of rogue B cells

Doctors have long wondered why, in some people, the immune system turns against parts of the body it is designed to protect, leading to autoimmune disease. Now, researchers at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), in...

Exploring the molecular origin of blood clot flexibility

How do blood clots maintain that precise balance of stiffness for wound healing and flexibility to go with the flow? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences have shown that a well-known protein structure acts as a molecular spring, explai...

The origin of the brain lies in a worm

The rise of the central nervous system (CNS) in animal evolution has puzzled scientists for centuries. Vertebrates, insects and worms evolved from the same ancestor, but their CNSs are different and were thought to have evolved only after their lineages had split during evolution. Researchers from ...

Selecting life: Scientists find new way to search for origin of life

Over the last half century, researchers have found that mineral surfaces may have played critical roles organizing, or activating, molecules that would become essential ingredients to all life--such as amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and nucleic acids (the essence of DNA). But which ...

Tulane researcher reports on origin of deadly fever outbreak

Bats or other cave dwelling animals may have been responsible for the deadly 1998?000 outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever among gold miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to an article in the Aug. 31, 2006, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Daniel G. Bausch, ass...

A new male-specific gene in algae unveils an origin of male and female

By studying the genetics of two closely related species of green algae that practice different forms of sexual reproduction, researchers have shed light on one route by which evolution gave rise to reproduction though the joining of distinct sperm and egg cells. The findings, which indicate that a ...

Methane-belching bugs inspire a new theory of the origin of life on Earth

Two laboratories at Penn State set out to show how an obscure undersea microbe metabolizes carbon monoxide into methane and vinegar. What they found was not merely a previously unknown biochemical process--their discovery also became the inspiration for a fundamental new theory of the origin of li...

Small molecule interactions were central to the origin of life

In an important new paper forthcoming in the June issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, Robert Shapiro (New York University) argues against the widely held theory that the origin of life began with the spontaneous appearance of a large, replicating molecule such as RNA. Instead, Shapiro raises...

UF scientists discover evolutionary origin of fins, limbs

Performance on the dance floor may not always show it, but people are rarely born with two left feet. We have genes that instruct our arms and legs to grow in the right places and point in the right directions. They also provide for the spaces between our fingers and toes and every other formative ...

UF scientists trace origin of shark's electric sense

Sharks are known for their almost uncanny ability to detect electrical signals while hunting and navigating. Now researchers have traced the origin of those electrosensory powers to the same type of embryonic cells that gives rise to many head and facial features in humans. The discovery, repo...
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