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Fish on the menu of our ancestors

This release is available in German . The isotopic analysis of a bone from one of the earliest modern humans in Asia, the 40,000 year old skeleton from Tianyuan Cave in the Zhoukoudian region of China (near Beijing), by an international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute fo...

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 ...

New study shows shallow water corals evolved from deep sea ancestors

New research shows that the second most diverse group of hard corals first evolved in the deep sea, and not in shallow waters. Stylasterids, or lace corals, diversified in deep waters before launching at least three successful invasions of shallow water tropical habitats in the past 40 million yea...

Genome of marine organism tells of humans' unicellular ancestors

Berkeley -- The newly sequenced genome of a one-celled, planktonic marine organism, reported today (Thursday, Feb. 14) in the journal Nature, is already telling scientists about the evolutionary changes that accompanied the jump from one-celled life forms to multicellular animals like ourselves. ...

Man's earliest direct ancestors looked more apelike than previously believed

Modern man"s earliest known close ancestor was significantly more apelike than previously believed, a New York University College of Dentistry professor has found. A computer-generated reconstruction by Dr. Timothy Bromage, a paleoanthropologist and Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials and of Basi...

Protowings may have helped bird ancestors cover rough terrain

Biologists have long argued about how birds evolved the ability to fly, because it is not immediately evident what improvement in fitness would result from ancestral, partly evolved wings. Two theories have recently dominated the debate: one postulates that flight evolved in tree-dwelling ancestors...

New technology shows our ancestors ate…everything!

Using a powerful microscope and computer software, a team of scientists from Johns Hopkins, the University of Arkansas, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and elsewhere has developed a faster and more objective way to examine the surfaces of fossilized teeth, a practice used to figure out the diets of...

Retrovirus struck ancestors of chimpanzees and gorillas millions of years ago, but did not affect ancestral humans

The ancestors of chimpanzees and gorillas were infected with a deadly retrovirus about three to four million years ago, but there is no evidence it infected ancestors of modern-day humans, according to research by genome scientists. The virus struck after humans had split off the evolutionary tree ...

Bizarre walking bat has ancient heritage

...ammals and pressure from terrestrial predators does not deter modern vampire bats from walking. Likewise, the rich rainforest environment in which the ancestors of the mystacinid bats evolved in ancient Australia was teeming with ground-based competitors and predators." A small secretive creature with velvet...

Life on Earth came from other planets

... established, peer reviewed scientific evidence, which explains the origins of Earthly life. Life on Earth, came from other planets. Our ancient ancestors journeyed here from the stars. ...

Our 'caveman logic' embraces ESP over evolution

...d the mental default settings and tribal loyalties that worked well for our ancestors back in the Pleistocene age. Davis laments a modern world in which more peo...ences to reveal how mental tools designed to serve the needs of our ancient ancestors continue to exert an influence, both subtle and powerful, on human thought ...

Ben-Gurion U. researchers reveal connection between cancer and human evolution

...ely from mothers to their children. The mitochondria are essential to every cell's survival and our ability to perform the functions of living. "Our ancestors responded to environmental changes, such as climate shift, with mutations that increased their chances of survival. But today, these same mutations pr...

Evolution: Crabs go deep to avoid hot water

...roducing successfully and spreading," said Dr Thatje. In order to leave this geographic bottleneck and spread around the world, the shallow water ancestors of current deep-sea groups had to go deep and adapt to the challenges of life in the deep sea. The process of adaptation to constant low temperatures ...

Natural-born divers and the molecular traces of evolution

... An aquatic lifestyle imposes serious demands for the organism, and this is true even for the tiniest molecules that form our body. When the ancestors of present marine mammals initiated their return to the oceans, their physiology had to adapt radically to the new medium. Dr. Michael Berenbrink and ...

Scripps Research scientists observe human neurodegenerative disorder in fruit flies

...vous system. Because the unknown function is common to both humans and flies, it probably evolved hundreds of millions of years ago before the ancient ancestors of humans and flies diverged. What exactly this function is for is still unknown. "That is a great mystery," says Schimmel. He adds that the genet...

7th annual [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference 'Molecular Evolution' June 18-19, 2009

...iology (2002). He and his group also discovered the homeobox, a DNA segment characteristic for homeotic genes which is present in arthropods and their ancestors and also in vertebrates including man. Derek Smith, Professor of Infectious Disease Informatics, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK...

'The Vision Revolution': Eyes are the source of human 'superpowers'

...ver, are more Charles Darwin than comic books. For example, our X-ray vision is actually advanced binocular vision that developed to allow our primate ancestors to see the forest through a vast clutter of leaves and trees. Our telepathy is actually our color vision, which evolved to allow us to sense the emoti...

Siberian jays use complex communication to mob predators

...ounters with predators might have played an important role for the evolution of complex animal communication," says Michael Griesser. Not only our ancestors but also other family group living animals outwit their predators with the help of their cognitive abilities. Lowering the risk of relative of being k...

Recruitment of reproductive features into other cell types may underlie extended lifespan in animals

... In the sense that organisms existing today are connected through a chain of life through their parents, grandparents and other ancestors almost a billion years back to the first animals of the pre-Cambrian era, an animal's reproductive cells can be considered to be immortal. These germ...

CU-Boulder study shows 53 million-year-old high Arctic mammals wintered in darkness

... ancestors of tapirs and ancient cousins of rhinos living above the Arctic Circle 53 m...e behavioral smoking gun for how modern groups of mammals like ungulates -- ancestors of today's horses and cattle -- and true primates arrived in North America,...

Omega fatty acid balance can alter immunity and gene expression

... with human volunteers, researchers may have teased out a biological basis for these reported changes. Anthropological evidence suggests that human ancestors maintained a 2:1 w6/w3 ratio for much of history, but in Western countries today the ratio has spiked to as high as 10:1. Since these omega fatty acid...

Komodo even more deadly than thought: Research

...ia and determined that this seven-metre-long lizard was one of the largest venomous animals to have ever lived. A member of the goanna family with ancestors dating back more than 100 million years, the Komodo dragon is the world's largest living lizard and inhabits the central Indonesian islands of Komodo,...

Babies born to native high-altitude mothers have decreased risk of low birth weight

...n among women whose families have lived in high altitude for centuries. However, the babies of these women weigh more at birth compared to women whose ancestors have not lived at high altitude. European infants are three times more likely to be born small for their gestational age compared to Andean babies. ...

Rabbits on the back foot -- but naturally they're fighting back

...d and in which season the virus was active. "We discovered a new, endemic virus that we have called Rabbit Calicivirus Australia1," she said. "Its ancestors probably came to Australia with the first rabbits 150 years ago. We found it in the intestinal tissues and we believe it has a faecal-oral mode of tra...

Late motherhood boosts family lifespan

... that will enhance your longevity." For descendants of the Utah and Quebec pioneers studied, "you may be able to look at the ages when your female ancestors gave birth rather than just their longevity in estimating how long you may live," says Smith, whose study will be published online May 4 and in the ...

Native Americans descended from a single ancestral group, DNA study confirms

... For two decades, researchers have been using a growing volume of genetic data to debate whether ancestors of Native Americans emigrated to the New World in one wave or successive waves, or from one ancestral Asian population or a number of different popula...

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

...ude two taxa of freshwater fishes, one bird, and four mammalian taxa: shrew, rabbit, rhinoceros, and small artiodactyl (small short-legged herbivores, ancestors to modern giraffes and deer). The earliest well-represented pinniped, Enaliarctos a marine form with flippershas been found on northern Pacific ...

When every photon counts

... into the early evolution of mammals. This special arrangement of genetic material must have originated more than a hundred million years ago when the ancestors of today's mammals adopted a nocturnal lifestyle to avoid the dominant carnivorous reptiles of the time. Their nocturnal descendants have preserved th...

Unlikely life thriving at Antarctica's Blood Falls

...ys, it made sense that subglacial microbial communities might retain some of their marine heritage," she added. This led to the conclusion that the ancestors of the microbes beneath the Taylor Glacier probably lived in the ocean many millions of years ago. When the floor of the Valleys arose more than 1.5 m...

Optimum running speed is stride toward understanding human body form

...and defined waists. Modern humans are very efficient walkers and fairly good runners, Steudel says, and efficient locomotion probably provided our ancestors with an advantage for hunting and gathering food. Distant ancestral forms, the australopithecines, had shorter, boxier frames with stubbier legs. ...

Study suggests salt might be 'nature's antidepressant'

...oughout the brain and body. But as man evolved in the hot climate of Africa, perspiration robbed the body of sodium. Salt was scarce because our early ancestors ate a veggie-rich diet and lived far from the ocean. "Most of our biological systems require sodium to function properly, but as a species that did...

How Volvox got its groove

...previously thought, according to new research. ancestors of Volvox algae made the transition from being a...mmals. Previous estimates had suggested Volvox 's ancestors arose only 50 million years ago. The algae swi...Although an earlier estimate suggested the algae's ancestors banded together 50 million years ago, Herron wante...

Mixed population provides insights into human genetic makeup

... relative differences from the parental populations. "This type of study, done on admixed populations shows that each person is a composite of their ancestors and that the range of facial features is a continuum," says Shriver. Shriver found that there was a very strong statistical correlation between the...

Ancestral genome of present-day African great apes & humans had burst of DNA sequence duplication

... million and 12 million years ago. Most scientists think that the lineage that eventually led to chimps and humans diverged from the African great ape ancestors about 5 million to 7 million years ago. "What's exciting for us to learn," Eichler added, "was that sequence duplication acceleration occurred in ...

Pubic hair provides evolutionary home for gorilla lice

... pondering the question of why lice would separate into two groups when our ancestors are quite uniformly hairy, "I was having difficulty envisioning a clear sep... can pick up parasites from their prey. The close contact involved in human ancestors butchering gorillas could have enabled Pthirus to jump hosts, rather as bus...

Darwin's seminal impact on biology, anthropology, philosophy and psychology

...n exist. The world could have remained populated by dinosaurs or bacteria. Natural selection has no precise objective. If we are here it's because our ancestors were lucky," explains Bouchard. The notion of survival of the fittest remains the central and non-negotiable point of the theory. This notion, whic...

Origin of claws seen in 390-million-year-old fossil

...runk, there is a pair of large triangular wing-like limbs that likely propelled the creature like a swimming penguin, according to Briggs. Unlike its ancestors from the Cambrian period, which reached three feet in length, Schinderhannes is only about 4 inches long. This finding caps almost 20 years of st...

New paper offers key insights into how new species emerge

... it goes, with the formation of one new species planting the seed that germinates in the beginning of another. But in a plot twist, the apple wasp's ancestors appear to have come from a Rhagoletis fly infesting blueberries rather than hawthorns one turn does not always lead directly to another. "The idea t...

Early humans had 'jaws of steel'

... important survival strategies during a period of changing climates and food scarcity," he added. "Our research shows that early, pre-stone tool human ancestors solved problems with their jaws that modern humans would have solved with tools." ...

When it comes to sleep research, fruit flies and people make unlikely bedfellows

...ve disorder (SAD), insomnia, and possibly some cancers. "Modern society functions 24 hours a day and has produced more circadian problems than our ancestors ever faced," said Jeffrey Price, Ph.D., the senior scientist involved in the research. "I hope our work will allow us to better understand and allevia...
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