When genes play games: Algorithm helps explain sex in evolution
What do you get when you mix theorists in computer science with evolutionary biologists? You get an algorithm to explain sex.
Secrets to 'extreme adaptation' found in Burmese python genome
The Burmese python's ability to ramp up its metabolism and enlarge its organs to swallow and digest prey whole can be traced to unusually rapid evolution and specialized adaptations of its genes and the way ...
Math explains history: Simulation accurately captures the evolution of ancient complex societies
The question of how human societies evolve from small groups to the huge, anonymous and complex societies of today has been answered mathematically, accurately matching the historical record on the emergence ...
Long-held assumption about emergence of new species questioned
Darwin referred to the origin of species as "that mystery of mysteries," and even today, more than 150 years later, evolutionary biologists cannot fully explain how new animals and plants arise.
New proto-mammal fossil sheds light on evolution of earliest mammals (w/ Video)
A newly discovered fossil reveals the evolutionary adaptations of a 165-million-year-old proto-mammal, providing evidence that traits such as hair and fur originated well before the rise of the first true ...
Coelacanth genome surfaces: Unexpected insights from a fish with a 300-million-year-old fossil record
An international team of researchers has decoded the genome of a creature whose evolutionary history is both enigmatic and illuminating: the African coelacanth. A sea-cave dwelling, five-foot long fish with ...
Human Y chromosome much older than previously thought
(Phys.org) —University of Arizona geneticists have discovered the oldest known genetic branch of the human Y chromosome – the hereditary factor determining male sex.
Sunlight stimulates release of climate-warming gas from melting Arctic permafrost, study says
Ancient carbon trapped in Arctic permafrost is extremely sensitive to sunlight and, if exposed to the surface when long-frozen soils melt and collapse, can release climate-warming carbon dioxide gas into ...
Digging yields clues: Biologists connect burrowing behavior in mice to genes
Nature vs. nurture has long been one of the great debates in science—is behavior hard-wired into the brain, or determined by environment? In at least some cases, Harvard researchers are showing, how animals ...
In evolution, fossils reveal, 'Court Jester' gets last laugh
(Phys.org)—The dominant factors in the rise and fall of the diversity of life on Earth has been a point of debate for scientists nearly as long as they have studied the processes of evolution.
Did Lucy walk, climb, or both? Australopithecine ancestors—arboreal versus terrestrial habitat and locomotion
Dartmouth researchers investigate tree-climbing behavior of modern hunter-gatherers to elucidate our fossil ancestors' terrestrial versus arboreal preferences.
Genomes of limpet, leech and worm put spotlight on lophotrochozoans
A new report in the journal Nature unveils three of the first genomes from a vast, understudied swath of the animal kingdom that includes as many as one-quarter of Earth's marine species. By publishing the ge ...
Vast differences in Antarctic and Arctic polar ocean microbial communities reported
(Phys.org)—An international team of scientists, including a University of Michigan graduate student, has demonstrated that a clear difference exists between the marine microbial communities in the Southern ...
Size and age of plants impact their productivity more than climate, study shows
The size and age of plants has more of an impact on their productivity than temperature and precipitation, according to a landmark study by University of Arizona researchers.