Scientists create alternate evolutionary histories in a test tube

Scientists at the University of Chicago studied a massive set of genetic variants of an ancient protein, discovering a myriad of other ways that evolution could have turned out and revealing a central role for chance in evolutionary ...

Researchers discover first winged mammals from the Jurassic period

Two 160 million-year-old mammal fossils discovered in China show that the forerunners of mammals in the Jurassic Period evolved to glide and live in trees. With long limbs, long hand and foot fingers, and wing-like membranes ...

3.3 million-year-old fossil reveals origins of the human spine

Analysis of a 3.3 million-year-old fossil skeleton reveals the most complete spinal column of any early human relative, including vertebrae, neck and rib cage. The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National ...

280 million-year-old fossil reveals origins of chimaeroid fishes

High-definition CT scans of the fossilized skull of a 280 million-year-old fish reveal the origin of chimaeras, a group of cartilaginous fish related to sharks. Analysis of the brain case of Dwykaselachus oosthuizeni, a shark-like ...

Genetic secrets of the monarch butterfly revealed

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic insects in the world, best known for its distinct orange and black wings and a spectacular annual mass migration across North America. However, little has been known about the ...

Social experience drives empathetic, pro-social behavior in rats

Empathy-driven behavior has been observed in rats who will free trapped companions from restrainers. This behavior also extends toward strangers, but requires prior, positive social interactions with the type (strain) of ...

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