So-called junk DNA plays critical role in mammalian development

Nearly half of our DNA has been written off as junk, the discards of evolution: Sidelined or broken genes, viruses that got stuck in our genome and were dismembered or silenced, none of it relevant to the human organism or ...

How cells correct errors under time pressure

How does a cell balance risk and speed when dividing? EPFL scientists have developed and experimentally tested the first mathematical theory that describes the cell's best strategy for dividing safely and efficiently.

Gut microbes' role in mammals' evolution starts to become clearer

An international collaboration led by Oregon State University scientists has made a key advance toward understanding which of the trillions of gut microbes may play important roles in how humans and other mammals evolve.

Brain folding

The neocortex is the part of the brain that enables us to speak, dream, or think. The underlying mechanism that led to the expansion of this brain region during evolution, however, is not yet understood. A research team headed ...

Early mammal varieties declined as flowering plants radiated

The dramatic explosion of flowering plant species that occurred about 100 million years ago was thought to have been good news for evolving mammals, providing them with new options for food and habitat. But research by geologists ...

Small winners in the mammalian race to evolve

It takes at least 10 times as many generations for a mouse to reach elephantine proportions as for the reverse transition, reveals a vast study of mammalian evolution over the past 70 million years.

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