Evolution

Parasite Genome Reveals It's Actually A 'Micro Jellyfish'

Evolution had a few more drinks once again, according to a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which wants to prompts a rethink of what it means to be an animal. Jellyfish, those commonplace sea pests with stinging tentacles, have ...

Article - News Staff - Nov 17 2015 - 11:00am

Human Brains Evolved To Respond To Environmental Influences

Human brains exhibit more plasticity, the tendency to be modeled by the environment, than chimpanzee brains, which may account for part of human evolution, according to a study which may provide insight into why humans are capable of adapting to various e ...

Article - News Staff - Nov 17 2015 - 8:43am

Acorn Worm Genome Shows Why Humans Can Swallow- With Gills In Between

The newly sequenced genomes of two marine worms shed light on the 570 million-year evolution of gills into the human ability to bite, chew, swallow and speak. The draft genome sequences (doi:10.1038/nature16150) of two species of acorn worm, which live in ...

Article - News Staff - Nov 20 2015 - 8:50am

Neanderthal Genes Led To More Immunity, And More Allergies

If you are allergic, you might need to thank a Neanderthal.  When modern humans began interbreeding with Neanderthals tens of thousands of years ago, the exchange left humans with gene variations that increased our ability to ward off infection and left s ...

Article - News Staff - Jan 7 2016 - 1:16pm

Alcohol Consumption In The West Has A Genetic Component

How much alcohol you drink and how hard it affects you are rooted in your DNA, specifically, a “lazy” variant of the Alcohol Dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) gene, known to regulate the activity of a key group of enzymes. When we drink, the alcohol rushes into our ...

Article - News Staff - Jan 21 2016 - 7:30am

Survival Of The Fitter: Evolution Silences Harmful Mutations

Sometimes synonymous mutations, which do not lead to a change in the protein sequence but which may still have major negative effects on the ability of bacteria to survive, occur in DNA. New research in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution shows th ...

Article - News Staff - Feb 17 2016 - 1:55pm

5 Things People Get Wrong About Evolution

Given its huge success in describing the natural world for the past 150 years, the theory of evolution is remarkably misunderstood. In a recent episode of the Australian series of “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”, former cricket star Shane Warne questi ...

Article - The Conversation - Feb 23 2016 - 11:34am

Human 'Adam' Is About 100,000 Years Old, Gorilla 'Adam' Is 200,000- But Chimpanzee 'Adam' Is 1 Million

Chimpanzees have an ancient common ancestor- or genetic 'Adam'- that lived over one million years ago, according to a new paper paper in the journal Genome Research.   The research team led by Professor Mark Jobling from the University of Leices ...

Article - News Staff - Feb 25 2016 - 11:12am

Without This Gene, Life On Earth Might Still Be Slime

Researchers have identified a common ancestral gene that enabled the evolution of advanced life over a billion years ago. The gene, found in all complex organisms, including plants and animals, encodes for a large group of enzymes known as protein kinases ...

Article - News Staff - Mar 3 2016 - 9:34am

Evolution Reversed In Birds, Giving Them A Dinosaur-Like Lower Leg

Anyone that has eaten chicken knows what a drumstick is- it's the lower leg of a long, spine-like bone, more specifically the fibula, one of the two long bones of the lower leg (the outer one). In dinosaurs, the ancestors of birds, this bone is tube-s ...

Article - News Staff - Mar 8 2016 - 8:30am