Evolutionary Biology News

Visual System of Marine Annelids Provides Insight Into the Evolution of Eyes

June 10, 2014

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Scientists of the Max Planck Institute have reconstructed the first neuronal map of the visual system of marine annelids, gaining insight into the evolution of eyes. Larvae of the marine bristle worm Platynereis dumerilii orient themselves using light. Early in their development, these larvae swim towards the light to use surface currents for their dispersal. […]

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New Study Presents “Water World” Theory for the Emergence of Life

April 16, 2014

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A new study describes how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life, assembling decades of field, laboratory and theoretical research into a grand, unified picture. Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling […]

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Study Reveals Why Life in Earth’s Early Oceans Increased in Size

January 24, 2014

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A newly published study examined the earliest communities of large multicellular organisms in the fossil record, revealing why life in Earth’s early oceans increased in size. Why did life forms first begin to get larger and what advantage did this increase in size provide? UCLA biologists working with an international team of scientists examined the […]

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New Demographic Data Show How Diversely Different Species Age

December 9, 2013

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Based on the results of a long-term data collection project, a new study shows how different species age, unveiling diversity of aging processes that no existing evolutionary theory can account for. Despite aging being one the hottest topic in the media recently, scientists have no coherent explanation for it. New demographic data on humans, animals […]

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Rudimentary Form of Life Sidesteps Normal Replication Processes

November 4, 2013

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Researchers from the University of Nottingham have shown that in some organisms the genetic switches that control DNA replication are unnecessary and that cells will actually grow faster when the replication origins are not present. A rudimentary form of life that is found in some of the harshest environments on earth is able to sidestep […]

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Einstein’s Corpus Callosum Reveals Clues to His Brilliance

October 7, 2013

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A newly published study takes a closer look at the “inside” of Einstein’s brain, revealing that the unusually well connected right and left hemispheres of his brain may have contributed to his intelligence. The left and right hemispheres of Albert Einstein’s brain were unusually well connected to each other and may have contributed to his […]

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New Findings Challenge Assumptions about the Origins of Life

September 17, 2013

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New research from biochemists at the UNC School of Medicine offers an intriguing new view on how life began, challenging current assumptions about the origins of life. Chapel Hill, North Carolina — Before there was life on Earth, there were molecules. A primordial soup. At some point a few specialized molecules began replicating. This self-replication, […]

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Scientists Confirm that Life Really Could Have Come from Out of This World

September 16, 2013

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A newly published study shows that the basic building blocks of life as we know it can be assembled anywhere in the Solar System, confirming that life on Earth really could have come from out of this world. Scientists have discovered a ‘cosmic factory’ for producing the building blocks of life, amino acids, according to […]

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A Natural Example of a Functioning Gear Mechanism Discovered in an Insect

September 13, 2013

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Scientists from the University of Cambridge have discovered a natural example of a functioning gear mechanism in an insect. Previously believed to be only man-made, a natural example of a functioning gear mechanism has been discovered in a common insect – showing that evolution developed interlocking cogs long before we did. The juvenile Issus – […]

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Biomechanics of Dental Features and Tooth Wear

July 24, 2013

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A team of biologists examined the functional biomechanics of dental features and tooth wear, finding that the biomechanical requirements on teeth change during one’s lifetime. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, have conducted stress analyses on gorilla teeth of […]

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DNA Study Reveals Clues about Primate Evolution

July 17, 2013

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In a new DNA study, an international team of scientists reveal clues to human and ape evolution, finding that the evolutionary history of ancestral great ape populations was far more complex than that of humans. A massive effort to catalog the genetic variation in humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans has helped researchers piece together a […]

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Scientists Detail the Evolutionary Success of Spiny-Rayed Fishes

July 16, 2013

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In a newly published study, Yale University researchers detail the evolutionary history of the 18,000 species of spiny-rayed fishes, finding close evolutionary relationships between lineages of fish species and suggesting some fish lineages are experiencing high rates of new species origination. Even as the dinosaurs were becoming extinct 66 million years ago, the ancient ancestor […]

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