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Ensayos sobre la evolución biológica
Autor: Antonio Barbadilla
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

 

 

Science Daily:
Evolutionary Biology  News




Evolutionary Biology
Recent Headlines

Headline (Posted) Abstract
What we can learn about global flu evolution from one person's infection (27 Jun 2017) A new study has found that flu evolution within some individuals can hint at the virus's eventual evolutionary course worldwide. The study of 10-year-old flu samples also found the virus's evolution in individual transplant patients partially mirrors later global trends.

Directed gene-copy variation: The key to conquering new environments (27 Jun 2017) A study of yeast reveals new mechanism that allows cells to adapt to environmental changes more rapidly by accelerating genetic changes around genes that boost fitness.

Hunting microbes or smelling poison: A matter of evolution (26 Jun 2017)
Mammals possess several lines of defense against microbes. One of them is activated when receptors called Fprs, which are present on immune cells, bind to specific molecules that are linked to pathogens. Researchers showed in 2009 that these same receptors were also present in the nose of mice, probably to detect contaminated food or to avoid sick [+]


Chimpanzee 'super strength' and what it might mean in human muscle evolution (26 Jun 2017)
For years, anecdotes and some studies have suggested that chimpanzees are 'super strong' compared to humans, implying that their muscle fibers are superior to humans'. Now a research team reports that contrary to this belief, chimp muscles' maximum dynamic force and power output is just about 1.35 times higher than human muscle of similar size, a d [+]


Peanut family secret for making chemical building blocks revealed (26 Jun 2017) The peanut and its kin -- legumes -- have not one, but two ways to make the amino acid tyrosine. That might seem small, but why this plant family has a unique way to make such an important chemical building block is a mystery that extends back to the 1960s.

A skull with history: A fossil sheds light on the origin of the neocortex (26 Jun 2017) According to a recent study an early relative of mammals already possessed an extraordinarily expanded brain with a neocortex-like structure.

How eggs got their shapes (22 Jun 2017)
The evolution of the amniotic egg -- complete with membrane and shell -- was key to vertebrates leaving the oceans and colonizing the land and air but how bird eggs evolved into so many different shapes and sizes has long been a mystery. Now, an international team of scientists took a quantitative approach to that question and found that adaptation [+]


Previously unknown pine marten diversity discovered (22 Jun 2017) The elusive American pine marten, a little-studied member of the weasel family, might be more diverse than originally thought, according to new research.

How pythons regenerate their organs and other secrets of the snake genome (22 Jun 2017)
Snakes exhibit incredible evolutionary adaptations, including the ability to rapidly regenerate their organs and produce venom. Scientists studied these adaptations using genetic sequencing and advanced computing. Supercomputers helped the team identify a number of genes associated with organ growth in Burmese pythons, study secondary contact in re [+]


Critical gaps in our knowledge of where infectious diseases occur (22 Jun 2017) Scientists have called for action to a serious lack of data on the worldwide distribution of disease-causing organisms. Without this knowledge, predicting where and when the next disease outbreak will emerge is hardly possible. Macroecologists hold the expertise to create the needed data network and close the knowledge gaps.

Fossil holds new insights into how fish evolved onto land (21 Jun 2017)
The fossil of an early snake-like animal -- called Lethiscus stocki -- has kept its evolutionary secrets for the last 340-million years. Now, an international team of researchers has revealed new insights into the ancient Scottish fossil that dramatically challenge our understanding of the early evolution of tetrapods, or four-limbed animals with b [+]


Reconstruction of ancient chromosomes offers insight into mammalian evolution (21 Jun 2017) Researchers have gone back in time, at least virtually, computationally recreating the chromosomes of the first eutherian mammal, the long-extinct, shrewlike ancestor of all placental mammals.

How did bird babysitting co-ops evolve? (21 Jun 2017) It's easy to make up a story to explain an evolved trait; proving that's what happened is much harder. Here scientists test ideas about cooperative breeding in birds and find a solution that resolves earlier disagreements.

The world's largest canary (21 Jun 2017) Biologists have now proven that the endangered São Tomé grosbeak is the world's largest canary -- 50 percent larger than the runner-up.

When estimating extinction risk, don't leave out the males (21 Jun 2017) Extinction risk for some species could be drastically underestimated because most demographic models of animal populations only analyze the number and fertility of females, dismissing male data as 'noise'.

Memory for stimulus sequences distinguishes humans from other animals (20 Jun 2017)
Humans possess many cognitive abilities not seen in other animals, such as a full-blown language capacity as well as reasoning and planning abilities. Despite these differences, however, it has been difficult to identify specific mental capacities that distinguish humans from other animals. Researchers have now discovered that humans have a much be [+]


Scientists demonstrate adaptation of animal vision in extreme environments (19 Jun 2017)
Animals can adapt their ability to see even with extreme changes in temperature, researchers have discovered. The researchers looked deeply into the eyes of catfish living in cold-water streams at altitudes of up to nearly 3 km in the Andes Mountains, and found the protein known as rhodopsin that enables vision in dim light also accelerates the spe [+]


Tiny fossils reveal backstory of the most mysterious amphibian alive (19 Jun 2017)
The fossils of an extinct species from the Triassic Period are the long-missing link that connects Kermit the Frog's amphibian brethren to wormlike creatures with a backbone and two rows of sharp teeth, new research shows. Named Chinlestegophis jenkinsi, the newfound fossil is the oldest relative of the most mysterious group of amphibians: caecilia [+]


DNA delivery technology joins battle against drug-resistant bacteria (19 Jun 2017) A new DNA delivery technology has been developed to fight drug-resistant bacteria, report investigators.

Holes drilled in shells point to bigger predators picking on small prey (15 Jun 2017) The drill holes left in fossil shells by hunters such as snails and slugs show marine predators have grown steadily bigger and more powerful over time but stuck to picking off small prey, rather than using their added heft to pursue larger quarry, new research shows.

Bee antennae offer links between the evolution of social behavior and communication (15 Jun 2017) As bees' social behavior evolved, their complex chemical communication systems evolved in concert, according to a new study.

Alternative hypothesis on the faunal colonization of the Himalayas? (15 Jun 2017)
Until now, the fauna of the Himalayas was considered to be an “immigration fauna," with species that have immigrated primarily from neighboring regions since the geological formation of this mountain range. Using molecular-genetic methods, a research team has now tested an alternative colonization hypothesis on lazy toads. The findings indicate tha [+]


Distant fish relatives share looks (15 Jun 2017) Scientists have found evidence that even distantly related Australian fish species have evolved to look and act like each other, which confirms a central tenet of evolutionary theory.

Animal evolution: Hot start, followed by cold shock (15 Jun 2017) The initial phases of animal evolution proceeded faster than hitherto supposed: New analyses suggest that the first animal phyla emerged in rapid succession -- prior to the global Ice Age that set in around 700 million years ago.

Birds of a feather (13 Jun 2017)
Biologists have always been fascinated by the diversity and changeability of life on Earth and have attempted to answer a fundamental question: How do new species originate? A new study provides the first large-scale test of the link between population differentiation rates and speciation rates. The results confirm the evolutionary importance of po [+]


Charred flowers and the fossil record (13 Jun 2017) One of the main types of fossil used to understand the first flowering plants (angiosperms) are charred flowers. These charcoals were produced in ancient wildfires, and they provide some evidence for the types of plants that grew millions of years ago. However, when fires burn they not only produce charcoal, but they also destroy it.

Genetic differences across species guide vocal learning in juvenile songbirds (12 Jun 2017) Juvenile birds discriminate and selectively learn their own species’ songs even when primarily exposed to the songs of other species, but the underlying mechanism has remained unknown. A new study shows that song discrimination arises due to genetic differences between species, rather than early learning or other mechanisms.

Detailed new genome for maize shows the plant has deep resources for continued adaptation (12 Jun 2017)
A much more detailed reference genome for maize has been published by researchers. The sequence of DNA letters in the plant's 10 chromosomes reveals how how incredibly flexible it is, a characteristic that directly follows from the way its genome is organized. This flexibility not only helps explain why maize has been so successful since its adapta [+]


Promiscuous salamander found to use genes from three partners equally (12 Jun 2017) A study shows that a unique all-female lineage of salamander equally balances genes from the males of three other salamander species. The findings highlight the bizarre ways some animals reproduce in order to preserve their species.

Bats are the major reservoir of coronaviruses worldwide (12 Jun 2017)
Results of a five-year study in 20 countries on three continents have found that bats harbor a large diversity of coronaviruses (CoV), the family of viruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS). PREDICT is a globally coordinated effort to detect and discover viruses [+]


Parasitic nematodes that cause greatest agricultural damage abandoned sex (09 Jun 2017) The nematode worms that cause the world's most devastating crop losses have given up on sexual reproduction and instead rely on their large, duplicated genomes to thrive in new environments, report scientists.

Similar design, different genes: Miniature weapons in the animal kingdom (09 Jun 2017) Researchers describe the principle of convergence in unicellular organisms and cnidarians in a new scientific report.

The road not taken: Do stress-specific mutations lead down different evolutionary paths? (08 Jun 2017)
Evolutionary divergences, the emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacteria or cancer in humans are all empowered by many types of mutational DNA change. Researchers show for the first time that conditions common in nature strongly influence the pattern of genetic variation and consequently the evolvability of traits dependent on particular mutati [+]


Red and eastern wolves are probably not recent hybrids (07 Jun 2017)
A research team is calling into question a 2016 study that concluded eastern and red wolves are not distinct species, but rather recent hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes. In a new comment paper, the team argues the study's genomic data and analyses do not definitively prove recent hybridization -- but rather provide support for the genetic and evo [+]


Cope's gray treefrogs meet the cocktail party problem (07 Jun 2017)
Our auditory system is able to home in on the message being conveyed by the person you're talking with even in a noisy room full of people. The secret to rising above the noise -- a dilemma known in the world of sound science as 'the cocktail party problem' -- turns out to lie in its ability to discern patterns in the background noise and selective [+]


Reshaping Darwin's tree of life (07 Jun 2017) In 1859, Charles Darwin included a novel tree of life in his trailblazing book on the theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species. Now, scientists want to reshape Darwin's tree.

Hiding in plain sight: New species of flying squirrel discovered (06 Jun 2017) A new study describes a newly discovered third species of flying squirrel in North America -- now known as Humboldt's flying squirrel, or Glaucomys oregonensis. It inhabits the Pacific Coast region of North America, from southern British Columbia to the mountains of southern California.

Genetic study shakes up the elephant family tree (06 Jun 2017)
New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago -- ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct -- is more closely related to today's African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant. Understanding elephant evolution is key to protecti [+]


Newly discovered DNA sequences can protect chromosomes in rotifers (05 Jun 2017) Rotifers are tough, microscopic organisms highly resistant to radiation and repeated cycles of dehydration and rehydration. Now scientists have discovered another protective mechanism of this hardy organism: the Terminons. Their findings have implications for research on aging and genome evolution.

How the Galapagos cormorant lost its ability to fly (01 Jun 2017)
Changes to the genes that shortened the Galapagos cormorant's wings are the same genes that go awry in a group of human bone disorders characterized by stunted arms and legs, suggests new research. The findings shed light on the genetic mechanisms underlying the evolution of limb size and could eventually lead to new treatments for people with skel [+]