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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
Great Barrier Reef coral predicted to last at least 100 years before extinction from climate change (19 Apr 2018) A common Great Barrier Reef coral species has enough genetic diversity to survive at least 100 years before succumbing to global warming, researchers predict.

Ramped up fight-or-flight response points to history of warfare for humans and chimps (19 Apr 2018) Humans and chimpanzees recently evolved a more active fight-or-flight response compared to other primates, possibly in response to the threat of warfare.

'Rip Van Winkle' plants hide underground for up to 20 years (19 Apr 2018) Scores of plant species are capable of living dormant under the soil for up to 20 years, enabling them to survive through difficult times, a new study has found.

Marine fish won an evolutionary lottery 66 million years ago (17 Apr 2018) Why do the Earth's oceans contain such a staggering diversity of fish of so many different sizes, shapes, colors and ecologies? The answer, biologists report, dates back 66 million years ago, when a six-mile-wide asteroid crashed to Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and approximately 75 percent of animal and plant species worldwide.

Honeybees are struggling to get enough good bacteria (17 Apr 2018) Modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and even well-intentioned gardeners could be making it harder for honeybees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study suggests.

Viruses can evolve in parallel in related species (12 Apr 2018) Viruses are more likely to evolve in similar ways in related species -- raising the risk that they will 'jump' from one species to another, new research shows.

Sweet potato history casts doubt on early contact between Polynesia and the Americas (12 Apr 2018) New evidence shows that sweet potatoes arose before there were any humans around to eat them. The findings also suggest that the sweet potato crossed the ocean from America to Polynesia without any help from people. The discovery raises doubts about the existence of pre-Columbian contacts between Polynesia and the American continent.

How life generates new forms (12 Apr 2018) A new study identifies the kind of gene regulation most likely to generate evolutionary change.

New method prioritizes species for conservation in the face of uncertainty (11 Apr 2018) A new way to prioritize species for conservation efforts outperforms other similar methods, according to new research.

Fossil study sheds light on ancient butterfly wing colors (11 Apr 2018) Pioneering new research has given an illuminating new insight into the metallic, iridescent colors found on the earliest known ancestors of moths and butterflies, which inhabited the Earth almost 200 million years ago.

Scientists discover a role for 'junk' DNA (11 Apr 2018) Researchers have determined how satellite DNA, considered to be 'junk DNA,' plays a crucial role in holding the genome together.

Mutant ferrets offer clues to human brain size (11 Apr 2018) Scientists have engineered ferrets genetically to study abnormally small brain size in humans -- and, in the process, discovered hints as to how our brains evolved.

Diving deep into the blue whale genome reveals the animals’ extraordinary evolutionary history (05 Apr 2018)
For the first time, scientists have deciphered the complete genome of the blue whale and three other rorquals. These insights now allow tracking the evolutionary history of the worlds’ largest animal and its relatives in unprecedented detail. Surprisingly, the genomes show that rorquals have been hybridizing during their evolutionary history. In ad [+]

Ancient origins of viruses discovered (04 Apr 2018) New research has found that many of the viruses infecting us today have ancient evolutionary histories that date back to the first vertebrates and perhaps the first animals in existence.

How does HIV escape cellular booby traps? (04 Apr 2018) Utilizing the humanized mouse model, researchers have found that simian immunodeficiency virus, SIV, evolved to infect humans as HIV via Vpu evolving to inhibiting tetherin.

First land plants were parasitized by microbes (04 Apr 2018) Sainsbury Laboratory researchers have found that the relationship between plants and filamentous microbes not only dates back millions of years, but that modern plants have maintained this ancient mechanism to accommodate and respond to microbial invaders.

Old and healthy: Researchers find novel genes for longevity in mammals (04 Apr 2018)
The genetic basis of lifespan determination is poorly understood. Most research has been done on short-lived animals, and it is unclear if these insights can be transferred to long-lived mammals like humans. By comparing genes of long- and short-lived rodents, researchers have now identified several novel genes possibly influencing longevity and he [+]

New algorithm enables data integration at single-cell resolution (02 Apr 2018) A team of computational biologists has developed an algorithm that can 'align' multiple sequencing datasets with single-cell resolution. The new method has implications for better understanding how different groups of cells change during disease progression, in response to drug treatment, or across evolution.

Breakthrough in determining ages of different microbial groups (02 Apr 2018) Scientists have made a significant breakthrough in how we understand the first three-quarters of life on Earth by creating new techniques for investigating the timing and co-evolution of microbial groups.

Virus found to adapt through newly discovered path of evolution (29 Mar 2018)
Biologists have discovered evidence for a new path of evolution, and with it a deeper understanding of how quickly organisms such as viruses can adapt to their environment. The researchers say their findings, which address longstanding mysteries of how genes acquire new functions and how mutations arise to ease transmission from one host to another [+]

Giant Viruses in the Sea: Bodo saltans virus genome has 1.39 million bases of DNA (29 Mar 2018) Bodo saltans virus, whose genome weighs in at 1.39 million bases of DNA, is one of the largest giant viruses ever isolated, and the largest known to infect zooplankton.

Genome archaeologists uncover the origin of a plant hormone (28 Mar 2018)
In their quest for the origin of the universal auxin hormone in plants, biochemists and bioinformaticists took on the mantle of archaeologists. Deep in the evolutionary history of plant life on earth, about a billion years ago, they came across the protein fragments that were already related to the plant hormone at that time. The journey of discove [+]

Bovine genetics: The startling diversity of Buša cattle (28 Mar 2018) In a study of the genetic structure and population dynamics of a unique breed of cattle that is indigenous to Southeastern Europe, researchers have discovered a remarkable degree of genetic variation.

Turtle shells help decode complex links between modern, fossil species (28 Mar 2018) A new study shows how scientists can use animals' physical features -- also known as morphology -- to make connections between a modern species and its fossilized relatives, even if they look strikingly different.

Genome does not like to excessively change in male germ cells (28 Mar 2018)
Researchers report the function of GTSF1 in germ cells. The study shows that GTSF1 is an essential factor for secondary piRNA biogenesis probably through the step where PIWI-piRNA complexes grasp and/or stabilize the target RNA. The discovery gives important insights on how male germ cells avoid the genome instability caused by excessive retrotrans [+]

Sea turtles use flippers to manipulate food (28 Mar 2018) Sea turtles use their flippers to handle prey despite the limbs being evolutionarily designed for locomotion. Research reveals a behavior thought to be less likely in marine tetrapods is actually widespread and that this type of exaptation of flippers may have been occurring 70 million years earlier than previously thought.

Untangling the role of climate on sediment and reef evolution over millennial timescales (27 Mar 2018)
Climatic variability like precipitation changes or increase in extreme events such as storms and tropical cyclones is known to significantly modify the Earth's surface. Yet, our understanding of how sediment dynamics and reef evolution might respond to these changes is still limited. In a recent study, a team of researchers has designed a new model [+]

Hybrid chickadees found deficient at learning and memory (26 Mar 2018) Scientists have found that hybrid chickadees have marked deficiencies in learning and memory compared to their pure species parents, a possible selective disadvantage. The study is the first to identify deficiencies in learning and memory in a hybrid of any species.

A CRISPR/Cas9 mutation prevention system could help prevent and fight disease in the future (26 Mar 2018)
Researchers developed an in vivo mutation prevention method that enables the DNA-cleaving Cas9 enzyme to discriminate between genomic target sites differing by a single nucleotide and to exclusively cut the unwanted one. In proof-of-concept studies performed in bacterial E. coli strains grown in culture or the mouse gastrointestinal tract, the appr [+]

'We're sleepwalking into a mass extinction' say scientists (21 Mar 2018) Species that live in symbiosis with others, which often occur in the most delicately balanced and threatened marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, are the slowest to recover their diversity if damaged, according to a team of scientists.

The environment determines Caribbean hummingbirds' vulnerability (21 Mar 2018) Hummingbirds' specialization and vulnerability are often predicted based on their physical traits. Scientists now found that this is not the case for hummingbirds on the Caribbean islands. Instead, the bird's environment is the determining factor.

New genetic research shows extent of cross-breeding between wild wolves and domestic dogs (21 Mar 2018) An international study has shown that mating between domesticated dogs and wild wolves over hundreds of years has left a genetic mark on the wolf gene pool.

Dinosaur frills and horns did not evolve for species recognition (21 Mar 2018) The elaborate frills and horns of a group of dinosaurs including Triceratops and Styracosaurus did not evolve to help species recognise each other, according to researchers.

'Wiggling and jiggling': Study explains how organisms evolve to live at different temperatures (21 Mar 2018)
New research explains how the 'wiggling and jiggling' of the atoms in enzymes -- the proteins that make biological reactions happen -- is 'choreographed' to make them work at a particular temperature. Enzyme catalysis is essential to life, and this research sheds light on how enzymes have evolved and adapted, enabling organisms to evolve to live at [+]

Intensification of agriculture and social hierarchies evolve together, study finds (19 Mar 2018) Researchers analyzed the evolution of 155 Island South East Asian and Pacific societies to determine that, rather than intensification of agriculture leading to social stratification, the two evolve together. The study illustrates the way social and material factors combine to drive human cultural evolution.

'New life form' answers question about evolution of cells (19 Mar 2018) Bacteria and Archaea must have evolved from the putative Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). One hypothesis is that this happened because the cell membrane in LUCA was an unstable mixture of lipids. Now, scientists have created such a life form with a mixed membrane and discovered it is in fact stable, refuting this hypothesis.

Genetic analysis uncovers the evolutionary origin of vertebrate limbs (19 Mar 2018) Fish, mice and likely all modern-day vertebrates share genetic elements first used to develop the unpaired dorsal fin in ancient fish. They later copied these elements to produce paired appendages, like pelvic and pectoral fins, arms and legs.

Mice change their appearance as a result of frequent exposure to humans (16 Mar 2018) Many tame domesticated animals have a different appearance compared to their relatives in the wild, for example white patches in their fur or shorter snouts. Researchers have now for the first time shown that wild house mice develop the same visible changes -- without selection, as a result of exposure to humans alone.

Menomous Solenodon, last survivor of a branch of mammals that appeared at the time of the dinosaurs, sequenced (16 Mar 2018)
An article presents a draft genome of a small shrew-like animal, the venomous Hispaniolan solenodon. This unusual animal is one of the only extant venomous mammals, and it is the sole remaining branch of mammals that split from other insectivores at the time of the dinosaurs. The solenodon genome sequence revealed the answer to several evolutionary [+]

Brain genes related to innovation revealed in birds (14 Mar 2018) Wild birds that are more clever than others at foraging for food have different levels of a neurotransmitter receptor that has been linked with intelligence in humans, according to a new study. The findings could provide insight into the evolutionary mechanisms affecting cognitive traits in a range of animals.