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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
Evolution in your back garden: Great tits may be adapting their beaks to birdfeeders (19 Oct 2017) A British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks than their European counterparts, according to new research. The findings identify for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks in UK birds.

Water striders illustrate evolutionary processes (19 Oct 2017)
How do new species arise and diversify in nature? Natural selection offers an explanation, but the genetic and environmental conditions behind this mechanism are still poorly understood. Researchers have just figured out how water striders (family Veliidae) of the genus Rhagovelia developed fan-like structures at the tips of their legs. These struc [+]


Scientists pinpoint jealousy in the monogamous mind (19 Oct 2017)
Scientists find that in male titi monkeys, jealousy is associated with heightened activity in the cingulate cortex, an area of the brain associated with social pain in humans, and the lateral septum, associated with pair bond formation in primates. A better understanding of jealousy may provide important clues on how to approach health and welfare [+]


Duplications of noncoding DNA may have affected evolution of human-specific traits (18 Oct 2017)
Duplications of large segments of noncoding DNA in the human genome may have contributed to the emergence of differences between humans and nonhuman primates, according to new results. Identifying these duplications, which include regulatory sequences, and their effect on traits and behavior may help scientists explain genetic contributions to huma [+]


Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network (18 Oct 2017) Coevolution, which occurs when species interact and adapt to each other, is often studied in the context of pair-wise interactions between mutually beneficial symbiotic partners. But many species have mutualistic interactions with multiple partners, leading to complex networks of interacting species.

Death by a thousand cuts? Not for small populations (18 Oct 2017) New research provides a look at how certain species survive by evolving a greater ability to weed out harmful mutations -- a new concept called 'drift robustness'.

Yeast spotlights genetic variation's link to drug resistance (18 Oct 2017) Researchers have shown that genetic diversity plays a key role in enabling drug resistance to evolve. Scientists show that high genetic diversity can prime new mutations that cause drug resistance. The study has implications for our understanding of the evolution of resistance to antimicrobial and anticancer drugs.

'Hiding in plain sight:' Discovery raises questions over scale of overlooked biodiversity (17 Oct 2017) Scientists have used cutting edge DNA technology to demonstrate that one of Europe's top freshwater predators is actually two species rather than one.

Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies (16 Oct 2017) Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects -- much like human societies. A major new study has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains.

Fanged kangaroo research could shed light on extinction (16 Oct 2017) Fanged kangaroos -- an extinct family of small fanged Australian kangaroos -- might have survived at least five million years longer than previously thought. A new study has found the species might have competed for resources with ancestors of modern kangaroos.

Contests for female attention turns males into better performers in fruit flies (13 Oct 2017) Giving females an opportunity to choose the male they mate with leads to the evolution of better performing males, according to new research into the behavior of fruit flies.

The sea cucumber genome points to genes for tissue regeneration (12 Oct 2017) A new high-definition genome sequence of the sea cucumber provides molecular insights into its ability to regenerate.

An evolving sticky situation (12 Oct 2017) While many animals try to avoid sticky situations, lizards evolved to seek them out. An evolutionary biologist shows how different groups of lizards -- geckos and anoles -- took two completely different evolutionary paths to developing the beneficial trait of sticky toe pads.

Pioneering discovery of an odor-detecting receptor enhancer (12 Oct 2017)
Scientists have identified a regulatory sequence that turns gene expression on, or simply an enhancer, for odor-detecting receptors, which form one of the largest gene clusters in the mouse genome. This was done using a combination of research methods, including the CRISPR-Cas9 system, which is a genome editing technique, the Bacillus subtilis synt [+]


Last common ancestor of humans and apes weighed about five kilograms (12 Oct 2017) New research suggests that the last common ancestor of apes -- including great apes and humans -- was much smaller than previously thought, about the size of a gibbon. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, are fundamental to understanding the evolution of the human family tree.

Deciphering biological meaning from an atlas of gene expression across 42 tissue types (11 Oct 2017)
The human genome encodes instructions for which genes are expressed in what cell type, along with other molecules that control how much and when these genes are expressed. Variation in the regulation of gene expression gives rise to the diverse tissue types, with diverse functions, in the human body. Finding new clues about the molecular origins of [+]


Where food is limited, guppy mothers gestate their young longer (11 Oct 2017) When evolving in environments where a lack of predators makes food scarcity the main survival challenge, guppy mothers gestate their young longer so that they are born more ready to compete for their meals.

Mass extinctions led to low species diversity, dinosaur rule (10 Oct 2017)
Two of Earth's five mass extinction events -- times when more than half of the world's species died -- resulted in the survival of a low number of so-called 'weedy' species that spread their sameness across the world as the Earth recovered from these dramatic upheavals. The findings could shed light on modern high extinction rates and how biologica [+]


Evolutionary stepping stone to beet-red beets discovered (10 Oct 2017) Scientists describe an ancient loosening up of a key biochemical pathway that set the stage for the ancestors of beets to develop their characteristic red pigment.

Pest resistance to biotech crops surging (10 Oct 2017) Pest resistance to genetically engineered crops Bt crops is evolving faster now than before, researchers show in the most comprehensive study to date. But as expected from evolutionary theory, resistance can be delayed if farmers comply with recommendations to make use of abundant refuges.

Liverwort genes and land plant evolution (05 Oct 2017) The common liverwort is a living link to the transition from marine algae to land plants. Biologists have analyzed the genome sequence of the common liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) to identify genes and gene families that were deemed crucial to plant evolution and have been conserved over millions of years and across plant lineages.

How yellow and blue make green in parrots (05 Oct 2017) Many brightly colored birds get their pigments from the foods that they eat, but that's not true of parrots. Now, researchers reporting a study of familiar pet store parakeets -- also known as budgies -- have new evidence to explain how the birds produce their characteristic yellow, blue, and green feathers.

Meet Madagascar's oldest animal lineage, a whirligig beetle with 206-million-year-old origins (04 Oct 2017) A new study suggests the Malagasy striped whirligig beetle Heterogyrus milloti boasts a genetic pedigree stretching back to the late Triassic period.

Toxic cocktail: Okinawan pit viper genome reveals evolution of snake venom (04 Oct 2017) For the first time, researchers have sequenced a habu genome, that of the Taiwan habu, and compared it to that of its sister species.

Trophy hunting is unlikely to affect evolution (04 Oct 2017) In recent years, there has been growing controversy surrounding the evolutionary effects of trophy hunting in big game animals worldwide.

Monstrous crocodile fossil points to early rise of ancient reptiles (02 Oct 2017) A newly identified prehistoric marine predator has shed light on the origins of the distant relatives of modern crocodiles.

Did life on Earth start due to meteorites splashing into warm little ponds? (02 Oct 2017)
Life on Earth began somewhere between 3.7 and 4.5 billion years ago, after meteorites splashed down and leached essential elements into warm little ponds, say scientists. Their calculations suggest that wet and dry cycles bonded basic molecular building blocks in the ponds' nutrient-rich broth into self-replicating RNA molecules that constituted th [+]


Immature flies in Central Park subsist on duck droppings (02 Oct 2017) Introducing Themira lohmanus, a fly like no other, and the most recently discovered species in the popular Manhattan urban oasis of Central Park. The immature insects subsist on duck droppings.

Evolutionary crop research: Ego-plants give lower yield (02 Oct 2017) Evolutionary biologists are calling for a shift in the usual plant breeding paradigm, which is based on selecting the fittest plants to create new varieties. New research results show that a plants ability to be less competitive and behave according to the good of the group could be a key feature in the attempt to increase crop yields.

Basis of development of vertebrate limb muscles has been established in cartilaginous fishes (02 Oct 2017)
Scientists have discovered that both bony and cartilaginous fish develop their appendages via a shared mechanism -- the mechanism is also observed in land-dwelling vertebrates such as mice. They found the fin muscles of cartilaginous are formed by muscle precursors expressing Lbx1 expression, a gene that coordinates limb-muscle formation. This work [+]


Meet the hominin species that gave us genital herpes (01 Oct 2017) New research uses innovative data modeling to predict which species acted as an intermediary between our ancestors and those of chimpanzees to carry HSV2 -- the genital herpes virus -- across the species barrier.

Genes that separate humans from fruit flies found (29 Sep 2017) Genes which determine animal complexity -- or what makes humans so much more complex than a fruit fly or a sea urchin -- have been identified for the first time.

New clues from brain structures of mantis shrimp (29 Sep 2017) New research sheds new light on the evolution of some of the earliest brain structures, and stirs up new, intriguing questions about the origins of centers that support learning and memory.

Mapping the Tasmanian tiger's mysterious loss from mainland (28 Sep 2017) Ancient DNA extracted from fossil bones and museum specimens has shed new light on the mysterious loss of the Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) from Australia's mainland.

Exploring an ancient event in pumpkin, gourd and melon evolution (28 Sep 2017)
Recently, scientists have making great strides in better understanding with the genomes sequenced of cucumber, watermelon, and melons. With these projects completed, a research team has performed the first large comparative genomics exploration of their genome structures and evolution. After reconstructing evolutionary trees and extensive compariso [+]


Moths: A different weapon against each enemy (27 Sep 2017)
It's a dangerous world out there, especially if you are a small insect. Insects have thrived on our planet for hundreds of millions of years, so they must be doing something right despite all the threats to their survival. With so many predators out to get them many animals have evolved chemical defences, making themselves distasteful or even toxic [+]


Biochemists discover mechanism that helps flu viruses evolve (26 Sep 2017) Flu viruses' rapid evolution relies in part on hijacking some of the cellular machinery of the infected host cell -- a group of proteins called chaperones, which help other proteins fold into the correct shape. When viruses are unable to get help from these proteins, they do not evolve as rapidly, research shows.

Nerves control the body's bacterial community (26 Sep 2017)
Using the freshwater polyp Hydra as a model organism, researchers have investigated how the simple nervous system of these animals interacts with the microbiome. They were able to demonstrate, for the first time, that small molecules secreted by nerve cells help to regulate the composition and colonization of specific types of beneficial bacteria a [+]


'Hypermutators' drive pathogenic fungi to evolve more rapidly (26 Sep 2017)
For nearly two decades, a rare but potentially deadly fungus called Cryptococcus deuterogattii has gained a foothold in the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island. Researchers recently showed that lineages of the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus deuterogattii house a specific mutation in their DNA that increases their mutation rate. These hypermutators [+]


Big brains in birds provides survival advantage (25 Sep 2017) Scientists have discovered that brainier birds are better able to colonize inhospitable places.