Posts Tagged 'evolutionary biology'

Epigenetics Are Important To Evolutionary Success

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). Credit:  Daves BirdingPix

Genetic diversity and long periods of time are things that are crucial for evolutionary adaptation. This made scientists wonder why invasive species, lacking genetic diversity, succeed quickly. And some ecologists are beginning to think that epigenetic factors might be modifying genes while leaving the genome intact.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

Wrinkly Fingers Evolved to Grasp Wet Objects

Credit: nathanmac87/Flickr

Scientists have discovered the reason why the skin on human fingers and toes shrivels up when soaked in water. Laboratory tests confirmed that wrinkly fingers improve the grip on wet or submerged objects, working away the water like rain treads in car tires.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

DNA in Flesh-Eating Flies’ Guts Reveal Biodiversity

Credit: Saguaro juniper

When blowflies and flesh flies settle on dead animals, they aren’t just feasting on the carrion, they are in fact sampling their DNA. Scientists have demonstrated that this DNA persists long enough to be sequenced, allowing them to gain a quick and cost-effective snapshot of mammal diversity in otherwise inaccessible rainforest environments.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

The Myth of Promiscuous Males & Choosy Females

A male fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) Credit: Jan Polabinski/iStockphoto

Scientists think that a study, which has been a cornerstone in evolutionary biology for the last five decades, could be wrong.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

Periodical Cicadas Manipulate the Populations of Predatory Birds

Periodical cicadas manipulate the populations of birds that eat them

Periodical cicadas emerge in North America every 13 or 17 years. Scientists think that the cicadas’ cycles are timed to “engineer” the number of predatory birds. The populations of these birds drop significantly the year that cicadas emerge.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

Origin of Ion-Pumping Proteins Could Explain How Life Began

underwater-thermal-vent

A new study indicates how the first cells might have evolved from rocks, water and hot alkaline fluid rich in hydrogen gas spewing out of deep-sea vents, and how they might have escaped their deep sea lairs.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

Geneticists Grow Fish with Limbs to Duplicate Evolutionary Pressure

zebrafish-limbs

The fossil record gives clues about how limbs grew from fish fins in a series of stages, but scientists are still trying to fill in the details and determine what genetic changes might have allowed limbs to grow.

Read more @ SciTechDaily


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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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