Evolutionary Biology News -- ScienceDaily

Evolution. Read about natural selection in a flask and genetic variation in flowers. Consider the evolution of human social behavior, and more.

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Origins of life: Chemical evolution in a tiny Gulf Stream

Chemical reactions driven by the geological conditions on the early Earth might have led to the prebiotic evolution of self-replicating molecules. Scientists now report on a hydrothermal mechanism that could have promoted the process.

New insight into the evolution of complex life on Earth

A novel connection between primordial organisms and complex life has been discovered, as new evidence sheds light on the evolutionary origins of the cell division process that is fundamental to complex life on Earth.

Angels in disguise: Angelfishes hybridize more than any other coral reef species

A new study highlights the remarkably high incidence of and tendency toward hybridization in the angelfish family (even between divergent species), more so than in any other group of coral reef fishes.

Autism: How a gene alteration modifies social behavior

A team of researchers has discovered a new connection between a genetic alteration and social difficulties related to autism: A mutation in the neuroligin-3 gene reduces the effect of the hormone oxytocin. The researchers report on a treatment approach that could normalize social behavior in autism. They have already achieved promising results in an...

Why the 'wimpy' Y chromosome hasn't evolved out of existence

The Y chromosome has shrunken drastically over 200 million years of evolution. Even those who study it have used the word 'wimpy' to describe it, and yet it continues to stick around. An Opinion paper outlines a new theory -- called the 'persistent Y hypothesis' --t o explain why the Y chromosome may be more resilient than it first appears.

Tasmanian devil research offers new insights for tackling cancer in humans

Researchers found a single genetic mutation that leads to reduced growth of a transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils in the wild. The finding gives hope for the animals' survival and could lead to new treatment for human cancers.

Faster rates of evolution are linked to tiny genomes

Inside every cell lies a genome - a full set of DNA that contains the instructions for building an organism. Across the biological world, genomes show a staggering diversity in size but scientists still don't fully understand why. Now, scientists have found a link between mutation rate - how quickly the DNA sequence changes - and genome size. Writing...

Study clarifies kinship of important plant group

Asterids comprise around 100,000 flowering plants, from heather to tomatoes. Up to now, their family relationships had not yet been fully clarified. A new study has now somewhat closed this knowledge gap. It is the world's most detailed phylogenetic analysis ever conducted for asterids.

Dinosaur relative's genome linked to mammals: Curious genome of ancient reptile

Biologists have sequenced the genome of the tuatara, a lizard-like creature that lives on the islands of New Zealand.

Between shark and ray: The evolutionary advantage of the sea angels

Angel sharks are sharks, but with their peculiarly flat body they rather resemble rays. An international research team has now investigated the origin of this body shape. The results illustrate how these sharks evolved into highly specialized, exclusively bottom-dwelling ambush predators and thus also contribute to a better understanding of their threat...

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