A common birthplace of new genes, the male testes are a hotspot for biological innovation. Within these organs, scientists have found a trove of virgin genetic sequences--and a better understanding of how evolution moves forward.
The molecular mechanism used by many bacteria to kill neighboring cells has redundancy built into its genetic makeup, which could allow for the mechanism to be expressed in different environments.
When Earth's species were rapidly diversifying nearly 500 million years ago, that evolution was driven by complex factors including global cooling, more oxygen in the atmosphere, and more nutrients in the oceans. But it took a combination of many global environmental and tectonic changes occurring simultaneously and combining like building blocks to produce rapid diversification into new species, according to a new study by Dr. Alycia Stigall, Professor of Geological Sciences at Ohio University.
A Nature Communications paper by Worcester Polytechnic Institute biologist Jagan Srinivasan has shown that a key biological component in the communication system of the nematode C. Elegans can be repurposed to take on a different job,. This critical finding about the workings of evolution could one day affect research into drug interactions, agricultural bio-engineering, and a better understanding of genetic inheritance through multiple generations.
Eumelanin -- a natural pigment found for instance in human eyes -- has, for the first time, been identified in the fossilized compound eyes of 54-million-year-old crane-flies. It was previously assumed that melanic screening pigments did not exist in arthropods.
New research by a University of Bristol palaeontology post-graduate student has revealed fresh insights into how the braincase of the dinosaur Psittacosaurus developed and how this tells us about its posture.
Freshwater wetlands from Georgia to New York are home to a previously unrecognized species of medicinal leech, according to scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of National History. The new species was first identified from specimens collected in southern Maryland less than 50 miles from Washington, D.C., prompting a search through marshes and museum collections that revealed that the leech has long occupied a range that stretches throughout the eastern United States.
Evolutionary biologists from Konstanz analyze the role of microRNAs in the evolution of new species.
'Birds of a feather flock together' or rather 'opposites attract'? The recently published study on male macaques in Thailand speaks for the former: Behavioral biologists from the German Primate Centre -- Leibniz Institute for Primate Research and psychologists from the University of Göttingen have observed that the more similar male Assamese macaques are in their personality, the closer they get and the stronger their social bonds.
Bats with skulls and teeth adapted to a wide range of diets are helping scientists understand how major groups of mammals first evolved.