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Archive for the ‘evolution’ category

Apr 5, 2019

Evolutionary changes played a crucial role in industrialization, study finds

Posted by in categories: economics, evolution, genetics

Galor says the study results, published on Monday, April 1, in Nature Ecology & Evolution, lend credence to what he and a colleague had surmised in a highly influential 2002 paper — that during the pre-industrial era, the natural selection of those who were genetically predisposed toward having fewer children was instrumental in spurring industrialization and sustained economic growth.


In a study of 200 years of pre-industrial Quebecois genealogical history, researchers at Brown found that fertility-related changes in natural selection during the pre-industrial era paved the way for economic and technological progress.

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Apr 4, 2019

Freaky Eight-Letter DNA Could Be the Stuff Aliens Are Made Of

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution, genetics

Conventional DNA is comprised of the familiar A, C, G, and T base pairs, but a newly created genetic system is packed with eight, thus doubling the number of letters normally found in self-replicating molecules. Intriguingly, the new system, dubbed “hachimoji,” could resemble the building blocks of extraterrestrial life.

New research published yesterday in Science describes the hachimoji, which means “eight letters” in Japanese. In addition to the conventional four base pairs, this genetic system has an extra four building blocks, dramatically increasingly the information density compared to regular DNA. The scientists behind the work, led by Steven Benner from the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Alachua, Florida, said the new system may be robust enough to support life, that is, to support the processes required for Darwinian self-replication.

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Apr 4, 2019

Unknown Species of Ancient Four-Legged Whale Uncovered in Peru

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution

The discovery of a fossilized, 42-million-year-old, four-legged whale is shedding new light on the evolution and geographical spread of these aquatic mammals.

The ancestors of modern whales and dolphins evolved from a small, four-limbed hoofed animal that lived in south Asia around 50 million years ago, during the Eocene. Fossil evidence suggests these aquatic mammalian pioneers reached North America by 41.2 million years ago, swimming from West Africa across the Atlantic. The surprise discovery of a previously unknown, 42.6-million-year-old quadrupedal whale along the coast of Peru has resulted in an important addendum to this story: Ancient whales made South America, and not North America, their first home in the New World. Details of this discovery were published today in Current Biology.

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Apr 3, 2019

What Existed Before The Big Bang? Astronomers Have Found a Test to Narrow It Down

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

Today our middle-aged Universe looks eerily smooth. Too smooth, in fact.

While a rapid growth spurt in space-time would explain what we see, science needs more than nice ideas. It needs evidence that whittles away contending arguments. We might finally know where to look for some.

A team of physicists from the Centre for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) and Harvard University went back to the drawing board on the early Universe’s evolution to give us a way to help those inflation models stand out from the crowd.

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Apr 3, 2019

Israeli Company’s New Cutting-Edge Cancer Treatment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

DAILY DOSE | A new cutting-edge cancer treatment has been developed in one of the innovation capitals of the world — Israel. How does it work and why is some of the medical community eagerly awaiting to use it? Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies CEO Ilan Morad discusses with host Ayman Sikseck.

Story:

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Apr 2, 2019

Anti-evolution drugs could keep gambling bacteria from developing antibiotic resistance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Bacteria are fast evolving resistance to antibiotics, which is fast-tracking us to a future where our best drugs no longer work and simple infections become life-threatening once again. While new antibiotics are in the works, the bugs will eventually develop resistances to those too, so a longer term strategy might be to prevent them from evolving in the first place. A new study has found that bacteria use clever gambles to adapt – and showed how we could rig the game in our favor.

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Mar 25, 2019

A Clever New Strategy for Treating Cancer, Thanks to Darwin

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Most advanced-stage cancers mutate, resisting drugs meant to kill them. Now doctors are harnessing the principles of evolution to thwart that lethal adaptation.

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Mar 19, 2019

What makes evolution go backwards?

Posted by in categories: evolution, food

Instead, new research by McMaster behavioural scientists shows that in certain cases evolution works in the opposite direction, reversing individual improvements to benefit related members of the same group.

The research appears in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, where lead author David Fisher shows that the increased evolution of selfless traits — such as sharing food and keeping watch for one another — is mathematically equivalent to the decreased evolution of individually beneficial traits.

“They’re two sides of the same coin,” Fisher explains. “On one side, traits evolve that benefit your kin, but don’t benefit you, because you’re helping your siblings or cousins. On the other side, traits that benefit you but cost your neighbours don’t evolve, because you’re causing damage to related individuals.”

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Mar 6, 2019

Scientists find worms that recently evolved the ability to regrow a complete head

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

An international group of researchers including biologists from the University of Maryland found that at least four species of marine ribbon worms independently evolved the ability to regrow a head after amputation.

Regeneration of amputated is uncommon but does exist throughout the —from salamanders, spiders and sea stars that can regrow appendages to a of ribbon worm that can regenerate an entire individual from just a small sliver of tissue. But regenerative abilities were broadly assumed to be an ancient trait that some species managed to hold on to while most others lost through evolution.

This new study, which was published in the March 6, 2019 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, turns that assumption on its head. In a survey of 35 species of marine ribbon , the researchers found that the ability to regenerate an entire head, including a brain, evolved relatively recently in four .

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Mar 4, 2019

Fifty Billion Planets In Our Milky Way Galaxy Are Likely To Be Free Floaters, Says New Study

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

Homeless free-floating planets are likely to be rampant within the Milky Way, says new study. Young, dense loose clusters of stars are pretty raucous places early in their evolution.

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