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Students' perceptions of Earth's age influence acceptance of human evolution, says U of Minn. study
High school and college students who understand the geological age of the Earth (4.5 billion years) are much more likely to understand and accept human evolution, according to a University of Minnesota study published in the March issue of the journal Evolution. (2010-03-10)

eDNA reveals where endangered birds of a feather flock together
For the first time, Australian scientists have shown that environmental DNA (eDNA) can be used to detect the presence of an endangered bird species simply by collecting a cupful of water from the pools where they drink. (2019-11-15)

Darwin's finches -- where did they actually come from?
In 1835, Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands and discovered a group of birds that would shape his groundbreaking theory of natural selection. Darwin's finches are now well-known as a textbook example of animal evolution. But just where did a species synonymous with the discovery of evolution come from? A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances presents some of the best models to date on where these birds actually originated. (2018-05-09)

Researchers uncover genomic info linking extinct giant ground sloth to modern species
Researchers have uncovered important genomic data from the remains of an ancient giant ground sloth, or Mylodon darwinii, the emblematic creature named after Charles Darwin, whose discovery of fossilized remains in South America is considered to be one of his significant scientific achievements. (2018-05-15)

NT researchers discover breakthrough in malaria treatment
An article published in the prestigious international journal the Lancet by researchers from the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin has revealed a breakthrough in the battle to treat malaria -- a disease which effects 40 percent of the world's population. (2007-03-08)

Scientists discover oral sexual encounters in spiders
Researchers from Slovenia have discovered oral sexual encounters in a spider, and have published their findings on April 29, 2016 in the journal Scientific Reports. Spiders are known for their unusual sexual behaviors, notably sexual cannibalism, but oral sexual encounters have not been well documented. (2016-04-29)

Evolutionary origins of animal biodiversity
A new study by an international team of researchers, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, has revealed the origins and evolution of animal body plans. (2018-09-03)

Mixed-race people perceived as 'more attractive'
People of mixed race are perceived as being more attractive than nonmixed-race people, a Cardiff University study has found. (2010-04-14)

Catching evolution in the act
Researchers have produced some of the first evidence that shows that artificial selection and natural selection act on the same genes, a hypothesis predicted by Charles Darwin in 1859. (2019-09-26)

Why some people are more attractive than others
If good genes spread through the population, why are people so different? A group of scientists think they have solved this long-standing puzzle. (2007-03-27)

Parasites might spur evolution of strange amphibian breeding habits
Parasites can decimate amphibian populations, but one University of Georgia researcher believes they might also play a role in spurring the evolution of new and sometimes bizarre breeding strategies. (2007-11-14)

Defending Darwin: Scientists respond to attack on evolution
Science magazine, the country's top scientific journal, has taken the rare step of publishing criticism of a new book. The book is called Darwin Devolves, and Science says its author, Michael Behe, is on a 'crusade to overturn evolution.' (2019-02-11)

Galápagos islands have nearly 10 times more alien marine species than once thought
Over 50 non-native species have found their way to the Galápagos Islands, almost 10 times more than scientists previously thought, reports a new study from Williams College and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center published Thursday, March 28. (2019-03-28)

Source water key to bacterial water safety in remote Northern Australia
In the wet-dry topics of Australia, drinking water in remote communities is often sourced from groundwater bores. The geochemistry of that groundwater impacts the occurrence of opportunistic pathogens in the drinking water supply, researchers now report in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. (2019-09-05)

Here's what you need to rise to the top
Passion, grit, the right mindset and support from others are what's needed to rank among the best in a given field. That's the only way you'll be able to keep yourself motivated and endure all the practice that's required. (2019-09-17)

Love songs from paradise take a nosedive
The Galápagos Islands finches named after Charles Darwin are starting to sing a different tune because of an introduced pest on the once pristine environment. New research shows that Darwin's finch males whose beaks and nostril (naris) have been damaged by the parasitic invasion are producing 'sub-par song.' (2019-06-11)

Exeter researchers help protect Peru's river dolphins
River dolphins and Amazonian manatees in Peru will benefit from new protection thanks to a plan developed with help from the University of Exeter. (2017-05-16)

Ancient flower fossil points to Core Eudicot Boom 99 million years ago
A group led by Professor WANG Xin from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology (NIGPAS) describe a flower, Lijinganthus revoluta, embedded in Burmese amber dating to 99 million years ago. The fossil is exquisite and complete, including all parts of a perfect pentamerous flower, namely, the calyx, corolla, stamens, and gynoecium, and belongs to the Pentapetalae of Core Eudicots. (2018-11-13)

Hybrid species could hold secret to protect Darwin's finches against invasive parasite
A hybrid bird species on the Galapagos Islands could help scientists find a way to stop an invasive fly which is killing off the hatchlings of famous Darwin's finches at an alarming rate, according to new research. (2019-04-02)

Clever budgies make better mates
Male budgie birds who show smarts become more attractive in the eyes of female counterparts, a new study suggests. (2019-01-10)

Rats are ticklish when their mood is right
Researchers studying rats have identified neurons in the brain tied to ticklishness and laughter, and they were able to elicit a chuckle from the furry creatures by stimulating those same neurons in additional experiments. (2016-11-10)

Warnings up in Western Australia as Suomi NPP satellite views Tropical Cyclone 23S
Tropical Cyclone 23S has developed north of the Kimberley coast, and generated warnings. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead as the low pressure area consolidated into a tropical cyclone. (2019-04-05)

New type of flying reptile discovered
Discovered by scientists at the University of Leicester and the Geological Institute, Beijing, Darwin's pterodactyl preyed on flying dinosaurs and shows how a controversial type of evolution may have powered the origin of major new groups. (2009-10-13)

Venus flytrap 'teeth' form a 'horrid prison' for medium-sized prey
In 'Testing Darwin's Hypothesis about the Wonderful Venus Flytrap: Marginal Spikes Form a 'Horrid Prison' for Moderate-Sized Insect Prey,' Alexander L. Davis investigates the importance of marginal spikes, the 'teeth' lining the outer edge of the plant's snap traps, in successfully capturing prey. (2019-03-26)

Butterfly color diversity due to female preferences
Butterflies have long captured our attention due to their amazing color diversity. But why are they so colorful? A new publication led by researchers from Sweden and Germany suggests that female influence butterfly color diversity by mating with colorful males. (2020-10-27)

Physics: Not everything is where it seems to be
Scientists at TU Wien, the University of Innsbruck and the ÖAW have for the first time demonstrated a wave effect that can lead to measurement errors in the optical position estimation of objects. The work now published in Nature Physics could have consequences for optical microscopy and optical astronomy, but could also play a role in position measurements using sound, radar, or gravitational waves. (2018-10-15)

Study: Rain forest insects eat no more tree species than temperate counterparts
A study initiated by University of Minnesota plant biologist George Weiblen has confirmed what biologists since Darwin have suspected -- that the vast number of tree species in rain forests accounts for the equally vast number of plant-eating species of insects. (2006-08-23)

Darwin was right: Females prefer sex with good listeners
Almost 150 years after Charles Darwin first proposed a little-known prediction from his theory of sexual selection, researchers have found that male moths with larger antennae are better at detecting female signals. (2017-05-26)

Looking different than your parents can be an evolutionary advantage
Looking different to your parents can provide species with a way to escape evolutionary dead ends, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London and the University of California, Riverside. (2016-08-08)

Evidence of waterfowl mediated gene-flow in aquatic invertebrates
How do aquatic invertebrates such as water fleas move between isolated waterbodies so as to colonize new habitats or maintain genetic exchange between populations? (2005-02-02)

Underground life has a carbon mass hundreds of times larger than humans'
Microorganisms living underneath the surface of the earth have a total carbon mass of 15 to 23 billion tons, hundreds of times more than that of humans, according to findings announced by the Deep Carbon Observatory and coauthored by UT Professor of Microbiology Karen Lloyd. (2018-12-10)

Epigenetics may explain how Darwin's finches respond to rapid environmental change
Epigenetics may explain how Darwin's finches respond to rapid environmental changes, according to new research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. (2017-08-23)

Hepatitis B virus sheds light on ancient human population movements into Australia
Australian researchers have used hepatitis B virus genome sequences to deduce that the mainland Aboriginal population separated from other early humans at least 59,000 years ago. (2019-03-17)

Darwin convinced the world, but was he the first to describe evolution?
A new review of the ideas and work of Patrick Matthew, a little-known antecedent of Charles Darwin, argues that Matthew is under-appreciated even though he described the idea of large-scale evolution by natural selection decades before Darwin did. Some of his ideas were different from Darwin's but are equally valid. (2015-04-20)

Why the flounder is flat
Scientists have long been puzzled by the flounder's asymmetrical physiology. The mechanism that triggers the unusual asymmetry has now been identified by comparing the genomes of two related fish species. (2016-12-05)

NASA takes a double-look at Tropical Cyclone Blanche
Tropical Cyclone Blanche formed on March 5 near Australia's Top End, and made landfall the next day as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead gathering images in visible and infrared light. (2017-03-06)

Galapagos invasion is global warning
A new study led by a Ph.D. researcher at The University of Western Australia has revealed that parts of the iconic Galapagos Islands have been overrun by invasive plants from other parts of the world. The research was published in the open access journal NeoBiota. (2014-09-03)

How Darwin's little-known work impacts current schizophrenia and autism treatment
Historical research by Peter J. Snyder, Ph.D., reveals more of Charles Darwin's thinking when he completed what may be the first example of a prospective (2010-05-04)

Male bumblebees leave home without looking back
Male bumblebees leave home and fly away without looking back, making no effort to remember the location of the nest, researchers at the University of Exeter have found. (2016-12-20)

Human activity can influence the gut microbiota of Darwin's finches in the Galapagos
In the Galapagos Islands, Darwin's finches drawn to junk food are experiencing changes in their gut microbiota and their body mass as compared to finches that don't encounter human food, according to a new University of Connecticut study. (2019-04-25)

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