Current Darwin News and Events

Current Darwin News and Events, Darwin News Articles.
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Study reveals energy sources supporting coral reef predators
Since Charles Darwin's day, the abundance of life on coral reefs has been puzzling, given that most oceanic surface waters in the tropics are low in nutrients and unproductive. But now research, led by Newcastle University and published in in the journal Science Advances, has confirmed that the food web of a coral reef in the Maldives relies heavily on what comes in from the open ocean. (2021-02-19)

'Sex, lasers and male competition:' fruit flies win genetic race with rivals
Male fruit flies with the most impressive sexual ornamentation also have super sperm that can outcompete that of rivals in the post-mating fertilization game. (2021-02-12)

New study unravels Darwin's 'abominable mystery' surrounding origin of flowering plants
The origin of flowering plants famously puzzled Charles Darwin, who described their sudden appearance in the fossil record from relatively recent geological times as an 'abominable mystery'. (2021-01-28)

Genetic rewiring behind spectacular evolutionary explosion in East Africa
Genetic rewiring could have driven an evolutionary explosion in the shapes, sizes and adaptations of cichlid fish, in East Africa's answer to Darwin's Galapagos finches. (2021-01-19)

Scientists discover the secret of Galápagos' rich ecosystem
New research has unlocked the mystery of how the Galápagos Islands, a rocky, volcanic outcrop, with only modest rainfall and vegetation, is able to sustain its unique wildlife habitats. (2021-01-14)

Fossils' soft tissues helping to solve puzzle that vexed Darwin
Remarkably well-preserved fossils are helping scientists unravel a mystery about the origins of early animals that puzzled Charles Darwin. (2021-01-12)

Study of flowers with two types of anthers solves mystery that baffled Darwin
Most flowering plants depend on pollinators such as bees to transfer pollen from the male anthers of one flower to the female stigma of another flower, enabling fertilization and the production of fruits and seeds. Bee pollination, however, involves an inherent conflict of interest, because bees are only interested in pollen as a food source. A new study describes a pollination strategy involving flowers with two distinct sets of anthers that differ in color, size, and position. (2021-01-12)

New bacterial culture methods could result in the discovery of new species
A new microbial study explored the bacterial diversity of the Tabernas Desert located in the south-eastern Spain. Using simple tweaks of the traditional bacterial culture methods, the researchers isolated more than 250 bacterial strains of which 80 could be possible new bacteria species. (2021-01-05)

Scientists and philosopher team up, propose a new way to categorize minerals
Minerals are the most durable, information-rich objects we can study to understand our planet's origin and evolution. However, the current classification system leaves unanswered questions for planetary scientists, geobiologists, paleontologists and others who strive to understand minerals' historical context. A new evolutionary approach to classifying minerals complements the existing protocols and offers the opportunity to rigorously document Earth's history. (2020-12-21)

Charles Darwin was right about why insects are losing the ability to fly
Most insects can fly. Yet scores of species have lost that extraordinary ability, particularly on islands. (2020-12-09)

Birds of a feather do flock together
Researchers explain how different species of the finch-like capuchino seedeaters quickly acquired distinct patterns of coloration over an evolutionary time scale. New gene patterns emerged from selective sweeps, a genetic process during which a naturally occurring variation becomes advantageous. (2020-11-17)

Genetic code evolution and Darwin's evolution theory should consider DNA an 'energy code'
Darwin's theory of evolution should be expanded to include consideration of a DNA stability ''energy code'' - so-called ''molecular Darwinism'' - to further account for the long-term survival of species' characteristics on Earth, according to Rutgers scientists. (2020-11-16)

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)

Study: Darwin's theory about coral reef atolls is fatally flawed
Charles Darwin's 1842 theory about the formation of ring-shaped reefs, called atolls, is incorrect, but ''it's so beautiful, so simple and pleasing'' that it still appears in textbooks and university courses, said marine geologist André Droxler. The accurate description is more complicated, but Droxler and longtime collaborator Stéphan Jorry are hoping to set the record straight in a comprehensive paper about the process in the Annual Review of Marine Science. (2020-10-12)

A new species of Darwin wasp from Mexico named in observance of the 2020 quarantine period
Scientists at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas in Mexico recently discovered five new species of parasitoid wasps in Mexico, but the name of one of them is quite striking: covida. Described in a new paper, published in the peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal ZooKeys, the new to science Darwin wasp was identified during the 2020 global quarantine period, imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-10-08)

Over a century later, the mystery of the Alfred Wallace's butterfly is solved
An over a century-long mystery has been surrounding the Taiwanese butterfly fauna ever since the 'father of zoogeography' Alfred Russel Wallace described a new species of butterfly: Lycaena nisa, whose identity was only re-examined in a recent project looking into the butterflies of Taiwan. Based on the original specimens, in addition to newly collected ones, Dr Yu-Feng Hsu of the National Taiwan Normal University resurrected the species name and added two new synonyms to it. (2020-09-10)

LSU Health study 1st to show nonharmful stress protects against disease in offspring
Research led by Jeff Gidday, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, and Physiology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, reports what is believed to be the first study in a mammalian model documenting the reprogramming of heritability to promote disease resilience in the next generation. (2020-09-10)

Caffeine shot delivers wakeup call on antifungal drug resistance
The management of fungal infections in plants and humans could be transformed by a breakthrough in understanding how fungi develop resistance to drugs. It was previously thought that only mutations in a fungi's DNA would result in antifungal drug resistance. Current diagnostic techniques rely on sequencing all of a fungi's DNA to find such mutations. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have discovered that fungi can develop drug resistance without changes to their DNA -- their genetic code. (2020-09-09)

Monitoring and reporting framework to protect World Heritage Sites from invasive species
A team of international scientists have devised a new monitoring and reporting framework to help protect World Heritage Sites from almost 300 different invasive alien species globally including, rats (Rattus spp.), cats (Felis catus), lantana (Lantana camara) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile). (2020-09-01)

Scientists reveal an explosive secret hidden beneath seemingly trustworthy volcanoes
An international team of volcanologists working on remote islands in the Galápagos Archipelago has found that volcanoes which reliably produce small basaltic lava eruptions hide chemically diverse magmas in their underground plumbing systems - including some with the potential to generate explosive activity. These volcanoes might undergo unexpected changes to sudden such activity in the future. (2020-07-28)

How does cooperation evolve?
In nature, organisms often support each other in order to gain an advantage. However, this kind of cooperation contradicts the theory of evolution proposed by Charles Darwin: Why would organisms invest valuable resources to help others? Instead, they should rather use them for themselves, in order to win the evolutionary competition with other species. A new study led by Christian Kost from the University of Osnabrück now solved this puzzle. (2020-07-23)

Wonders of animal migration: How sea turtles find small, isolated islands
One of Charles Darwin's long-standing questions on how turtles find their way to islands has been answered thanks to a pioneering study by scientists. (2020-07-16)

How gene flow between species influences the evolution of Darwin's finches
Despite the traditional view that species do not exchange genes by hybridisation, recent studies show that gene flow between closely related species is more common than previously thought. A team of scientists from Uppsala University and Princeton University now reports how gene flow between two species of Darwin's finches has affected their beak morphology. The study is published today in Nature Ecology and Evolution. (2020-05-04)

Christmas Island discovery redraws map of life
The world's animal distribution map will need to be redrawn and textbooks updated, after researchers discovered the existence of 'Australian' species on Christmas Island. The University of Queensland's Professor Jonathan Aitchison said the finding revises the long-held understanding of the location of one of biology and geography's most significant barriers - the Wallace line. (2020-03-22)

One of Darwin's evolution theories finally proved by Cambridge researcher
Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin's theories of evolution for the first time -- nearly 140 years after his death. Laura van Holstein, a Ph.D. student in Biological Anthropology at St John's College, University of Cambridge, and lead author of the research published today (March 18) in 'Proceedings of the Royal Society B, discovered mammal subspecies play a more important role in evolution than previously thought. Her research could now be used to predict which species conservationists should focus on protecting. (2020-03-17)

New mathematical model reveals how major groups arise in evolution
Researchers at Uppsala University and the University of Leeds presents a new mathematical model of patterns of diversity in the fossil record, which offers a solution to Darwin's ''abominable mystery'' and strengthens our understanding of how modern groups originate. The research is published in the journal Science Advances. (2020-02-19)

How the development of skulls and beaks made Darwin's finches one of the most diverse species
Darwin's finches are among the most celebrated examples of adaptive radiation in the evolution of modern vertebrates and now a new study, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, has provided fresh insights into their rapid development and evolutionary success. (2020-02-03)

A decade after the predators have gone, Galapagos Island finches are still being spooked
On some of the Galapagos Islands where human-introduced predators of Darwin's finches were eradicated over a decade ago, the finches are still acting as though they are in danger, according to research published today in the Journal of Animal Ecology. (2019-11-20)

New fossils shed light on how snakes got their bite and lost their legs
New fossils of an ancient legged snake, called Najash, shed light on the origin of the slithering reptiles. The fossil discoveries published in Science Advances have revealed they possessed hind legs during the first 70 million years of their evolution. They also provide details about how the flexible skull of snakes evolved from their lizard ancestors. (2019-11-20)

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)

Earliest evidence of insect-angiosperm pollination found in Cretaceous Burmese amber
Most of our food is from angiosperms, while more than 90% of angiosperms require insect pollination - making this pollination method hugely important. Nevertheless, scientists have long been unclear as to when insect pollination first appeared. Now, however, an international research group from China and the US has provided the earliest evidence of insect-angiosperm pollination -- by analyzing a sample of Cretaceous Burmese amber. (2019-11-11)

Wild animals evolving to give birth earlier in warming climate
Red deer on a Scottish island are providing scientists with some of the first evidence that wild animals are evolving to give birth earlier in the year as the climate warms. (2019-11-05)

Following in Darwin's footsteps: understanding the plant evolution of florist's gloxinia
In a study published in Plants People Planet, a team led by Virginia Tech researchers discovered that in its 200 years of being cultivated and domesticated, florist's gloxinia, Sinningia speciosa, has reached tremendous levels of phenotypic, or physical, variation and originates from a single founder population. (2019-10-29)

Male deer stain their bellies according to their competitive context
The Fish and Game Resources Research Unit at the University of Cordoba connects different chemicals on deer's ''dark bellies'' to the level of competition among the population (2019-10-21)

Pitt study: Sexual selection alone could spark formation of new species
Because of imprinted preferences, strawberry poison frog females mate more with similar colored males, and less with differently colored males. Over time, the behavior could lead to two color types becoming separate species. (2019-10-17)

Museums put ancient DNA to work for wildlife
Scientists who are trying to save species at the brink of extinction are finding help in an unexpected place. Researchers increasingly are embracing the power of ancient DNA from old museum specimens to answer questions about climate change, habitat loss and other stresses on surviving populations. (2019-10-17)

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)

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)

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)

Genetic diversity couldn't save Darwin's finches
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that Charles Darwin's famous finches defy what has long been considered a key to evolutionary success: genetic diversity. The study of the finches of the Galapagos Islands could change the way conservation biologists think about species with naturally fragmented populations to understand their potential for extinction.  (2019-08-22)

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