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20-million-year-old skull suggests complex brain evolution in monkeys, apes
New research on one of the oldest and most complete fossil primate skulls from South America shows instead that the pattern of brain evolution in this group was far more checkered. The study, published today in the journal Science Advances and led by researchers from the American Museum of Natural History, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of California Santa Barbara, suggests that the brain enlarged repeatedly and independently over the course of anthropoid history. (2019-08-21)

AI used to test evolution's oldest mathematical model
Researchers have used artificial intelligence to make new discoveries, and confirm old ones, about one of nature's best-known mimics, opening up whole new directions of research in evolutionary biology. (2019-08-14)

Quantum dots capture speciation in sandplain fynbos on the West Coast of South Africa
With a tongue up to 7 cm long, the long-tongue fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris often battle to fly, especially in the wind. Researchers from Stellenbosch University in South Africa were able to show conclusively that long- and short-tubed flowers place and receive pollen on different parts of the fly's long tongue: short tubed flowers mostly midway and long-tubed flowers on or near the head. This indicates a barrier to the flow of genes. (2019-08-05)

Boosting the anti-inflammatory action of the immune system
Researchers have identified a molecular switch that causes macrophages to clean up cellular debris caused by infections instead of contributing to inflammation and tissue injury. (2019-07-30)

Jurassic shift: Changing the rules of evolution
Is the success of species mainly dependent on environmental factors such as climate changes or do interactions between the species have a greater role to play? A British-German study involving Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kießling from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has investigated this question in more detail. (2019-07-08)

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)

Surprise: The survival of coral reefs hinges on the hidden lives of the sea's tiniest fishes
The survival of coral reef ecosystems and their menagerie of rainbowed residents relies on seldom seen, historically overlooked cryptobenthic reef fishes -- the smallest of marine vertebrates. (2019-05-23)

Tiny fish live fast, die young
Fish on coral reefs manage to thrive in isolated areas where there are very low levels of nutrients for them to use. How? The answer may lie in the tiny fish that live in the gaps in the coral structure. (2019-05-23)

NASA Northern quadrant strength in Tropical Cyclone Lili
NASA's Aqua satellite used infrared light to analyze the strength of storms in Tropical Cyclone Lili as it moved through the Southern Indian Ocean. Infrared data provides temperature information, and the strongest thunderstorms that reach high into the atmosphere have the coldest cloud top temperatures. (2019-05-10)

NASA-NOAA satellite catches formation of Tropical Cyclone Lili
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and captured a visible image of newly formed Tropical Cyclone Lili, located north of the coast of Australia's Northern Territory. (2019-05-09)

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)

Zoologists discover two new bird species in Indonesia
Zoologists from Trinity College Dublin, working with partners from Halu Oleo University (UHO) and Operation Wallacea, have discovered two beautiful new bird species in the Wakatobi Archipelago of Sulawesi, Indonesia. (2019-04-23)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Insects hijack reproductive genes of grape vines to create own living space on plant
Grape phylloxera -- the insect that nearly wiped out wine production at the end of the 19th century in France -- hijacks a grape vine's reproductive programs to create a leaf gall, which it uses as a pseudo apartment for the parasite to siphon off the plant's nutrients. (2019-02-25)

Darwin's finches don't tell the whole story of avian evolution
The connection between bird diet and skull shape is surprisingly weak for most species according to a new study led by UCL and the Natural History Museum, rewriting our understanding of how ecosystems influence evolution. Charles Darwin's 19th century observations of finches on the Galápagos Islands concluded that bird speciation was primarily influenced by ecosystem; the way a bird forages and eats forms its skull shape and drives evolutionary change. (2019-02-19)

Darwin's rabbit helps to explain the fightback against myxomatosis
An unprecedented study of rabbit DNA spanning 150 years and thousands of miles has revealed the genetic basis for the animal's fightback against the deadly myxoma virus. (2019-02-14)

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)

How to classify high blood pressure in pregnancy?
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) changed their guidance to lower the threshold criteria for hypertension in adults. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, however, has different criteria. A new study looks at which set of guidelines is most appropriate. (2019-02-11)

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)

Mysteries of the primrose unraveled
Plant scientists at the University of East Anglia have succeeded in unraveling the complete genome sequence of the common primrose -- the plant whose reproductive biology captivated the Victorian naturalist Charles Darwin. The research team has identified, for the first time, the landscape of genes which operate within the primrose's two different flowering forms that are involved in the reproductive process. This adds fresh insight to a puzzle that scientists have been grappling with for over 150 years. (2018-12-18)

Transformed: the plant whose sex life fascinated Charles Darwin
Researchers have genetically transformed the Common Primrose (Primula vulgaris) for the first time in a development that could shed light on one of the plant world's most renowned reproductive systems. (2018-12-11)

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)

Study solves puzzle of snail and slug feeding preferences
A study led by the University of Plymouth suggests the reason some seedlings are more commonly eaten by slugs and snails may be down to the smells produced by young seedlings in the early stages of their development. (2018-12-05)

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)

A curious branch of plankton evolution
Planktonic foraminifera -- tiny, shelled organisms that float in the sea -- left behind one of the most complete fossil records of evolutionary history in deep sea deposits. Consequently, evolutionists have a relatively sturdy grasp on when and how new lineages arose. However, a study publishing Oct. 17 in the journal iScience reveals that one lineage evolved much more rapidly than everyone predicted, and researchers are looking beyond Darwin's original theories of gradual evolution to understand why. (2018-10-17)

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)

How Sacred Ibis mummies provided the first test of evolution
A debate over mummified birds brought to France after Napoleon's conquest of Egypt played a central role in delaying acceptance of evolutionary theory; an episode in the history of biology revealed in an Essay published September 27 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Caitlin Curtis of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, as well as Craig Millar, David Lambert. (2018-09-27)

'Bin chicken' plays unique role in story of evolution
A University of Queensland researcher has uncovered how a French scientist and ibis researcher conducted the first test of evolution more than 50 years before Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species. UQ Centre for Policy Futures researcher Dr. Caitlin Curtis has found that the sacred ibis -- a cousin of the Australian 'bin chicken' -- became central to the history of evolution when several mummified birds were taken from Egypt to France in 1798. (2018-09-27)

Researchers add surprising finds to the fossil record
A newly discovered fossil suggests that large, flowering trees grew in North America by the Turonian age, showing that these large trees were part of the forest canopies there nearly 15 million years earlier than previously thought. Researchers from Adelphi University and the Burpee Museum of Natural History found the fossil in the Mancos Shale Formation in Utah, in ancient delta deposits formed during a poorly understood interval in the North American fossil record. (2018-09-26)

Fossils reveal diverse mesozoic pollinating lacewings
A research group led by professor WANG Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology has provided new insight into the niche diversity, chemical communication, and defense mechanisms of Mesozoic pollinating insects. They reported 27 well-preserved kalligrammatids from late Cretaceous Burmese amber (99 Ma) and Chinese Early Cretaceous (125 Ma) and Middle Jurassic (165 Ma) compression rocks. (2018-09-17)

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)

Study: Indigenous peoples own or manage at least one quarter of world's land surface
Indigenous Peoples have ownership, use and management rights over at least a quarter of the world's land surface according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature Sustainability. (2018-07-16)

Stripes may be cool -- but they don't cool zebras down
Susanne Åkesson, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden, refutes the theory that zebras have striped fur to stay cool in the hot sun. That hypothesis is wrong, she and her colleagues show in a study recently published in Scientific Reports. (2018-07-06)

The gender bias of names: Surnames standing solo gives men advantage
In new research, Cornell University psychologists find that study participants, on average, were more than twice as likely to call male professionals -- even fictional ones -- by their last name only, compared to equivalent female professionals. This example of gender bias, say researchers, may be contributing to gender inequality. (2018-07-02)

Small children and pregnant women may be underdosed in current malaria regimen
Current recommended dosing regimens for the most widely used treatment for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria may be sub-optimal for the most vulnerable populations of patients, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine, led by Professor Joel Tarning of the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network and the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Network. (2018-06-12)

The language of facial expressions
University of Miami Psychology Professor Daniel Messinger collaborated with researchers at Western University in Canada to show that our brains are pre-wired to perceive wrinkles around the eyes as conveying more intense and sincere emotions. (2018-06-11)

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