Current Human Evolution News and Events

Current Human Evolution News and Events, Human Evolution News Articles.
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Rapid evolution may help species adapt to climate change and competition
A study shows that a fruit fly species can adapt rapidly to an invader and this evolutionary change can affect how they deal with a stressful climate. Over a few months, the naturalized species adapted to the invasive species' presence. This affected how the flies adapted to cold weather. The flies exposed to invasive species evolved in the fall to be larger, lay fewer eggs and develop faster than flies that hadn't been exposed. (2021-02-22)

'Jumping genes' repeatedly form new genes over evolution
A study, 'Recurrent Evolution of Vertebrate Transcription Factors by Transposase Capture,' published Feb. 19 in Science, investigates how genetic elements called transposons, or ''jumping genes,'' are added into the mix during evolution to assemble new genes through exon shuffling. (2021-02-22)

The mass of Cygnus X-1's black hole challenges stellar evolution models
Weighing in at roughly 21 solar masses, the black hole in the X-ray binary system Cygnus X-1 is so massive that it challenges current stellar evolution models, a new study reveals. (2021-02-18)

Evolution's game of rock-paper-scissors
A group of scientists at Lehigh University led by Gregory Lang, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has recently provided empirical evidence that evolution can be nontransitive. Lang and his team identify a nontransitive evolutionary sequence through a 1,000-generation yeast evolution experiment. In the experiment, an evolved clone outcompetes a recent ancestor but loses in direct competition with a distant ancestor. (2021-02-16)

Asthma may heighten flu risk and cause dangerous mutations
A subtype of asthma in adults may cause higher susceptibility to influenza and could result in dangerous flu mutations. University of Queensland-led animal studies have found that paucigranulocytic asthma (PGA) - a non-allergic form of the condition - allows the flu virus to flourish in greater numbers in sufferers. (2021-02-16)

No new mountains formed during Earth's middle age, halting life's evolution for an eon
During the Proterozoic, Earth grew no taller - the tectonic processes that form mountains stalled, leaving continents devoid of high mountains for nearly 1 billion years, according to a new study. (2021-02-11)

Neandertal genes alter neurodevelopment in modern human brain organoids
Building modern human brain organoids with the Neanderthal variant of a gene has provided a glimpse into the way substitutions in this gene impacted our species' evolution. (2021-02-11)

On the origin of our species
New research suggests that genetic and fossil records will not reveal a single point where modern humans originated (2021-02-10)

A new type of university is emerging to meet the challenges of today
A new type of university is emerging, one that steps beyond the American research university model and is nimble and responsive, takes responsibility for what happens outside its walls and can scale up to meet the demands and challenges of modern society. Arizona State University President Michael Crow says they are part of the ''fifth wave'' of universities. (2021-02-09)

Ecological interactions as a driver of evolution
In a recent study, an international team of researchers including TUD botanist Prof. Stefan Wanke has investigated the origin of the mega-diversity of herbivorous insects. These account for a quarter of terrestrial diversity. The results of the study were recently published in the international journal Nature Communications. There the scientists show that the evolutionary success of insects may be linked to recurrent changes in host plants. (2021-02-09)

THz spectroscopy tracks electron solvation in photoionized water
''This work provides insights on the fundamental aspects of the charge transport process in water and lays a foundation for further understanding of the physicochemical properties and transient evolution of femtosecond-laser-pulse-excited plasma in water.'' (2021-02-09)

Non-teleost ray-finned fishes exhibit mosaic genomic features of lobe- and ray-finned fishes
A research team led by Prof. HE Shunping from the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has discovered through genome sequencing that the non-teleost ray-finned fishes--bichir, paddlefish, bowfin and alligator gar--exhibit mosaic genomic features of lobe- and ray-finned fishes. (2021-02-05)

Pangolin coronavirus could jump to humans
Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have found important structural similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and a pangolin coronavirus. (2021-02-05)

Genes for face shape identified
Genes that determine the shape of a person's facial profile have been discovered by a UCL-led research team. (2021-02-05)

Fossil pigments shed new light on vertebrate evolution
This new paper shows that melanin is more than just something that gives colour to the body. It played an important role in the evolution of warm-blooded animals and helped defined what birds and mammals look like today. By studying where melanin occurs in the body in fossils and modern animals researchers have produced the first model for how melanin has evolved over the last 500 million years. (2021-02-04)

City, University of London academic tracks COVID-19 dark web marketplaces
New research carried out by Dr Andrea Baronchelli and his colleagues into the dark web marketplace (DWM) trade in products related to COVID-19, has revealed the need for the continuous monitoring of dark web marketplaces (DWMs), especially in light of the current shortage and availability of coronavirus vaccines. (2021-02-04)

How elephants evolved to become big and cancer-resistant
In this new study, 'We explored how elephants and their living and extinct relatives evolved to be cancer-resistant,' says University at Buffalo biologist Vincent Lynch. He adds, regarding the findings, 'Elephants have lots and lots and lots of extra copies of tumor suppressor genes, and they all contribute probably a little bit to cancer resistance.' (2021-02-04)

Brain 3D genome study uncovers human-specific regulatory changes during development
A team led by Prof. SU Bing from the Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Prof. LI Cheng from Peking University, and Prof. ZHANG Shihua from the Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science of CAS has reported the highest resolution by far of the 3D genome of the primate brain, and demonstrated the molecular regulatory mechanisms of human brain evolution through cross-species multi-omics analysis and experimental validation. (2021-01-28)

Modeling study of ancient thumbs traces the history of hominin thumb dexterity
Researchers analyzing the biomechanics and efficiency of the thumb across different fossil human species using virtual muscle modeling, revealed new insight into when these abilities first arose and what they've meant for the development of more complex human culture. The findings, appearing January 28 in the journal Current Biology, suggest that a fundamental aspect of human thumb opposition appeared approximately 2 million years ago and was not found in the earliest proposed stone tool makers. (2021-01-28)

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)

Competition among human females likely contributed to concealed ovulation
Humans are among the few species that lack overt physical indicators of female fertility. One explanation for concealed ovulation in human females is that hiding fertility from males helps females secure resources from males for raising children. A new model developed by a team of evolutionary scientists casts doubt on this idea, showing that females might have evolved to conceal ovulation from one another, not from males. (2021-01-25)

Continued strict control measures needed to reduce new COVID-19 strains
A group of scientists is calling on governments to consider the continued use of strict control measures as the only way to reduce the evolution and spread of new COVID-19 variants. The experts in evolution, virology, infectious disease and genomics warn that while governments are negotiating a 'precarious balance' between saving the economy and preventing COVID-19 fatalities, stronger action now is the best way to mitigate against more serious outcomes from such virulent strains later. (2021-01-24)

Researchers demonstrate snake venom evolution for defensive purposes
Researchers from LSTM's Centre for Snakebite Research and Interventions (CSRI) have led an international team investigating the evolutionary origins of a novel defensive trait by snakes - venom spitting - and demonstrated that defensive selection pressures can influence venom composition in snakes in a repeatable manner. (2021-01-21)

Climate-related species extinction possibly mitigated by newly discovered effect
Changes in climate that occur over short periods of time influence biodiversity. For a realistic assessment of these effects, it is necessary to also consider previous temperature trends going far back into Earth's history. Researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg show this in a paper for ''Nature Ecology and Evolution''. (2021-01-20)

Testing the waters: Analyzing different solid states of water on other planets and moons
Aside from regular ice, water can exist in the form of peculiar solids called clathrate hydrates, which trap small gaseous molecules. They play a large role in the evolution of atmospheres, but predicting their presence in cryogenic temperatures is difficult. In a recent study, scientists from Okayama University developed statistical mechanics theory to determine their presence in Pluto and some of Jupiter's and Saturn's satellites, providing valuable information to revise existing interpretations. (2021-01-19)

Tracking the evolution Maxwell knots
A new study published in EPJ C by Alexei Morozov and Nikita Tselousov, from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics and the Institute of Transmission Problems, Moscow, respectively, details peculiar solutions to the Maxwell equations--so-called Maxwell knots. The research could have applications in the fields of mathematical physics and string theory. (2021-01-18)

Cyber-evolution: How computer science is harnessing the power of Darwinian transformation
A new study highlights the progress our machines have made in replicating evolutionary processes and what this could mean for engineering design, software refinement, gaming strategy, robotics and even medicine, while fostering a deeper insight into foundational issues in biological evolution. (2021-01-18)

Genital shape key to male flies' sexual success
Having genitals of a certain shape and size gives male flies a major reproductive advantage, new research shows. (2021-01-15)

Algorithms designed to study language predict virus 'escape' mutations for SARS-CoV-2 and others
By bridging the conceptual divide between human language and viral evolution, researchers have developed a powerful new tool for predicting the mutations that allow viruses to 'escape' human immunity or vaccines. (2021-01-14)

Behavioral traits converge for humans and animals sharing an environment
Humans, mammals and birds that live in a particular environment share a common set of behavioral traits, according to a new study, which identifies a local convergence of foraging, reproductive and social behaviors across species. (2021-01-14)

New molecular structures associated with ALS
Researchers from the University of Seville and the University of Pavia have identified a link between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and the accumulation of DNA-RNA hybrids in the genome. The accumulation of these hybrids causes increased genomic damage and boosts genetic instability. This finding will make it possible to better understand the molecular basis of the disease, as well as to propose new solutions to curb it. (2021-01-13)

Research explains why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs
New research by scientists at the University of Bristol explains how a 'stop-start' pattern of evolution, governed by environmental change, could explain why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs. (2021-01-07)

Genomes reveal insights into much-loved Aussie animals
Researchers have brought together expertise in bioinformatics, cytogenetics, developmental and molecular biology to produce and analyse the first ever echidna genome and a greatly improved, high quality platypus genome sequence. (2021-01-07)

Unusual sex chromosomes of platypus, emu and duck
Three studies uncovered the unusual sex chromosomes of platypus, emu and Peking duck. Platypus have five pairs of sex chromosomes forming an unusual chain shape, while the sex chromosomes of emu and duck are not as different between sexes as those of human. The studies were led or co-led by Qi Zhou's group at the University of Vienna and Zhejiang University of China and are published as research papers in the journals Nature, Genome Research and GigaScience. (2021-01-07)

Guinea baboons grunt with an accent
Vocal learning leads to modification of call structure in a multi-level baboon society (2021-01-06)

The ABCs of species evolution
Almost four decades of research have led scientists at Japan's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) to propose that a family of transporter proteins has played an important role in species evolution. One protein in particular, called ABCA1, was likely crucial for vertebrate evolution by helping regulate when signals involved in cell proliferation, differentiation and migration enter a cell. This process was necessary for vertebrates to develop into more complex organisms with sophisticated body structures. (2020-12-23)

Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance could be more challenging outside of the EU
In a new policy report from the Microbiology Society, experts from around the UK explain the desperate need for long-term and ambitious funding for surveillance and research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR). (2020-12-21)

Evolution of a killer: How African Salmonella made the leap from gut to bloodstream
University of Liverpool scientists have exploited the combined power of genomics and epidemiology to understand how a type of Salmonella bacteria evolved to kill hundreds of thousands of immunocompromised people in Africa. (2020-12-21)

Study resolves the position of fleas on the tree of life
A study of more than 1,400 protein-coding genes of fleas has resolved one of the longest standing mysteries in the evolution of insects, reordering their placement in the tree of life and pinpointing who their closest relatives are. (2020-12-20)

The DNA regions in our brain that contribute to make us human
With only 1% difference, the human and chimpanzee protein-coding genomes are remarkably similar. Understanding the biological features that make us human is part of a fascinating and intensely debated line of research. Researchers at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Lausanne have developed a new approach to pinpoint, for the first time, adaptive human-specific changes in the way genes are regulated in the brain. (2020-12-16)

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