Current Natural Selection News and Events

Current Natural Selection News and Events, Natural Selection News Articles.
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Origin of life -- Did Darwinian evolution begin before life itself?
A study done by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich physicists demonstrates that fundamental characteristics of polymeric molecules, such as their subunit composition, are sufficient to trigger selection processes in a plausible prebiotic setting. (2021-02-19)

Direct cloning method CAPTUREs novel microbial natural products
Microorganisms possess natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that may harbor unique bioactivities for use in drug development and agricultural applications. However, many uncharacterized microbial BGCs remain inaccessible. Researchers at Illinois previously demonstrated a technique using transcription factor decoys to activate large, silent BGCs in bacteria to aid in natural product discovery. (2021-02-19)

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)

Hospital wastewater favors multi-resistant bacteria
Scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden presents evidence that hospital wastewater, containing elevated levels of antibiotics, rapidly kills antibiotic-sensitive bacteria, while multi-resistant bacteria continue to grow. Hospital sewers may therefore provide conditions that promote the evolution of new forms of antibiotic resistance. (2021-02-16)

Capuchin monkey genome reveals clues to its long life and large brain
An international team of scientists has sequenced the genome of a capuchin monkey for the first time, uncovering new genetic clues about the evolution of their long lifespan and large brains. Published in PNAS, the work was led by the University of Calgary in Canada and involved researchers at the University of Liverpool. (2021-02-15)

'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)

Computer love
In your quest for true love and that elusive happily ever after, are you waiting for the ''right'' person to come along, or do you find yourself going for the cutest guy or girl in the room, hoping things will work out? Do you leave your options open, hoping to ''trade-up'' at the next opportunity, or do you invest in your relationship with an eye on the cost-benefits analysis? (2021-02-12)

Family ties explain mysterious social life of coral gobies
The strange social structure of tiny fish called emerald coral gobies may be explained by family loyalty, new research shows. (2021-02-11)

Genetic markers show Pacific albacore intermingle across equator
Analyzing thousands of genetic markers in albacore tuna from the Pacific Ocean, researchers at Oregon State University have learned that just seven dozen of those markers are needed to determine which side of the equator a fish comes from. (2021-02-10)

Solar awnings over parking lots help companies and customers
Michigan Tech engineers look into the untapped potential of parking lots in a study that investigates the energy-related benefits of developing charging stations powered with solar canopies built into the parking infrastructure of large-scale retailers like Walmart. (2021-02-10)

Unusual DNA folding increases the rates of mutations
DNA sequences that can fold into shapes other than the classic double helix tend to have higher mutation rates than other regions in the human genome. New research shows that the elevated mutation rate in these sequences plays a major role in determining regional variation in mutation rates across the genome. (2021-02-09)

Correspondence between representations in visual cortices and neural networks
A research group led by Nobuhiko Wagatsuma, Lecturer at Toho University, Akinori Hidaka, Associate Professor at Tokyo Denki University, and Hiroshi Tamura, Associate Professor at Osaka University, found that the neural network structure of attention prediction, based on deep learning used in the development of artificial intelligence, has similar characteristics to the cerebral mechanism of primates. (2021-02-08)

All in the head? Brains adapt to support new species
Scientists studying forest dwelling butterflies in Central and South America have discovered that changes in the way animals perceive and process information from their environment can support the emergence of new species. The study led by the University of Bristol, and published today [9 February] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has implications for how new species might evolve and the underappreciated role of changes in the brain. (2021-02-08)

New global 'wind atlas' propels sustainable energy
Wind energy scientists at Cornell University have released a new global wind atlas - a digital compendium filled with documented extreme wind speeds for all parts of the world - to help engineers select the turbines in any given region and accelerate the development of sustainable energy. (2021-02-03)

Warmer climate may make new mutations more harmful
A warmer global climate can cause mutations to have more severe consequences for the health of organisms through their detrimental effect on protein function. This may have major repercussions on organisms' ability to adapt to, and survive in, the altered habitats of the future. This is shown in a new Uppsala University research study now published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (2021-02-02)

Loggerhead sea turtles lay eggs in multiple locations to improve reproductive success
Although loggerhead sea turtles return to the same beach where they hatched to lay their eggs, a new study finds individual females lay numerous clutches of eggs in locations miles apart from each other to increase the chance that some of their offspring will survive. (2021-01-28)

In a tight spot
A newly discovered circuit helps fish to prioritize. (2021-01-27)

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)

Antibiotics combinations used regularly worldwide--but 80% of these not recommended by WHO
Fixed dose combinations of antibiotics are consumed in huge quantities globally, but 80 percent of combinations are not on the WHO Essential Medicines List, and 92 percent are not FDA-approved, - with inappropriate combinations risking inefficacy, toxicity, and selection for antimicrobial resistance. (2021-01-20)

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)

Managing large-scale construction projects to avoid cost overruns
Supplier selection and pricing format decisions that reflect key characteristics of the project, such as the size of the project, duration, and type of customer, are best at reducing a significant part of cost overruns. (2021-01-15)

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)

Sperm-specific gene expression in organisms including mice, macaques and men
A large class of mammalian genes is not completely shared throughout sperm development and differentiation, according to a new study of sperm in organisms including mice, macaques and men. (2021-01-14)

Evolution: Speciation in the presence of gene flow
Spatial isolation is known to promote speciation -- but researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have now shown that, at least in yeast, the opposite is also true. New ecological variants can also evolve within thoroughly mixed populations. (2021-01-13)

Expanding the biosynthetic pathway via retrobiosynthesis
KAIST metabolic engineers presented the bio-based production of multiple short-chain primary amines that have a wide range of applications in chemical industries for the first time. The research team designed the novel biosynthetic pathways for short-chain primary amines by combining retrobiosynthesis and a precursor selection step. (2021-01-13)

Fluoride to the rescue?
Scientists have long been aware of the dangerous overuse of antibiotics and the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant microbes that have resulted. While over-prescription of antibiotics for medicinal use has unsettling implications for human health, so too does the increasing presence of antibiotics in the natural environment. The latter may stem from the improper disposal of medicines, but also from the biotechnology field, which has depended on antibiotics as a selection device in the lab. (2021-01-04)

Global study on bird song frequency
Competition for mates leads to a deeper voice than expected based on size (2020-12-22)

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)

Whole genomes map pathways of chimpanzee and bonobo divergence
Chimpanzees and bonobos are sister species that diverged around 1.8 million years ago as the Congo River formed a geographic boundary and they evolved in separate environments. Now, a whole-genome comparison of bonobos and chimpanzees reveals the gene pathways associated with the striking differences between the two species' diets, sociality and sexual behaviors. (2020-12-16)

Scientists precisely predict intricate evolutions of multiple-period patterns in bilayers
Surface instability of compliant film/substrate bilayers has raised considerable interests due to its broad applications, yet it is still a challenge to precisely predict and continuously trace secondary bifurcation transitions in the nonlinear post-buckling region. Now researchers at Fudan University develop lattice models to precisely capture the nonlinear morphology evolution with multiple mode transitions that occur in film/substrate systems. (2020-12-15)

A simple rule drives the evolution of useless complexity
A new study at the University of Chicago has shown that elaborate protein structures accumulate over deep time even when they serve no purpose, because a universal biochemical property and the genetic code force natural selection to preserve them. (2020-12-09)

Natural reward theory could provide new foundation for biology
Major trends of evolution, including the increase of complexity, command over resources, and innovativeness, have remained difficult to reconcile with Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. A new paper by Owen Gilbert (University of Texas), and published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Rethinking Ecology, suggests that there is an alternative non-random force of evolution: natural reward, which acts synergistically with natural selection and leads to the increased innovativeness, or advancement, of life with time. (2020-12-08)

Biologists from RUDN University discovered the secret of flaxseed oil with long shelf life
Biologists from RUDN University working together with their colleagues from the Institute of Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Flax studied the genes that determine the fatty acid composition in flaxseed oil and identified polymorphisms in six of them. The team also found out what gene variations could extend the shelf life of flaxseed oil. This data can be used to improve the genetic selection of new flax breeds. (2020-12-04)

IVF boost: Monash researchers use acoustic waves to select high quality sperm
Monash University researchers have used acoustic waves to develop a new approach to separate high-quality sperm for assisted reproduction. These findings can open windows for infertile couples to have a family of their own using IVF. The procedure can process roughly 140 sperm per second and select more than 60,000 high-quality sperm in under 50 minutes - nearly four times faster than the current gold standard. (2020-12-04)

Natural selection plays major role in an organism's capacity to evolve and adapt
It's widely assumed within the evolutionary biology field that weak selection provides an advantage to an organism's ability to evolve. But new research, published in the journal Science, may offer the first experimental proof that strong selection pressure enhances an organism's evolvability, by boosting robustness. (2020-12-03)

Molecular 'barcode' helps decide which sperm will reach an egg
A protein called CatSper1 may act as a molecular 'barcode' that helps determine which sperm cells will make it to an egg and which are eliminated along the way. (2020-12-01)

Natural resources governance -- responsibilization of citizens or forcing responsibility on them?
The possibilities of citizens to participate in natural resource governance are increasing. Responsive and collaborative models of natural resource governance can open up new opportunities, but can also lead to unreasonable responsibilization, or even force responsibility on under-resourced organizations and individuals. (2020-11-30)

New method identifies adaptive mutations in complex evolving populations
A research team co-led by a scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has developed a method to study how HIV mutates to escape the immune system in multiple patients, which could inform HIV vaccine design. (2020-11-30)

Plant evolves to become less visible to humans
A plant used in traditional Chinese medicine has evolved to become less visible to humans, new research shows. (2020-11-20)

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)

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