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Ensayos sobre la evolución biológica
Autor: Antonio Barbadilla
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona



Science Daily:
Evolutionary Biology  News

Evolutionary Biology
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Headline (Posted) Abstract
Intensification of agriculture and social hierarchies evolve together, study finds (19 Mar 2018) Researchers analyzed the evolution of 155 Island South East Asian and Pacific societies to determine that, rather than intensification of agriculture leading to social stratification, the two evolve together. The study illustrates the way social and material factors combine to drive human cultural evolution.

'New life form' answers question about evolution of cells (19 Mar 2018) Bacteria and Archaea must have evolved from the putative Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). One hypothesis is that this happened because the cell membrane in LUCA was an unstable mixture of lipids. Now, scientists have created such a life form with a mixed membrane and discovered it is in fact stable, refuting this hypothesis.

Genetic analysis uncovers the evolutionary origin of vertebrate limbs (19 Mar 2018) Fish, mice and likely all modern-day vertebrates share genetic elements first used to develop the unpaired dorsal fin in ancient fish. They later copied these elements to produce paired appendages, like pelvic and pectoral fins, arms and legs.

Mice change their appearance as a result of frequent exposure to humans (16 Mar 2018) Many tame domesticated animals have a different appearance compared to their relatives in the wild, for example white patches in their fur or shorter snouts. Researchers have now for the first time shown that wild house mice develop the same visible changes -- without selection, as a result of exposure to humans alone.

Menomous Solenodon, last survivor of a branch of mammals that appeared at the time of the dinosaurs, sequenced (16 Mar 2018)
An article presents a draft genome of a small shrew-like animal, the venomous Hispaniolan solenodon. This unusual animal is one of the only extant venomous mammals, and it is the sole remaining branch of mammals that split from other insectivores at the time of the dinosaurs. The solenodon genome sequence revealed the answer to several evolutionary [+]

Brain genes related to innovation revealed in birds (14 Mar 2018) Wild birds that are more clever than others at foraging for food have different levels of a neurotransmitter receptor that has been linked with intelligence in humans, according to a new study. The findings could provide insight into the evolutionary mechanisms affecting cognitive traits in a range of animals.

Molecular motor mystery solved: Novel protein rounds out plant cells' machinery (14 Mar 2018) Biophysicists and a plant biologists have discovered a novel motor protein that significantly expands current understanding of the evolution and design principle of motor proteins.

The early bird got to fly: Archaeopteryx was an active flyer (13 Mar 2018) The question of whether the Late Jurassic dino-bird Archaeopteryx was an elaborately feathered ground dweller, a glider, or an active flyer has fascinated palaeontologists for decades. Valuable new information obtained with state-of-the-art synchrotron microtomography allowed an international team of scientists to answer this question.

Predicting an insect community structure based on genomic variation in a tree species (13 Mar 2018) Researchers have discovered a rule to predict an arthropod community structure based on the genomic variation in a foundation tree species.

Life in the fast flow: Tadpoles of new species rely on 'suction cups' to keep up (12 Mar 2018)
The young of two new species and a genus of frog found to inhabit Sumatra's rainforests have developed a unique ability to latch onto rocks in the fast-flowing rivers, using bellies crafted by evolution into 'suction cups'. Herpetologists use their remarkable discovery to highlight the unique biodiversity of the island, which is under imminent thre [+]

Hawaiian stick spiders re-evolve the same three guises every time they island hop (08 Mar 2018)
We don't usually expect evolution to be predictable. But Hawaiian stick spiders of the Ariamnes genus have repeatedly evolved the same distinctive forms, known as ecomorphs, on different islands, researchers report. Ecomorphs -- which look similar and live in similar habitats, but aren't as closely related as they appear -- are surprisingly rare. T [+]

Animals shield their families from a harsh world (07 Mar 2018)
Animals living in volatile habitats can gain major evolutionary benefits by shielding their families from the changing environment, new research suggests. Biologists investigated an overlooked reason for widespread cooperation amongst animals. The team showed that when the environment is prone to fluctuate unexpectedly, staying at home to help rais [+]

Ant raids: It’s all in the genes (07 Mar 2018)
Certain ants attack and enslave other species, and integrate their offspring into their own colonies in order to survive. Researchers have recently discovered that the raids required to achieve this are controlled by different genes in each of several closely related ant species of the genus Temnothorax. This indicates that the evolution of closely [+]

Mapping the genome jungle: Unique animal traits could offer insight into human disease (07 Mar 2018) An interdisciplinary team of scientists are using animals' unique traits to pinpoint regions of the human genome that might affect health.

New method to improve crops (06 Mar 2018) Researchers have developed a new way to breed plants with better traits. By introducing a human protein into the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana, researchers found that they could selectively activate silenced genes already present within the plant.

Photosynthesis originated a billion years earlier than we thought, study shows (06 Mar 2018)
The earliest oxygen-producing microbes may not have been cyanobacteria. Ancient microbes may have been producing oxygen through photosynthesis a billion years earlier than we thought, which means oxygen was available for living organisms very close to the origin of life on earth. Researchers studied the molecular machines responsible for photosynth [+]

Arms races and cooperation among amoebae in the wild (05 Mar 2018)
The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a powerful social study system because of the hard work of generations of cell and molecular biologists who have figured out many of the mechanisms of its social process. But it takes studies in nature to understand whether Dicty's cooperative behavior benefits relatives, and even whether its social act [+]

Deep-sea fish choose habitat according to genotype, new research says (05 Mar 2018) Scientists have found evidence of natural selection in a deep-sea fish species adapting to the depth of ocean that it inhabits.

Plants share defensive proteins in evolutionary pick 'n' mix (05 Mar 2018) Novel research has shed further light on how plants can use 'baits' to recognize and trap disease-causing pathogens before infection can take hold.

Mammals share mechanisms controlling the heart with a 400 million-year-old fish (05 Mar 2018) Primitive air-breathing fish, whose direct ancestors first appeared around 400 million years ago, show mechanisms controlling the heart which were previously considered to be found only in mammals -- according to a new study.

Two species of ravens nevermore? New research finds evidence of 'speciation reversal' (02 Mar 2018) A new study almost 20 years in the making provides some of the strongest evidence yet of the 'speciation reversal' phenomenon -- where two distinct lineages hybridize and eventually merge into one -- in two lineages of common ravens.

Why are some mushrooms 'magic?' (27 Feb 2018) Psychedelic mushrooms likely developed their "magical" properties to trip up fungi-munching insects, suggests new research.

A protein that self-replicates (27 Feb 2018) Scientists have been able to prove that a protein structure widespread in nature -- the amyloid -- is theoretically capable of multiplying itself. This makes it a potential predecessor to molecules that are regarded as the building blocks of life.

Smallest monkey's evolutionary secret (27 Feb 2018) Evolutionary biologists have now discovered that the Pygmy Marmoset -- the world's smallest monkey -- is not one species but two.

Fossil turtle species, 5.5 million years old, sheds light on invasive modern relatives (26 Feb 2018) A 5.5-million-year-old fossil species of turtle has been discovered in eastern Tennessee. The turtle represents a new species of the genus Trachemys, commonly known as sliders, which are frequently kept as pets today.

Complete genomes of extinct and living elephants sequenced (26 Feb 2018) Researchers have produced one of the most comprehensive evolutionary pictures to date by looking at one of the world's most iconic animal families - namely elephants, and their relatives mammoths and mastodons-spanning millions of years.

Quiescent cells also mutate (26 Feb 2018) For almost a hundred years, geneticists have believed that the more a cell divides the more mutations it acquires. However, scientists show that quiescent cells, which do not divide, also acquire a particular type of mutation -- deletions (mutations through loss of nucleobases).

Plants evolve away from obsolete defenses when attacked by immune herbivores, study shows (26 Feb 2018) A new study shows that plants can evolve out of their obsolete defense mechanisms when facing an immune enemy, an illustration of the 'defense de-escalation' evolution theory.

Why are there so many types of lizards? (23 Feb 2018)
Researchers have sequenced the complete genetic code -- the genome -- of several vertebrate species from Panama. They found that changes in genes involved in the interbrain (the site of the pineal gland and other endocrine glands), for color vision, hormones and the colorful dewlap that males bob to attract females, may contribute to the formation [+]

Evolutionary change in protein function respects biophysical principles (22 Feb 2018) Some molecular biologists who study the proteins that regulate cell operations do not confine their research to understanding the molecules' current roles. They also look deep into the proteins' evolutionary past to explore what structures have allowed proteins with new functions to develop in response to new needs.

Scientists create 'Evolutionwatch' for plants (21 Feb 2018) Using a hitchhiking weed, scientists reveal for the first time the mutation rate of a plant growing in the wild.

Cross-bred flies reveal new clues about how proteins are regulated (21 Feb 2018) The investigators used a technique called bottom-up proteomics (sometimes called shotgun proteomics) to reveal which proteins of each species were present in the hybrid flies.

Theory suggests root efficiency, independence drove global spread of flora (21 Feb 2018)
Researchers suggest that plants spread worldwide thanks to root adaptations that allowed them to become more efficient and independent. As plant species spread, roots became thinner so they could more efficiently explore poor soils for nutrients, and they shed their reliance on symbiotic fungi. The researchers report that root diameter and reliance [+]

Movement behavior of an anole species surprisingly dynamic (21 Feb 2018)
Anolis lizards have a thing or two to teach humans about love -- or in scientific speak, sexual selection -- at least when it comes to territoriality. Decades of behavioral research on the lizard's mating systems have resulted in near-unanimous agreement among scientists that the males maintain restricted, static territories to defend exclusive mat [+]

Evolution plays many tricks against large-scale bioproduction (21 Feb 2018) Ultra-deep DNA sequencing of thousands of cells uncovers many competing mechanisms of evolution as a threat to efficient scale-up of biobased chemicals production. Evolution plays an underestimated role in bioprocesses and limits yields much more than previously anticipated.

The conflict between males and females could replace the evolution of new species (21 Feb 2018) New research shows that males and females of the same species can evolve to be so different that they prevent other species from evolving or colonizing habitats, challenging long-held theories on the way natural selection drives the evolution of biodiversity.

Scientists poised to win the race against rust disease and beyond (20 Feb 2018) In a race to prevent and control rust disease epidemics, scientists have positioned themselves to better understand how rust fungi infect crops and evolve virulence.

Climate change, evolution, and what happens when researchers are also friends (20 Feb 2018) A new study that addresses how climate change is affecting the evolution of organisms underscores the need for evolutionary, ecosystem and climate scientists to work together to better understand eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics.

As climate changes, so could the genes of the Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (20 Feb 2018) Researchers warn climate change can not only influence the geographic distribution of a species in response to changing conditions -- it could also affect the evolutionary trajectories of interbreeding species.

Can you eat cells? Computer model predicts which organisms are capable of phagocytosis (20 Feb 2018)
Researchers have created a computational model capable of predicting whether or not organisms have the ability to 'eat' other cells through a process known as phagocytosis. The model may be a useful tool for large-scale microbe surveys and provides valuable insight into the evolution of complex life on Earth, challenging ideas put forward in recent [+]