Tag: "evo" at biology news

Belgian researchers explore revolutionary approach to angiogenesis

Geneva, Switzerland: A revolutionary approach to angiogenesis[1] by a team of Belgian researchers could make cancer treatment more effective at killing tumours....... Dr. Olivier Feron and his team from the University of Louvain Medical School in Brussels have turned the whole concept of targeting tumour blood vessels on its head. Instead of the conventional approach of trying to starve tumour ce...

Pack-MULEs are toting a new look at plant evolution

EAST LANSING, Mich. It's not too often you pick up a scientific journal to dig into a good mystery....... Ning Jiang et al. admittedly aren't going to give Agatha Christie a run for her money, yet in the Sept. 30 edition of the British science journal Nature, the article explores some surprising unexplored territory in the world of evolutionary biology....... "Pack-MULEs: transposable element...

K-State, other universities to study how climate affects plant evolution

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State University is one of several universities that will share an estimated $5 million federal grant to study how plants respond to environmental changes and how the genetic ...pathways underlying their responses evolve in different climates....... "K-State is working with some of the premier labs in the world on this project, which is being funded by the National Scien...

Genetic analysis rewrites salamander's evolutionary history

Berkeley - Biologists take for granted that the limbs and branches of the tree of life - painstakingly constructed since Linnaeus started classifying organisms 270 years ago - are basically correct. New genetic studies, the thinking goes, will only prune the twigs, perhaps shuffling around a few species here and there....... Hence the surprise when a new University of California, Berkeley, study...

Heart gene yields insights into evolution, disease risk

DURHAM, N.C. -- Analyzing the frequency among human populations of a variant in a gene that influences vulnerability to heart disease, biologists have found evidence that the gene has been influenced by the pressure of natural selection. What's more, this evolutionary pressure has influenced heart disease risk.... ...An analysis of data on the genetic variation among 2,400 British middle-aged men...

Recent evolution at a single gene may have brought down heart disease risk in some human groups

Heart disease is Europe's leading cause of death, but new research shows that the disease's toll would be much greater had natural selection not shifted the frequency of susceptibility genes over the past few tens of thousands of years. The work underscores the role of ancient natural selection in shaping contemporary public health. ......The findings are reported by Matthew Rockman, Dagan Loisel...

Broken arms and collateral damage: clues to predator-driven evolution

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Ever since Darwin's day, scientists have been trying to understand how interactions among living creatures---competition and predation, for example---drive evolution.... ...Recent work by paleontologists Tomasz Baumiller of the University of Michigan and Forest Gahn of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History offers new insights into the process. A report on their r...

Battle between bubbles might have started evolution

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers are proposing that the first battle for survival-of-the-fittest might have played out as a simple physical duel between fatty bubbles stuffed with genetic material. The scientists suggest that genetic material that replicated quickly may have been all the bubbles needed to edge out their competitors and begin evolving into more sophisticated cells. ......

Prions act as stepping stones in evolution

When a protein misfolds, the results can be disastrous. An incorrect change in the molecule's shape can lead to diseases including Alzheimer's and Huntington's. But scientists have discovered that misfolded proteins can have a positive side in yeast, helping cells navigate the dicey current of natural selection by expressing a variety of hidden genetic traits. ...... What's more, at the center o...

Evolution of whale hearing unfolds in fossil record

Arlington, Va.--An international team of scientists has traced the evolution of hearing in modern cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). "This study of the early evolution of whales demonstrates the changes that took place in whales' outer and middle ears, required for the transition from a land-based to a marine-based existence," said Rich Lane, director of the National Science Foundation...

Evolvability could be a driving force in drug resistance

HOUSTON, Aug. 9, 2004 -- Not only has life evolved, but life has evolved to evolve....... That's the conclusion drawn by two Rice University scientists who have designed a computer simulation to test the idea that evolvability -- the likelihood of genetic mutation -- is a trait that can itself be favored or disfavored through the process of natural selection....... ....... Researchers Michael Dee...

Study suggests humans can speed evolution

It's no secret that life in the 21st century moves at a rapid pace. Human inventions such as the Internet, mobile phones and fiber optic cable have increased the speed of communication, making it possible for someone to be virtually in two places at once. But can humans speed up the rate of one of nature's most basic and slowest processes, evolution? A study by J. Todd Streelman, new assistant pr...

Study finds anti-HIV protein evolved millions of years before the emergence of AIDS

SEATTLE A protein that the body uses to attack the AIDS virus is actually a stealthy defense mechanism that evolved 32 million years before the emergence of HIV, according to new findings from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. ...The research, by Harmit Malik, Ph.D., and colleagues in Fred Hutchinson's Basic Sciences Division, is available on the Public Library of Science Web site and will...

Whale carcass yields bone-devouring worms

MOSS LANDING-Scientists studying a whale carcass in Monterey Canyon recently announced the discovery of two new species of unique worms that feed on the bones of dead whales. In the July 30 issue of Science, the researchers describe these worms, whose bodies and feeding strategies differ from those of any other known animal. The worms have no eyes, legs, mouths, or stomachs, but they do have colo...

Researchers review evolutionary history of modern algae

COLLEGE STATION, July 27, 2004 - Trees and grass are usually the only "heroes" that come to mind for consuming carbon dioxide and producing oxygen for planet Earth, but they have allies in the water: phytoplankton, or in another word, algae. ... ...Phytoplankton are mostly single-celled photosynthetic organisms that feed fish and marine mammals. They are responsible for nearly 50 percent of the e...

Insecticide resistance: A constraint on evolutionary change

Researchers have identified that a specific point in the genetic code appears not only to control an organism's resistance to a class of pesticides but also to significantly influence the ability of an organism to evolve such resistance at all. Identifying such specific and strong constraints on short-term evolutionary change are likely to help ecologists and public-health experts understand, and...

Plant respiration not just an evolutionary leftover, study shows

A biological process in plants, thought to be useless and even wasteful, has significant benefits and should not be engineered out -- particularly in the face of looming climate change, says a team of UC Davis researchers....... ....... Over the past two hundred years, scientists...

HIV reveals evolution of a primate defense against intragenomic infiltrators

Published this week on-line in PLoS Biology, Sara Sawyer, Michael Emerman, and Harmit Malik investigate the genetic roots of the battle for evolutionary advantage between HIV-type viruses and the hosts they infect. What they find is surprising....... The gene, APOBEC3G, belongs to a family of primate genes that produce enzymes (in this case, APOBEC3G) that "edit" DNA and RNA, by slipping into vi...

Mapping the evolution of a virus

A University of California scientist working at Los Alamos National Laboratory with collaborators from the University of Cambridge (England) and the World Health Organization National Influenza Center at Erasmus Medical Center, (Rotterdam, Netherlands) have developed a computer modeling method for mapping the evolution of the influenza virus. The method could soon help medical researchers worldw...

New genetic mechanism for evolution

This release is also available in A team of researchers from the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona (UAB) has discovered that transposons, small DNA sequences that travel through the genomes, can silence the genes adjacent to them by inducing a molecule called antisense RNA. This is a new mechanism for evolution that has been unknown until now. The research has been recently published in the jour...

New paper in Science introduces revolutionary new paradigm for fishery management

MIAMI, July 16, 2004 ~ Seventeen of the world's top marine scientists today unveiled a plan that seeks to avert the collapse of fish populations by focusing on managing the entire ecosystem rather than one species at a time. The new management regime, coined "Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management," is detailed in the July 16 issue of (vol. 305, no. 5682, July 16) and is the first step toward revol...

Comparing primate genomes offers insight into human evolution

Some primatologists have argued that to understand human nature we must understand the behavior of apes. In the social interactions and organization of modern primates, the theory goes, we can see the evolutionary roots of our own social relationships. In the genomic era, as scientists become more adept at extracting biological meaning from an ever expanding repository of sequenced genomes, it is...

Espionage may have driven the evolution of bee language according to UCSD-led study in Brazil

A discovery by a University of California, San Diego biologist that some species of bees exploit chemical clues left by other bee species to guide their kin to food provides evidence that eavesdropping may be an evolutionary driving force behind some bees' ability to conceal communication inside the hive, using a form of animal language to encode food location....... Bees can use two main forms o...

New study finds evolutionary diversification in Hawaiian spiders

Berkeley - About 5 million years ago, the first spiny-legged Tetragnatha spider landed on what is now known as the Hawaiian Islands, with subsequent generations evolving into different species to fill in specific niches in various habitats. Now, these spiders provide evidence for nature's propensity for generating diversity in a systematic way. ... ...In a new paper published in the Jan. 16 iss...

Studies probe rapid evolution of Chinese tallow trees

HOUSTON, Aug. 25, 2003 -- The evolution of species is usually thought to be long and arduous, with the culling of bad mutations and the natural selection of good ones taking tens of thousands, if not millions, of years. But throughout the southern coastal regions of the United States, the process may be unfolding at a dramatic pace -- on the order of decades -- thanks to something Benjamin Frankl...

New evidence on revolutionary brain pacemaker for Parkinson's Disease patients

Less than 7% of all Parkinson Disease (PD) patients across Europe that could benefit from deep brain stimulation have benefited from the Activa Parkinsons Control Therapy, despite it being the most significant advance in the treatment of Parkinsons in more than 30 years....... The European Parkinsons Disease Association (EPDA) announced today new evidence on the current uptake of deep brain stim...

Study reveals evolution on the (butterfly) wing

DURHAM, N.C. -- A butterfly's wing is a uniquely visual exhibition, not only of the aesthetics of nature, but of the machinery of evolution. Biologists have long appreciated that butterfly wing patterns dramatically exemplify the intricate interplay between genes and the environment -- as the patterns evolve to give butterflies advantages in evading predators and attracting mates.... ...In a pape...

Altered expression of key developmental genes underlies evolution of butterfly wing patterns

The diverse and colorful wing patterns of butterflies and moths provide some of the most iconic examples of the evolutionary process. Researchers studying gene expression in a range of moth and butterfly species report this week that a certain class of wing patterns has likely evolved through seemingly simple alterations in the timing of various types of gene expression.... ...The class of wing p...

Digital evolution reveals the many ways to get to diversity

EAST LANSING, Mich. In finding an answer to "perhaps the greatest unsolved ecological riddle," evolutionists propose that diversity is a testament to there being more than one way to make a living.... ......The riddle: Why are some habitats loaded with many more species than others? ... ...The answer: Nature and evolution respect that there's more than one way of doing things.... ......"What we'...

Male susceptibility to disease may play role in evolution of insect societies

A pair of scientists has proposed a new model for behavioral development among social insects, suggesting that a higher male susceptibility to disease has helped shape the evolution of the insects' behavior. ... What might be called the "sick-male" theory has been proposed by animal behaviorists Sean O'Donnell of the University of Washington and Samuel Beshers of the University of Illinois at Urb...

Parent-offspring conflict in the evolution of vertebrate reproductive mode

In the May 2004 issue of The American Naturalist, Bernard Crespi and Christina Semeniuk (Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC) explore issues of placental development and its relationship to the transmittal of genes related to human health. ......Animals reproduce by egg-laying (oviparity) or live birth (viviparity) and in many species viviparity involves transfer of nutrients via a placenta. We...

Technique plucks rapidly evolving genes from a pathogen's genome

Berkeley - A quick new technique able to identify genes that evolve rapidly as well as those that change slowly already has pinpointed new targets for researchers developing drugs against tuberculosis and malaria, and it could do the same for other infectious diseases, according to a paper in this week's Nature. ... ...The technique, reported in the April 29 issue of the journal, was developed b...

Sticklebacks reveal secrets to evolutionary change in Stanford study

STANFORD, Calif. - Whales, snakes and some lizards and fish all lost their hind limbs (or fins) as they evolved from their four-legged ancestors. New data from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggest that at least in some fish, alterations in a single gene bring about this evolutionary change.... ......"People have been interested in limbs for a long time because they show such variabi...

Evolution's mirror in a fish's spines

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers at Stanford University are closer to understanding one of evolution's biggest questions: How do genetic changes contribute to the generation of new traits in naturally occurring species? ...By studying related populations of small fish, called sticklebacks, the scientists have learned how a variety of animals might have lost their hindlimbs during evolu...

East African artifacts support evolution of symbolic thinking in Middle Stone Age

New finds from an open-air archaeological site in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania have intriguing implications for the evolution of modern human behavior, including further indications that symbolic thinking developed in humans earlier than the currently accepted date of about 35,000 years ago. ...... Archaeologists studying the site say it may contain some of the strongest evidence yet f...

Evolution's twist

When our human ancestors started eating meat, evolution served up a healthy bonus the development of genes that offset high cholesterol and chronic diseases associated with a meat-rich diet, according to a new USC study. ...... Those ancestors also started living longer than ever before an unexpected evolutionary twist. ...... The research by USC professors Caleb Finch and Craig Stanford appea...

Ambient light influences the evolution of colour signals

In light-contrasted ecosystems, ambient light and background colours influence the evolution of animal coloration. Because maximal conspicuousness is achieved for signals which are rich in the colours of ambient light but poorly reflected by background, different signals will be cryptic or conspicuous at different heights in tropical rainforest. In the forthcoming issue of Ecology Letters, Gomez...

New 'Understanding Evolution' Web site provides one-stop-shop for nation's science teachers

Berkeley - The debut this month of a new University of California, Berkeley, Web site devoted to evolution provides a much-needed resource for teachers as schools across the nation are being challenged to kick evolution out of the classroom or pair it with instruction in non-scientific alternatives, such as "intelligent design." ......The "Understanding Evolution" Web site ( ), funded by the Nati...

Evolution caught in the act

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---An experiment which forced E. coli bacteria to adapt or perish showed that, in a pinch, they were capable of improvising a novel molecular tool to save their skins.... ..."The bacteria reached for a tool that they had, and made it do something it doesn't normally do," said James Bardwell, an associate professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University...

'Evo-devo' biology tackles evolutionary history's unanswered questions

The recent marriage of evolutionary biology with developmental biology has resulted in the birth of a new field, evolutionary developmental biology, or "evo-devo." Evo-devo scientists study the mechanisms that produce evolutionary changes in body plans over time. As one of the field's creators, Indiana University Bloomington biologist Rudolf Raff brings new understanding to the evolution of human...
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