Category Archives: Latest on Evolution

Bird-like lungs may have helped dinosaurs rule the world

Many dinosaurs were swift and active animals, which is puzzling given that Earth’s atmosphere contained less oxygen than it does today when dinosaurs ruled. They may have thrived in the challenging conditions due to their efficient bird-like lungs, according to a new study. “Birds and mammals are highly active and evolved a way of living…
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New insight into the evolution of the nervous system

Pioneering research has given a fascinating fresh insight into how animal nervous systems evolved from simple structures to become the complex network transmitting signals between different parts of the body. The new study used simple multicellular organisms called Placozoa to reveal the beginnings of the nervous systems found in more complex animals. The international research…
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Chemistry Nobel: Harnessing Power of Evolution

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 with one half to Frances H. Arnold, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA "for the directed evolution of enzymes" and the other half jointly to George P. Smith, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA and Sir Gregory P. Winter, MRC…
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T. rex evolved into a monster predator by dumbing down its brain

Tyrannosaurus rex has a reputation for being one of the biggest and fiercest dinosaurs ever to have lived. But it probably wasn’t the brightest: it had a simpler brain than an earlier, smaller tyrannosaur. The change could be a consequence of growing so large. Fossils suggest that T. rex could reach 12 metres in length and between 8…
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When dinosaurs roamed Antarctica

There was once a time when the great southern landmass was covered in forests and dinosaurs roamed free. How could such an icy wilderness once have been so warm that it could support Earth’s most gigantic creatures? To understand this we have to go back in geological time. Antarctica was ice free during the Cretaceous Period,…
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Unravelling the reasons why mass extinctions occur

Scientists from the University of Leicester have shed new light on why mass extinctions have occurred through history -- and how this knowledge could help in predicting upcoming ecological catastrophes. The international team has investigated sudden ecological transitions throughout history, from mass mortality events in the far past to more recent extinctions which have occurred…
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Tracking the evolution and transmission of yellow fever

A pioneering Oxford University research collaboration into yellow fever virus (YFV) has shed new light on the exceptional recent outbreak in Brazil and how the virus spreads. The findings have implications for monitoring viral transmission and could potentially contribute to a strategy for eliminating YFV worldwide. Published in Science, the international collaboration coordinated by scientists from…
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