Category Archives: Latest on Evolution

Age-related impairments reversed in animal model

Frailty and immune decline are two main features of old age. Researchers from the University of Bern and the University Hospital Bern now demonstrate in an animal model that these two age-related impairments can be halted and even partially reversed using a novel cell-based therapeutic approach. Elderly people are more prone to infectious diseases as…
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Origins of the beloved guinea pig

New University of Otago research sheds light on guinea pig domestication and how and why the small, furry animals became distributed around the world. Just published in the international science journal, Scientific Reports, the researchers use ancient DNA from archaeological guinea pig remains which reveals the transition from the animals being used as a wild food…
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Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans

A team of scientists studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, found that it was especially well-suited to jump from animals to humans by shapeshifting as it gained the ability to infect human cells. Conducting a genetic analysis, researchers from Duke University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of…
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When three species of human ancestor walked the Earth

An international team, including Arizona State University researcher Gary Schwartz, have unearthed the earliest known skull of Homo erectus, the first of our ancestors to be nearly human-like in their anatomy and aspects of their behavior. Years of painstaking excavation at the fossil-rich site of Drimolen, nestled within the Cradle of Humankind (a UNESCO World Heritage…
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Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 offer insights into virus evolution

By analysing virus genomes from over 7,500 people infected with Covid-19, a UCL-led research team has characterised patterns of diversity of SARS-CoV-2 virus genome, offering clues to direct drugs and vaccine targets. The study, led by the UCL Genetics Institute, identified close to 200 recurrent genetic mutations in the virus, highlighting how it may be…
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COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural origin

The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that emerged in the city of Wuhan, China, last year and has since caused a large scale COVID-19 epidemic and spread to more than 70 other countries is the product of natural evolution, according to findings published today in the journal Nature Medicine. The analysis of public genome sequence data from SARS-CoV-2…
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To predict an epidemic, evolution can’t be ignored

When scientists try to predict the spread of something across populations -- anything from a coronavirus to misinformation -- they use complex mathematical models to do so. Typically, they'll study the first few steps in which the subject spreads, and use that rate to project how far and wide the spread will go. But what…
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Scientists to search for relatives of extinct Galapagos tortoises

George, the last known member of the Pinta tortoise species, died in 2012 at over 100 years of age after refusing to mate in captivity with females from related subspecies. Park rangers and scientists from the Galapagos National Parks (PNG) and Galapagos Conservancy will tour the Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island in hopes of "locating…
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In a first, fossil dinosaur feathers found near the South Pole

Ten exquisitely preserved fossil feathers found in Australia represent the first solid evidence that feathered dinosaurs lived at Earth’s poles, paleontologists report in an upcoming study in the journal Gondwana Research. The feathers date back 118 million years to the early Cretaceous period, when Australia was much farther south and joined with Antarctica to form…
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Beetle fossilised in amber reveals earliest evidence of prehistoric pollination as scientists discover the insect had flower traces on its feet when it died 99million years ago

The earliest-known example of a pollinating insect has been found preserved in amber dating back to around 99 million years ago, researchers report. The fossilised tumbling flower beetle was found with pollen still stuck to its legs preserved in amber from deep inside a mine in northern Myanmar's Hukawng Valley. The find pushes back the…
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