Category Archives: Latest on Evolution

How an ancient cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth

A cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth. A new scenario suggests that some 4.47 billion years ago—a mere 60 million years after Earth took shape and 40 million years after the moon formed—a moon-size object sideswiped Earth and exploded into an orbiting cloud of molten iron and other debris. The metallic hailstorm that ensued…
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Evolution used same genetic formula to turn animals monogamous

Why are some animals committed to their mates and others are not? According to a new study led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that looked at 10 species of vertebrates, evolution used a kind of universal formula for turning non-monogamous species into monogamous species -- turning up the activity of some…
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What sets primates apart from other mammals?

University of Otago researchers have discovered information about a gene that sets primates -- great apes and humans -- apart from other mammals, through the study of a rare developmental brain disorder. Dr Adam O'Neill carried out the research as part of his PhD at the University of Otago, under the supervision of Professor Stephen…
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Oxygen could have been available to life as early as 3.5 billion years ago

Microbes could have performed oxygen-producing photosynthesis at least one billion years earlier in the history of the Earth than previously thought. The finding could change ideas of how and when complex life evolved on Earth, and how likely it is that it could evolve on other planets. Oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere is necessary for…
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Embryological study of the skull reveals dinosaur-bird connection

Birds are the surviving descendants of predatory dinosaurs. However, since the likes of Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, some parts of their anatomy have become radically transformed. The skull, for instance, is now toothless, and accommodates much larger eyes and brain. Skulls are like 3-D puzzles made of smaller bones: As the eye socket and brain case…
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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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