Category Archives: Latest on Evolution

Competition breeds new fish species, study finds

Competition may play an important role during the evolution of new species, but empirical evidence for this is scarce, despite being implicit in Charles Darwin's work and support from theoretical studies. Dr Martin Genner from Bristol's School of Biological Sciences and colleagues used population genetics and experimental evidence to demonstrate a role for competition that…
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Prehistoric Boy May Be Native American ‘Missing Link’

A prehistoric boy's DNA now suggests that ancient toolmakers long thought of as the first Americans may serve as a kind of "missing link" between Native Americans and the rest of the world, researchers say. The findings reveal these prehistoric toolmakers are the direct ancestors of many contemporary Native Americans, and are closely related to all…
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Out of Africa … And Back Again?

Every person on the planet can trace their genetic roots to Africa, the source of the great migration of humanity that began some 60,000 years ago. But it turns out that one group may have staged an epic return trek, erased by the sands of time and lost to human memory—until now. Scientists have uncovered…
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‘Steak-knife’ teeth reveal ecology of oldest land predators

The first top predators to walk on land were not afraid to bite off more than they could chew, a University of Toronto Mississauga study has found. Graduate student and lead author Kirstin Brink along with Professor Robert Reisz from U of T Mississauga's Department of Biology suggest that Dimetrodon, a carnivore that walked on land…
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From one cell to many: How did multicellularity evolve?

In the beginning there were single cells. Today, many millions of years later, most plants, animals, fungi, and algae are composed of multiple cells that work collaboratively as a single being. Despite the various ways these organisms achieved multicellularity, their conglomeration of cells operate cooperatively to consume energy, survive, and reproduce. But how did multicellularity…
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How the Genetic Blueprints for Limbs Came from Fish

The transition from water to land is one of the most fascinating enigmas of evolution. In particular, the evolution of limbs from ancestral fish fins remains a mystery. Both fish and land animals possess clusters of Hoxa and Hoxd genes, which are necessary for both fin and limb formation during embryonic development. Denis Duboule's team,…
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Giant leaps of evolution make cancer cells deadly

HOW does cancer do it? How does one little cell transform itself into an invader that rages out of control? Surprisingly abruptly, according to new results that are pointing the way to Darwinian-inspired treatments. When a cancer evolves the ability to metastasise, or invade multiple tissues in the body, it has to pull off several remarkable…
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Strange Ancient Fish Had Front And Back Legs

The closest known relative of the ancestors of limbed animals such as humans likely evolved the foundation for rear legs even before the move to land, researchers say. This ancestor may have even been able to walk underwater, they added. These findings reveal that a key step in the evolution of hind limbshappened in fish, challenging…
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