Category Archives: Latest on Evolution

A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit. The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on…
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A Clever New Strategy for Treating Cancer, Thanks to Darwin

The large outer leaves of the vegetables were “literally riddled with holes, more than half their substance being eaten away.” With each step he took around the ravaged cabbages, tiny swarms of little ash-gray moths rose from the ground and flitted away. This was, it appears, the first record in the United States of the diamond­back…
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Fossil Site Reveals Day That Meteor Hit Earth and, Maybe, Wiped Out Dinosaurs

Sixty-six million years ago, a giant meteor slammed into Earth off the coast of modern-day Mexico. Firestorms incinerated the landscape for miles around. Even creatures thousands of miles away were doomed on that fateful day, if not by fire and brimstone, then by mega-earthquakes and waves of unimaginable size. Now, scientists have unearthed a remarkable trove of fossils…
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Neanderthals walked upright just like the humans of today

Neanderthals are often depicted as having straight spines and poor posture. However, these prehistoric humans were more similar to us than many assume. University of Zurich researchers have shown that Neanderthals walked upright just like modern humans -- thanks to a virtual reconstruction of the pelvis and spine of a very well-preserved Neanderthal skeleton found…
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Great whites may have wiped out the biggest shark that ever lived

The megalodon -- also known as the biggest shark ever -- became extinct a million years earlier than previously thought, due to competition from much smaller great white sharks, according to new research. The full paper is published in the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences. A team of scientists claim that the giant prehistoric predator,…
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For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate

Today is the 210th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, a day now celebrated by some as Darwin Day. Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution through natural selection. When Darwin’s work was first made public in 1859, it shocked Britain’s religious establishment. And while today it is accepted by virtually all scientists, evolutionary theory…
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The Wild Experiment That Showed Evolution in Real Time

In the fall of 2010, Rowan Barrett was stuck. He needed a piece of land, one with plenty of mice, and after days of futile searching, he found himself at a motel bar in Valentine, Nebraska, doing what people do at bars: telling a total stranger about his problems. A young evolutionary biologist, Barrett had…
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Human mutation rate has slowed recently

Researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, and Copenhagen Zoo have discovered that the human mutation rate is significantly slower than for our closest primate relatives. The new knowledge may be important for estimates of when the common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees lived -- and for conservation of large primates in the wild. Over the past…
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