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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » Evolution! Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 114, 115, 116  Next
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RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Mar 21, 2015 - 11:35am

The origin of the anus: The extraordinary evolution of our most embarrassing organ

Yes that’s a picture of a puppy, with a little bit of its rear end showing. And no, we couldn’t actually illustrate this story with an anus, now could we?

And before we discuss the origin of the anus; let’s back up a little. It’s a subject surrounded by, how should we put it, a bit of cheek. A topic right for puns, or a touch of verbal diarrhoea as we can’t but help see the innuendo.

See what I mean? So we try to get serious, to focus, and ask why has no one gotten to the bottom of this particular mystery before? Is it a crappy research topic, or by not addressing it, have other scientists fallen behind? Is even reporting such a subject, well, a little anal?

Perhaps, if jokes and innuendo are all we care about. But if we’re interested in some of the most fundamental questions about how animals evolved and function, then read on. (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Feb 21, 2015 - 6:01pm

Everything from criminality to love of gossip is in our genes according to some biologists. Yet behaviour varies dramatically between cultures. Does this cultural variation mean that the theory of evolution is flawed? Can it be rescued with a new theory or is culture beyond genetics?

The Panel

Julian Baggini explores the limits of evolution with philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards, anthropologist Daniel Everett and Oxford evolutionary psychologist Oliver Scott Curry.


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Feb 19, 2015 - 6:50pm

A New Theory on How Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia - NYTimes.com

In 2010, scientists made a startling discovery about our past: About 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of living Europeans and Asians.

Now two teams of researchers have come to another intriguing conclusion: Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of Asians at a second point in history, giving them an extra infusion of Neanderthal DNA.

The findings are further evidence that our genomes contain secrets about our evolution that we might have missed by looking at fossils alone. “We’re learning new, big-picture things from the genetic data, rather than just filling in details,” said Kirk E. Lohmueller, a geneticist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and co-author of one of the new studies.

The oldest fossils of Neanderthals date back about 200,000 years, while the most recent are an estimated 40,000 years old. Researchers have found Neanderthal bones at sites across Europe and western Asia, from Spain to Siberia.

Some of those bones still retain fragments of Neanderthal DNA. Scientists have pieced those DNA fragments together, reconstructing the entire Neanderthal genome. It turns out that Neanderthals had a number of distinct genetic mutations that living humans lack. Based on these differences, scientists estimate that the Neanderthals’ ancestors diverged from ours 600,000 years ago. (...)

The Evolution Catechism - The New Yorker

RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Feb 16, 2015 - 12:01pm


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Feb 12, 2015 - 8:49am

What Would Darwin Think About Modern Darwinism? | The Evolution Institute

RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Jan 25, 2015 - 2:31pm

Why Bill Nye Calls Evolution 'Undeniable' and Creationism 'Inane'
Work is the curse of the drinking class
Prodigal_SOB Avatar

Location: Back Home Again in Indiana
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Sagittarius
Chinese Yr: Snake

Posted: Jan 18, 2015 - 10:08am

Work is the curse of the drinking class
Prodigal_SOB Avatar

Location: Back Home Again in Indiana
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Sagittarius
Chinese Yr: Snake

Posted: Dec 13, 2014 - 10:26am



RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Oct 15, 2014 - 5:29pm

A History of Life In 10 Fossils
From their new book A History of Life in 100 Fossils, Paul Taylor and Aaron O'Dea share the story of 10 incredible fossils

RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Oct 9, 2014 - 4:34pm

Found: closest link to Mitochondrial Eve, our universal ancestor - life - 09 October 2014 - New Scientist

A man who died in 315 BC in southern Africa is the closest relative yet known to humanity’s common female ancestor – mitochondrial Eve

HE DIED later than Socrates and Aristotle, but a man who fished along the coast of southern Africa is the closest genetic match for our common female ancestor yet found.

If you trace back the DNA in the maternally inherited mitochondria within our cells, all humans have a theoretical common ancestor. This woman, known as "mitochondrial Eve", lived between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago in southern Africa. She was not the first human, but every other female lineage eventually had no female offspring, failing to pass on their mitochondrial DNA. As a result, all humans today can trace their mitochondrial DNA back to her.

Within her DNA, and that of her peers, existed almost all the genetic variation we see in contemporary humans. Since Eve's time, different populations of humans have drifted apart genetically, forming the distinct ethnic groups we see today.

Now a skeleton from around 315 BC, not long after the death of Alexander the Great, has been identified as a member of a previously unknown branch on the human family tree. It is the earliest group to diverge from all other modern humans ever identified (Genome Biology and Evolution, doi.org/v59). The man was 50 years old when he died, and is the first ancient human from sub-Saharan Africa – the cradle of humanity – to have had its DNA sequenced.

"He belongs to the earliest diverged lineage – the oldest we know of," says Vanessa Hayes of the Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia, who led the work. She says his ancestors diverged from other humans roughly 150,000 years ago. (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Oct 3, 2014 - 11:22am

The Evolution of Sleep: 700 Million Years of Melatonin
(...) A new study on melatonin hints that it evolved some 700 million years ago. The authors of the study propose that our nightly slumbers evolved from the rise and fall of our tiny oceangoing ancestors, as they swam up to the surface of the sea at twilight and then sank in a sleepy fall through the night. (...)
A highly-magnified view of young larvae of the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii. Credit Harald Hausen


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 28, 2014 - 10:19am

Human genome was shaped by an evolutionary arms race with itself

New findings by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, suggest that an evolutionary arms race between rival elements within the genomes of primates drove the evolution of complex regulatory networks that orchestrate the activity of genes in every cell of our bodies.

The arms race is between mobile DNA sequences known as "retrotransposons" (a.k.a. "jumping genes") and the genes that have evolved to control them. The UC Santa Cruz researchers have, for the first time, identified genes in humans that make repressor proteins to shut down specific jumping genes. The researchers also traced the rapid evolution of the repressor genes in the primate lineage.

Their findings, published September 28 in Nature, show that over evolutionary time, primate genomes have undergone repeated episodes in which mutations in jumping genes allowed them to escape repression, which drove the evolution of new repressor genes, and so on. Furthermore, their findings suggest that repressor genes that originally evolved to shut down jumping genes have since come to play other regulatory roles in the genome.

"We have basically the same 20,000 protein-coding genes as a frog, yet our genome is much more complicated, with more layers of gene regulation. This study helps explain how that came about," said Sofie Salama, a research associate at the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute who led the study. (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 25, 2014 - 1:32pm

Birds Evolved From Dinosaurs Slowly—Then Took Off
An 80-million-year transition was capped with a burst of feathered diversity.
These fossils found in northeastern China show the diversity and small sizes of some of the feathered dinosaurs. Many avian traits evolved in dinosaurs long before birds themselves appeared.

RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 24, 2014 - 11:21pm

Fossil of ancient multicellular life sets evolutionary timeline back 60 million years — ScienceDaily
A Virginia Tech geobiologist with collaborators from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found evidence in the fossil record that complex multicellularity appeared in living things about 600 million years ago — nearly 60 million years before skeletal animals appeared during a huge growth spurt of new life on Earth known as the Cambrian Explosion.


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 16, 2014 - 11:15am

It's Thanks to Evolution That No Two Faces Are Alike, Study Finds
Humans' stunning diversity of facial features evolved to make recognition easier, a study says.


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 11, 2014 - 6:00pm

Chisel-Toothed Beasts Push Back Origin of Mammals

Squirrel-size mammals scampered through the trees above dinosaurs' heads, newfound Chinese fossils show, revising our image of the first furry beasts. Three newly described species suggest that mammals evolved earlier, and faster, than previously thought.

Called haramiyids, the recently discovered mammals lived in Jurassic China around 160 million years ago. Slender and graceful, the animals appear to have been specialized for life in the trees, with hands and feet that could grasp branches and a long prehensile tail like today's monkeys.

"The picture that Mesozoic mammals were shrew-like insectivores that lived in the shadow of the dinosaurs needs to be repainted," says American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Jin Meng, a coauthor of the new study. Discoveries during the past few decades, including the haramiyids, have shown that early mammals occupied a variety of habitats. "They walked on the ground; they also swam, dug to burrow, and glided in the forests," Meng says. (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 10, 2014 - 7:54pm

Shattering DNA may have let gibbons evolve new species
Gibbons have such strange, scrambled DNA, it looks like someone has taken a hammer to it. Their genome has been massively reshuffled, and some biologists say that could be how new gibbon species evolved.

Gibbons are apes, and were the first to break away from the line that led to humans. There are around 16 living gibbon species, in four genera. They all have small bodies, long arms and no tails. But it's what gibbons don't share that is most unusual. Each species carries a distinct number of chromosomes in its genome: some species have just 38 pairs, some as many as 52 pairs.

"This 'genome plasticity' has always been a mystery," says Wesley Warren of Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. It is almost as if the genome exploded and was then pieced back together in the wrong order.

To understand why, Warren and his colleagues have now produced the first draft of a gibbon genome. It comes from a female northern white-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) called Asia. (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 5, 2014 - 10:50am

How Caffeine Evolved to Help Plants Survive and Help People Wake Up - NYTimes.com/Carl Zimmer
 Coffea canephora, also known as robusta coffee, drying in Laos. Scientists have sequenced its genome to understand how it evolved the ability to produce caffeine. Credit Barbara Walton/European Pressphoto Agency

Every second, people around the world drink more than 26,000 cups of coffee. And while some of them may care only about the taste, most use it as a way to deliver caffeine into their bloodstream. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Many of us get our caffeine fix in tea, and still others drink mate, brewed from the South American yerba mate plant. Cacao plants produce caffeine, too, meaning that you can get a mild dose from eating chocolate.

Caffeine may be a drug, but it’s not the product of some underworld chemistry lab; rather, it’s the result of millions of years of plant evolution. Despite our huge appetite for caffeine, however, scientists know little about how and why plants make it. (...)

Feelin' green all over again.
ricguy Avatar

Location: between gigs...in the OC, CA
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Gemini
Chinese Yr: Buffalo

Posted: Sep 4, 2014 - 1:28pm

 RichardPrins wrote: 
man ...where would  he sit? 

...I guess anywhere he wants....  {#Drummer}

RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 4, 2014 - 1:11pm

Meet Dreadnoughtus, the 65-ton dinosaur | Ars Technica

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