Field flowers 34243

Plant evolution: Compact genomes and tiny cells helped flowering plants take over the world

When people consider evolutionary events related to the origin and diversification of new species and groups, they tend to emphasize ...
Evolutionary tradeoffs: How DNA works so living things have a 'competitive advantage' to survive

Evolutionary tradeoffs: How DNA works so living things have a ‘competitive advantage’ to survive

Evolution is a game of trade-offs. Every trait an organism inherits may have benefits and drawbacks; what matters to natural ...
New species may be created by cellular 'mitonuclear conflict'

New species may be created by cellular ‘mitonuclear conflict’

In the complex cells of humans and other organisms, two different genomes collaborate to sustain life. The larger genome, with ...
‘Information bottleneck’ theory could help crack human learning mysteries

‘Information bottleneck’ theory could help crack human learning mysteries

Even as machines known as “deep neural networks” have learned to converse, drive cars, beat video games and Go champions, dream, paint pictures ...
Neanderthal population estimate increases tenfold

Neanderthal population estimate increases tenfold

Some gene-based estimates put the Neanderthals’ effective population at a measly 1,000; others claim they hovered at a few thousand ...
Physicist Nigel Goldenfeld: Life started with physics, not biology

Physicist Nigel Goldenfeld: Life started with physics, not biology

[Editor's note: The following is part of an interview with Nigel Goldenfeld, director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute for Universal Biology ...
Older mini-brains could boost study of autism, schizophrenia

Older mini-brains could boost study of autism, schizophrenia

[Sergiu Paşca, a neuroscientist at Stanford University] has joined other researchers in growing little balls of human brain tissue, about ...
Bear love affair: Grizzly and polar--Interbreeding neighboring species played key role in evolution

Bear love affair: Grizzly and polar–Interbreeding neighboring species played key role in evolution

In 2006, a hunter shot what he thought was a polar bear in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Closer examination, ...
Cell's waste bins: Lysosomes' role stretches beyond 'trash collector' to importance in gene activity, cancer

Cell’s waste bins: Lysosomes’ role stretches beyond ‘trash collector’ to importance in gene activity, cancer

In this loftier reckoning of lysosomes, the organelles deftly integrate metabolic information from throughout the cell and communicate it to ...
Are Y chromosomes, and men, really on road to extinction?

Are Y chromosomes, and men, really on road to extinction?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Jennifer Marshall Graves, an ...

Stomach bug just a few small mutations away from Black Plague

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.  Each year, 4 million ...
How a small stretch of DNA can keep species separate -- even when they interbreed

How a small stretch of DNA can keep species separate — even when they interbreed

Sometimes, two distinct species interbreed, even though they're technically not supposed to. But what stops these rare cases of hybridization ...

What is a ‘species,’ exactly?

Most people do not get to use the tree-climbing skills they perfected as children once they’re adults. But for Jochen Wolf, ...

Does competition drive diversity of species?

In Darwinian evolution, organisms compete for resources, and the winners get to pass their genome to future generations. According to ...

Under pressure, even evolution evolves

Although Darwin’s ideas have clearly triumphed in modern biology, hints of a more Lamarckian style of inheritance have continued to ...
Repeated patterns in DNA may be missing piece of the story of human evolution

Repeated patterns in DNA may be missing piece of the story of human evolution

Science is just starting to unlock what we can learn from duplicated regions of DNA in the genes of humans ...

RNA plays role in cellular communication

For decades, researchers have been finding DNA and its sister, RNA, circulating in the body, outside the safe interior of ...

Evolution as opportunist

Evolution is littered with examples of opportunism. Hosts infected by viruses found new uses for the genetic material the agents ...

The surprising origins of life’s complexity

Conventional wisdom holds that complex structures evolve from simpler ones, step-by-step, through a gradual evolutionary process, with Darwinian selection favoring ...