Genetic recombination is vital to natural selection, yet some species display far more crossover than others. Scientists in Rochester have discovered a gene in fruit flies that is responsible for the evolution of these recombination rates.
There's increasing physiological evidence connecting breathing patterns with the brain regions that control mood and emotion. Now researchers have added neurons associated with the olfactory system to the connection between behavior and breathing. Connecting patterns in these interactions may help explain why practices such as meditation and yoga that rely on rhythmic breathing can help people overcome anxiety-based illnesses.
Scientists from the Institut Pasteur set out to understand how the demographic changes associated with the Neolithic transition also influenced the efficacy of natural selection. By comparing the genome diversity of more than 300 individuals from groups of forest hunter-gatherers (pygmies) and farmers (Bantu-speaking peoples), from western and eastern Central Africa, they discovered that the reason pygmies did not suffer from excessive deleterious mutations was because of their genetic diversity and their admixture with the Bantu peoples.
Baby birds go missing from their nests all the time. Usually, the disappearances are chalked up to predation, but in extremely rare cases, parents have been observed removing their own chicks from their nests. In a new study from the University of Illinois, the mysterious and fatal behavior is documented in dickcissels for the first time.
Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and other recent human relatives may have begun hunting large mammal species down to size - by way of extinction - at least 90,000 years earlier than previously thought, says a new study published in the journal Science. The magnitude and scale of the extinction wave surpassed any other recorded during the last 66 million years, according to the study.
Findings from Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE) researchers and their collaborators, published today in Cell, show that the aggressiveness of an individual prostate cancer can be accurately assessed by looking at how that tumor has evolved. This information can be used to determine what type and how much treatment should be given to each patient, or if any is needed at all.
Advances in genome sequencing are providing vast amounts of genetic information that researchers are using to explore the plant family tree. This special issue showcases cutting-edge techniques that are providing solutions to challenges in the study of evolution of species (or phylogenetics); issue highlights include an overview of current options for phylogenomic studies, a new natural language processing pipeline, metagenomics pipeline comparisons, and reviews of sequence capture methods and custom pipelines for marker selection.
The dispersal of humans out of Africa coincided with a dramatic global reduction in the size of mammals, a new study reveals.
Evidence that humans can genetically adapt to diving has been identified for the first time in a new study. The evidence suggests that the Bajau, a people group indigenous to parts of Indonesia, have genetically enlarged spleens which enable them to free dive to depths of up to 70 meters. The relationship between spleen size and dive capacity has never before been examined in humans at the genetic level.
Corals in the Great Barrier Reef have enough genetic variation to adapt to and survive rising ocean temperatures for at least another century, or more than 50 years longer than previous estimates have suggested.