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Evolution and Darwin

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Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers Use Evolutionary Principles to Model Cancer Mutations, Discover Potential Therapeutic Targets

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers are taking a unique approach to understanding and investigating cancer by utilizing evolutionary principles and computational modeling to examine the role of specific genetic mutations in the Darwinian struggle among tumor and normal cells during cancer growth.

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Out of India

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Working at the edge of a coal mine in India, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers and colleagues have filled in a major gap in science’s understanding of the evolution of a group of animals that includes horses and rhinos. That group likely originated on the subcontinent when it was still an island headed swiftly for collision with Asia, the researchers report Nov. 20 in the online journal Nature Communications.

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Why Lizards Have Bird Breath

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Biologists long assumed that one-way air flow was a special adaptation in birds driven by the intense energy demands of flight. But now University of Utah scientists have shown that bird-like breathing also developed in green iguanas – reptiles not known for high-capacity aerobic fitness. The finding bolsters the case that unidirectional bird-like flow evolved long before the first birds.

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Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Did Men Evolve Navigation Skill to Find Mates?

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A University of Utah study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills – the ability to mentally manipulate objects – can roam farther and have children with more mates.

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Research Suggests How Mosquitoes Evolved an Attraction to Human Scent

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The female mosquitoes that spread dengue and yellow fever didn’t always rely on human blood to nourish their eggs. Their ancestors fed on furrier animals in the forest. But then, thousands of years ago, some of these bloodsuckers made a smart switch: They began biting humans and hitchhiked all over the globe, spreading disease in their wake.

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Study Casts New Light On Origins of Early Humans

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A new study by an international team of researchers that includes a Texas A&M University anthropologist shows that the modern European and East Asian populations were firmly established by 36,000 years ago, and that Neanderthal and modern human interbreeding occurred much earlier.

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Newly Discovered Fossil Is a Clue to Early Mammalian Evolution

A newly discovered 66–70 million-year-old groundhog-like creature, massive in size compared to other mammals of its era, provides new and important insights into early mammalian evolution.

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Monkeys Know What They're Doing

New research shows that rhesus monkeys appear to have a sense of self-agency, or the ability to understand that they caused something to happen. This finding sheds light on the evolution of self-recognition and self-awareness in humans.

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What’s Mighty About the Mouse? For Starters, Its Massive Y Chromosome

An exhaustive effort to sequence the mouse Y chromosome reveals a surprisingly large and complex biological beast, at the same time providing remarkable insight into a heated battle for supremacy between mammalian sex chromosomes.

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Study Finds Saving Lonely Species Is Important for the Environment

Joe Bailey looked at endemic eucalyptus found in Tasmania. They discovered that these rare species have developed unique characteristics to survive, and that these characteristics may also impact the survival of its neighbors in the ecosystem.

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