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Evolution and Darwin

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Hunt Is Over for One of the ‘Top 50 Most-Wanted Fungi’

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In a step toward bridging the gap between fungal taxonomy and molecular ecology, scientists from several institutions including Los Alamos National Laboratory have characterized a sample of “mystery” fungus collected in North Carolina and found its home in the fungal tree of life.

Science

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Evolution, Proteins, artificial evolution, Enzymes, artificial antibodies, Antibodies, Fleishman

Using Spare Parts Might “Jump-Start” Protein Design

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Weizmann Institute scientists find that including “non-ideal” components in the design may be key to functional artificial proteins

Science

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Brain Size, ancestral phylogeny, Adaptation, Environment

Which Came First: Big Brains or Demanding Environments?

Researchers in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis are challenging the notion that environment drives the evolution of brain size. A new study was released Sept. 25 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Medicine

Science

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Brain Development, Birth Defects, Tadpole, Muscle, Nerve, Muscle & Nerve , Embryo, Embryonic Development, Bioengineer, Neuroplasticity, Regeneration, Neuroregeneration

Brain Guides Body Much Sooner Than Previously Believed

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The brain plays an active and essential role much earlier than previously thought, according to new research from Tufts University scientists which shows that long before movement or other behaviors occur, the brain of an embryonic frog influences muscle and nerve development and protects the embryo from agents that cause developmental defects. Remarkably, the brain performs these functions while it is itself still developing, marking the earliest known events of the brain-body interface. In addition to identifying these essential instructive functions for the first time, the Tufts researchers successfully rescued defects caused by lack of a brain by using widely available, human-approved drugs.

Science

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Single Genes Control Color, Stripes in Butterfly Wings

Science

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Birds, Evolution, Mass Extinction, Lab of Ornithology

Dino-Killing Asteroid's Impact on Bird Evolution

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Human activities could change the pace of evolution, similar to what occurred 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving modern birds as their only descendants. That's one conclusion drawn by the authors of a new study published in Systematic Biology.

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Big Herbivorous Dinosaurs Ate Crustaceans as Side Dish

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Some big plant-eating dinosaurs roaming present-day Utah some 75 million years ago were slurping up crustaceans on the side, a behavior that may have been tied to reproductive activities, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.  

Science

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Dogs, Wolves, Fossils, Domestication

3-D Analysis of Dog Fossils Sheds Light on Domestication Debate

In an effort to settle the debate about the origin of dog domestication, a technique that uses 3-D scans of fossils is helping researchers determine the difference between dogs and wolves.

Medicine

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Evolution, Genetics, lncRNAs , Regulatory Gene, Protein Coding, Ulitsky

Genomic Recycling: Ancestral Genes Take On New Roles

Dr. Igor Ulitsky has found that ancient genes that lost their ability to make proteins were “recycled,” surviving across millennia – and species – by evolving to produce a type of RNA that regulates major biological processes. His findings could lead to treatments for a number of genetic diseases.

Science

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Plants, Flowers, Pollinators, Scent, Fragrance, Color

Plants Combine Color and Fragrance to Procure Pollinators

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ho knew that it’s possible to predict the fragrance of a flower by looking at its color? This is true for many of the 41 insect-pollinated plant species growing in a Phrygana scrubland habitat on the Greek island of Lesbos. An international research team published their findings Sept. 4 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.







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