Tag Archives: evolution

Gene wiring keeps bacteria cooperating

A bacterial cell can cooperate with its neighbours by producing molecules that allow them to grow better. These molecules may for example be enzymes that break down complex nutrients into digestible components. Because making these enzymes is

Impacts of life at 2300 m

Populations all over the world live high up in the mountains. The main mountain ranges with long term settlements include the Himalayas in Asia, the Andes in South America and the Ethiopian highlands in Africa. Researchers could

What situations breed ingroup favouritism?

When we meet strangers, we are often nicer towards those that look like they belong to our own group – a behaviour often termed ingroup favouritism. Examples of what constitutes a group may have to do with

The European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA)

London, UK, from 5-8 April The European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA) is an interdisciplinary society that supports the activities of European researchers with an interest in evolutionary accounts of human cognition, behaviour and society. EHBEA

Natural selection favours large size

In many animal populations, bigger individuals often seem to mate more successfully and have a better chance of survival than smaller individuals. On a far larger scale, fossil evidence from some groups of animals suggest that species

Evolution of diverse and bizarre stag beetle weapons

Stag beetles evolved an impressive diversity of weapons because the shape and size of the armature hardly influence the cost of flying. Computer simulations of flying stag beetles have shown that the energy cost is solely determined

Global warming: implications for human brain evolution

Climate change is an inherent and complex phenomenon of our planet. Changes in global temperatures can occur directionally in the case of gradual increases or decreases in temperature, and also in terms of greater or lesser variation

Meat traditions (and the co-evolution of humans and meat)

If food is indeed “good to think”, as in Lévi-Strauss’ famous maxim, then meat seems to be the supreme example. Meat is truly about us. Besides, the way we deal with meat needs urgent reconsideration due to

Compounds earlier known as neurotransmitters are met and function in every living organism

Historically, the neurotransmitters function were analyzed only in animals with nervous system, and their initial role was associated mainly with the transmission of nerve (electrical) impulses. In the last decade of the 20 century, new views on

How tree frogs keep their Y chromosomes healthy

Sex chromosomes are the pair of chromosomes that fate whether we become male or female. Females carry two X chromosomes, while males carry one X and one Y chromosome. These chromosomes are quite special among the genome:

What happens when (plant) sex fails?

Many plant species reproduce using sexual and asexual methods – and this can vary depending on environmental and genetic conditions. A large amount of energy goes into producing flowers and seeds for sexual reproduction, while vegetative growth

Silencing suppressor proteins shape virus-host co-evolution

Plant viruses are amongst the most important pathogens causing huge economic losses worldwide by reducing crop quality and quantity. A better understanding of the viral infection processes and plant defense strategies is important for crop improvement. During

A central theory of biology

Like all sciences, Biology began with the systematic categorization of plants and animals, beginning with Linnaeus’s Binomial Nomenclature. That process was based on the appearance of organisms, which we know is subjective due to the way that

The origin and evolution of fertility-linked signals in bees

Bees, ants and wasps comprise a biological group named Hymenoptera. In the species of this group, various levels of social organization can be found – from solitary individuals to highly complex social societies. An important characteristic of

Comparison of biological and cultural evolution

Biological evolution is a population-level process guided by selection, and it leads to an increase of the adaptation of the population for the environmental circumstances in which the population lives. Culture can be defined as the wholeness of

Tunicates : Can the study of obscure marine animals shed light on evolution?

Scientists agree that the current biological diversity on earth is the result of evolution: present life forms evolved from their ancestors by progressive modifications. The shape and behavior of an animal or a plant – what scientists