Intensification of agriculture and social hierarchies evolve together, study finds
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:57:39 EDT
Researchers analyzed the evolution of 155 Island South East Asian and Pacific societies to determine that, rather than intensification of agriculture leading to social stratification, the two evolve together. The study illustrates the way social and material factors combine to drive human cultural evolution.
'New life form' answers question about evolution of cells
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:57:30 EDT
Bacteria and Archaea must have evolved from the putative Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). One hypothesis is that this happened because the cell membrane in LUCA was an unstable mixture of lipids. Now, scientists have created such a life form with a mixed membrane and discovered it is in fact stable, refuting this hypothesis.
Genetic analysis uncovers the evolutionary origin of vertebrate limbs
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:05:26 EDT
Fish, mice and likely all modern-day vertebrates share genetic elements first used to develop the unpaired dorsal fin in ancient fish. They later copied these elements to produce paired appendages, like pelvic and pectoral fins, arms and legs.
Menomous Solenodon, last survivor of a branch of mammals that appeared at the time of the dinosaurs, sequenced
Fri, 16 Mar 2018 10:06:38 EDT
An article presents a draft genome of a small shrew-like animal, the venomous Hispaniolan solenodon. This unusual animal is one of the only extant venomous mammals, and it is the sole remaining branch of mammals that split from other insectivores at the time of the dinosaurs. The solenodon genome sequence revealed the answer to several evolutionary questions, such as whether the solenodon species indeed survived the meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs.
Scientists discover genomic ancestry of Stone Age North Africans from Morocco
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:12:21 EDT
An international team of researchers have sequenced DNA from individuals from Morocco dating to approximately 15,000 years ago. This is the oldest nuclear DNA from Africa ever successfully analyzed. The study shows that the individuals, dating to the Late Stone Age, had a genetic heritage that was in part similar to ancient Levantine Natufians and an uncharacterized sub-Saharan African lineage to which modern West Africans are genetically closest.