Evolution in butterfly eye dependent on sex, scientists find
Thu, 18 May 2017 14:03:08 EDT
By analyzing both the genes that control color detecting photoreceptors and the structural components of the eye itself, evolutionary biologists have discovered male and female butterflies of one particular species have the unique ability to see the world differently from each another because of sex-related evolutionary traits.
Shedding light on Earth's first animals
Wed, 17 May 2017 15:47:31 EDT
More than 550 million years ago, the oceans were teeming with flat, soft-bodied creatures that fed on microbes and algae and could grow as big as bathmats. Today, researchers are studying their fossils to unlock the secrets of early life. Researchers now show that Dickinsonia developed in a complex, highly regulated way using a similar genetic toolkit to today's animals.
New study sheds light on origins of life on Earth through molecular function
Wed, 17 May 2017 12:05:59 EDT
Debate exists over how life began on Earth, but a new study provides evidence for a 'metabolism-first' model. Scientists have traced the origins and evolution of molecular functions through time. The study shows metabolism and binding arose first, followed by the functional activities of larger macromolecules and cellular machinery.
Why did hunter-gatherers first begin farming?
Tue, 16 May 2017 08:08:10 EDT
The beginnings of agriculture changed human history and has fascinated scientists for centuries. Researchers have now shed light on how hunter-gatherers first began farming and how crops were domesticated to depend on humans.
Carnivorous plant's prized genetic treasures, unveiled
Mon, 15 May 2017 15:07:18 EDT
The carnivorous humped bladderwort plant, Utricularia gibba, is a sophisticated predator. It uses vacuum pressure to suck prey into tiny traps at speeds less than a millisecond. A new genomic analysis shows that, over millions of years, it repeatedly retained and enhanced genetic material associated with its carnivorous nature. These include genes that facilitate the trapping of prey, the digestion of proteins, and the transport of small bits of protein from one cell to another.