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New genetic research shows humans’ famed ability to adapt our behaviour and develop new tools and techniques has not always been enough to survive when times have grown tough.
Red mitochondria in airway cells become coated with green SARS-COV-2 proteins after viral infection: Researchers discovered that the virus that causes COVID-19 damages lungs by attacking mitochondria.
COVID-19 causes lung injury and lowers oxygen levels in patients because the SARS-CoV-2 virus attacks cells’ mitochondria. This attack is a throwback to a primitive war between viruses and bacteria.
For many species, human actions are the biggest factor in their evolution.
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In this week’s episode of The Conversation Weekly, we speak with three scientists who study the ways plants and animals evolve in a world dominated by humans.
Legendrea loyezae, a very rare ciliate that lives in oxygen-free sediments of lakes.
Microbes are so tiny humans can’t see them without special equipment. But the discovery of 20 new species will help scientists map the evolutionary tree of life.
Pandemics over the course of evolution have led to the integration of viruses into our genome.
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Bits of viral genes incorporated into human DNA have been linked to cancer, ALS and schizophrenia. But many of these genes may not be harmful, and could even protect against infectious disease.
We should not rule out taking a closer look at exoplanets that have a poorly oxygenated atmosphere.
Deep in the oceans dwell creatures that can evade many of the evolutionary drivers of life on land – and they remain seemingly unchanged through time.
Fossils of a giant killer mosasaur have been discovered, alongside the fossilised remains of its prey.
Insects have a weak capacity to adjust their critical thermal limits.
Climate change is exposing animals to temperatures outside of their normal limits – a new study has found that insects have a particularly weak ability to adjust.
Extremes of the colour gradient of the Eastern San Antonio frog (Hyla orientalis). On the left, a specimen captured in Chernobyl inside the high contamination zone; on the right, a specimen captured outside the Exclusion Zone.
Germán Orizaola/Pablo Burraco
Research on Chernobyl frogs has shown that the ionising radiation caused by the accident triggered a process of natural selection among these animals.
The white-necked jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) is a medium-size hummingbird
Narwhals, hummingbirds and the Asian sheepshead wrasse have opened scientists’ eyes to the complexity of nature.
Hossein Anv / Unsplash
The teeth of the tammar wallaby don’t grow in the way you’d expect – and scientists want to know why.
Neanderthal adult male, based on 40,000 year-old remains found at Spy in Belgium.
You may have heard science has reconsidered its view of Neanderthals but did you know human hybrid species played a key role in our evolution?
Many hunter gatherers have a long history of egalitarianism.
Not all human societies throughout history have been patriarchal.
The gut microbiome may also play a role in personalized medicine.
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As early modern humans spread across the globe, their gut microbes genetically changed with them. Understanding the origins of gut microbes could improve understanding of their role in human health.
An artist’s impression of the
Palaeontologists studied Pantolambda fossils in forensic detail to learn about its lifestyle.
The sun’s rays often feel good on your skin, but can cause serious damage.
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Our ancient ancestors didn’t have clothes or houses – but that constant exposure to the sun helped their skin protect itself from the worst sun damage.
Axolotls are a model organism researchers use to study a variety of topics in biology.
Axolotls are amphibians known for their ability to regrow their organs, including their brains. New research clarifies their regeneration process.
The majority of fertilized eggs die and are resorbed into the body.
Human embryos are far more likely to die than come to term, an evolutionary trait seen across species. Laws granting personhood at conception ignore built-in embryo loss, with potentially grave consequences.
The most controversial feature of the New Zealand flora is the plethora of small-leaved trees and shrubs with wiry interlaced branches. Can a synthesis of competing explanations solve this mystery?