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Articles on Evolutionary genetics

Displaying 1 - 20 of 27 articles

A Homo erectus skull from Java, Indonesia. This pioneering species stands at the root of a fascinating evolutionary tree. Scimex

Evolutionary study suggests prehistoric human fossils ‘hiding in plain sight’ in Southeast Asia

The ancestors of modern-day people living on Southeast Asian islands likely interbred with a prehistoric species called Denisovans - raising the possibility of fresh and intriguing fossil discoveries.
North America during the late Pleistocene: a pack of dire wolves (red hair) are feeding bison while a pair of grey wolves approach in the hopes of scavenging. Mauricio Antón

Dire wolves went extinct 13,000 years ago but thanks to new genetic analysis their true story can now be told

Our research shows dire wolves lived in the tropics not the Arctic, and were not especially close relatives of the grey wolf.
We propose same-sex attraction evolved to allow greater social integration and stronger same-sex social bonds. SHUTTERSTOCK

Homosexuality may have evolved for social, not sexual reasons

Scientists don't ask how some people evolved to be tall. In the same way, asking how homosexuality evolved is the wrong question. We need to ask how human sexuality evolved in all its forms.
The bobtail squid and bioluminscent bacteria are just one of hundreds of examples of mutualism. Klaus Stiefel/Flickr

It takes two: how mutualisms evolve in a world of selfish genes

Reproduction for a female fig wasp can be a nightmarish process. When she is ready to lay her eggs, she leaves the fig in which she was born and became pregnant and searches for another. After she finds…
The Australian Emperor Dragonfly is only a handful compared to its ancestors who measured more than 60cm. Flickr/Daniel lightscaper

Insects are the great survivors in evolution: new study

The time and date of the origin of insects and their pattern of evolution and survival over millions of years is revealed in a new study, published today in Science magazine. Insect relationships have…
Rather than there being a single ‘gay gene’, there may be many which contribute to sexual preference. Sasha Kargaltsev/Flickr

Born this way? An evolutionary view of ‘gay genes’

The claim that homosexual men share a “gay gene” created a furore in the 1990s. But new research two decades on supports this claim – and adds another candidate gene. To an evolutionary geneticist, the…
Tinamous are the closest living relatives of the flightless ratites. Brian Gratwicke/Flickr

Study explores evolution of flightless birds

Ratites – a group of flightless birds including the emu, ostrich and extinct moa – were long believed to have evolved from…
You can never be too safe. government_press_office

Households are new source of antibiotic-resistant superbug

Human skin is a garden of microbes which is home to about 1,000 bacterial species. Most are benign but some invade the skin and cause illness – and of these, antibiotic resistant bacteria are particularly…

Dolphins’ habitat shapes DNA

Bottlenose dolphins who use sponges as tools experience changes to their genetic make-up as a result, research shows. Researchers…
It turns out guppy genital length is genetic – for females as well as males. Alice Chaos

Guppies and sexual conflict? It’s a genital arms race

It’s not always easy to tell if a fish is male or female: they look more or less the same. But there are exceptions, such as guppies and, as with humans, guppy genitalia varies in size across the species…

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