Tag Archives: Evolution

Researchers discuss details of the project on evolution of the Amazonian biota

5. ResearchBy Frances Jones

Agência FAPESP – Nearly 30 Brazilian and foreign specialists from various fields that range from botany and geology to paleontology and remote sensing took part in the first face-to-face meeting among members of a thematic project that will study what happened in the Amazon in the last 20 million years.

The project is supported by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) within the framework of an agreement that entails collaboration between the Biota-FAPESP and Dimensions of Biodiversity programs. The study will also have the support of the US space agency NASA. Continue reading

Analyses of pig genomes provide insight into porcine demography and evolution

Abstract – For 10,000 years pigs and humans have shared a close and complex relationship. From domestication to modern breeding practices, humans have shaped the genomes of domestic pigs. Here we present the assembly and analysis of the genome sequence of a female domestic Duroc pig (Sus scrofa) and a comparison with the genomes of wild and domestic pigs from Europe and Asia. Wild pigs emerged in South East Asia and subsequently spread across Eurasia. Our results reveal a deep phylogenetic split between European and Asian wild boars ~1 million years ago, and a selective sweep analysis indicates selection on genes involved in RNA processing and regulation. Genes associated with immune response and olfaction exhibit fast evolution. Pigs have the largest repertoire of functional olfactory receptor genes, reflecting the importance of smell in this scavenging animal. The pig genome sequence provides an important resource for further improvements of this important livestock species, and our identification of many putative disease-causing variants extends the potential of the pig as a biomedical model.

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Source: Nature, November 15th 2012
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Extreme climate change linked to early animal evolution

Science News – An international team of scientists, including geochemistries from the University of California, Riverside, has uncovered new evidence linking extreme climate change, oxygen rise, and early animal evolution. A dramatic rise in atmospheric oxygen levels has long been speculated as the trigger for early animal evolution. While the direct cause-and-effect relationships between animal and environmental evolution remain topics of intense debate, all this research has been hampered by the lack of direct evidence for an oxygen increase coincident with the appearance of the earliest animals — until now.

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Source and Photo: Science News
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How Evolution Copies Itself

by Elizabeth Pennisi
Science – A tiny fish is helping to answer a big question about evolution. The threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) has long been abundant in the sea. But after glaciers melted 10,000 years ago, many wound up in new freshwater lakes and streams. In these unfamiliar environments, the fish lost their bony plates and spines and developed novel behaviors and physiology. A new study reveals that many of these relatively rapid changes were due not to mutations in specific genes, as some biologists had long assumed, but rather to changes in the activity of these genes. The finding should help focus more attention on the role of gene regulation in evolution, not just of fish but of all organisms, including humans….. >>Read More<<

Source and Photo: Science, April 4th, 2012
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