Immune molecule may keep mouse brains running right

In a surprising brain-body connection, immune cells make a molecule called il-17 that may be vital for normal brain function, a study with mice shows.

Tamara Bhandari-Washington University • futurity
Sept. 23, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: evolution anxiety brains science-and-technology immune-systems

How gross ‘chastity belts’ shape butterfly evolution

After mating, some male butterflies seal their mate's genitalia. But females have evolved ways of fighting back or getting around the "mating plug."

Natalie van Hoose-Florida • futurity
Sept. 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: evolution biodiversity butterflies science-and-technology mating

Chimpanzees in volatile habitats evolved to behave more flexibly – it could help them weather climate change

As in humans, environmental changes provoked chimpanzees to develop a diverse range of behaviours.

Fiona Stewart, Visiting Lecturer in Primatology, Liverpool John Moores University • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: evolution climate-change human-evolution forests grasslands savanna behaviour

Do big tadpoles become big frogs?

"We wanted to know, do large frogs have large tadpoles and small frogs small tadpoles, or are the sizes between the two decoupled?'"

Daniel Stolte-Arizona • futurity
Sept. 11, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: evolution frogs amphibians science-and-technology

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

Artefacts suggest a ‘great leap’, a recent evolution of modern intelligence. Fossils and DNA argue that’s an illusion.

Nick Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath • conversation
Sept. 9, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: evolution anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils intelligence

How ants and bacteria teamed up to become one life form

New insights into how ants and bacteria became a single organism may lead to a better understanding of the origin of complex organisms, researchers report.

Katherine Gombay-McGill • futurity
Sept. 8, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: evolution bacteria ants science-and-technology symbiosis

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead bodies, helping families find missing people

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  innovation  agriculture  plants  microbes  adaptation  genetically-modified-organisms  forensics  genetically-modified-plants  decomposition

Bronze Age bones say lactose tolerance spread fast

The remains of Bronze Age warriors suggest lactose tolerance, or the ability to digest milk, spread rapidly throughout Central Europe.

Gregory Filiano-Stony Brook • futurity
Sept. 3, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: evolution history food genes bones science-and-technology health-and-medicine milk dairy

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead people, helping families find missing people

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  innovation  agriculture  plants  microbes  adaptation  genetically-modified-organisms  forensics  genetically-modified-plants  decomposition

‘Whack-a-mole’ shows evolution doesn’t go for perfection

"It seems that evolution is myopic. It focuses on the most immediate problem, puts a Band-Aid on, and then it moves on to the next problem..."

Daniel Stolte-Arizona • futurity
Aug. 26, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: evolution bacteria e-coli science-and-technology

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