Humans and monkeys think more alike than we knew

Both monkeys and humans have a way of thinking that involves recursion, a process of arranging words, phrases, or symbols to convey complex ideas.

Yasmin Anwar-UC Berkeley • futurity
July 1, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: evolution language cognition monkeys featured science-and-technology

Gardenias show how plants became great chemists

Sequencing the gardenia genome shows how plants evolved to re-use tricks from their genetic toolbox to create new chemicals.

Charlotte Hsu-Buffalo • futurity
June 25, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: dna evolution plants genomes science-and-technology flowers

Crop pathogens are more adaptable than previously thought

Fungi and other organisms called oomycetes are highly adaptable. That's bad news for the global food supply.

Antonis Rokas, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Biological Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Informatics, and Director of the Vanderbilt Evolutionary Studies Initiative, Vanderbilt University • conversation
June 23, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: evolution climate-change yeast plants fungi crops food-security plant-pathogen

Way before stars form, space clouds hold building blocks of life

"This tells us that the basic organic chemistry needed for life is present in the raw gas prior to the formation of stars and planets."

Daniel Stolte-Arizona • futurity
June 16, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: evolution space life stars science-and-technology gases dust

Ancient crocs walked on two legs the size of ours

Fossil footprints in what is now South Korea are evidence that some species of ancient crocodiles walked on two feet.

U. Queensland • futurity
June 11, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: evolution dinosaurs fossils reptiles walking featured science-and-technology feet

Gene makes plants produce less pollen

Darwin observed that some plants produce less pollen (and some animals less sperm). New research clarifies how that can be an advantage.

U. Zurich • futurity
June 10, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: reproduction evolution genes plants pollen science-and-technology

Curious Kids: why do so many dangerous animals live in Australia?

Australia is home to 20 of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world.

Louise Gentle, Senior Lecturer in Wildlife Conservation, Nottingham Trent University • conversation
June 8, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: evolution animals australia curious-kids snakes

A new hybrid fungus is found in hospitals and linked to lung disease

Researchers have discovered the first known example of a hybrid fungus that infects humans.

Antonis Rokas, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Biological Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Informatics, and Director of the Vanderbilt Evolutionary Studies Initiative, Vanderbilt University • conversation
June 4, 2020 ~10 min

Tags:  evolution  covid-19  pandemic  fungi  fungus  fungal-infection  mold

Chicken ‘memories’ ease return to ancestral homeland

A study with chickens from Tibet shows that organisms have a kind of "memory" of their ancestral homes that makes adaptation to environmental change easier.

Jim Erickson-Michigan • futurity
June 2, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: dna evolution climate-change birds genes chickens science-and-technology

Evolution: why it seems to have a direction and what to expect next

Evolution seems to lead to increasing complexity of species. But perhaps a dominant, intelligent species like humans will always end up destroying itself.

Matthew Wills, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology at the Milner Centre for Evolution, University of Bath • conversation
June 2, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: evolution human-evolution alien-life sixth-mass-extinction

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