Evolution more complex than ‘survival of the fittest’ had us believe

By re-barcoding the DNA of yeast, researchers were able to follow evolution for approximately 1,000 generations, finding surprises along the way.

Clea Simon | Nov. 13, 2019 | harvard
~4 mins   

Tags: science-technology alex-n-nguyen-ba barcoding dna evolution ivana-cvijovic michael-desai organismic-and-evolutionary-biology physics yeast

How new plant species get their names

Kanchi Gandhi is one of a small group of global experts who referees the rules of naming new plant species.

Alvin Powell | Oct. 25, 2019 | harvard
~9 mins   

Tags: science-technology alvin-powell botany department-of-organismic-and-evolutionary-biology faculty-of-arts-and-sciences kanchi-gandhi nomenclature

Study finds gut microbes adapt quickly to changes in food preparation

Scientists have recently discovered that different diets — say, high-fat versus low-fat, or plant-based versus animal-based — can rapidly and reproducibly alter the composition and activity of the gut microbiome, where differences in the composition and activity can affect everything from metabolism to immunity to behavior.

Clea Simon | Oct. 2, 2019 | harvard
~8 mins   

Tags: health-medicine clea-simon cooking fas gut-microbiome human-evolutionary-biology katia-chadaideh-corinne-f-maurice kylynda-bauer nature-microbiology peter-turnbaugh rachel-carmody vayu-maini-rekdal

Harvard researcher finds canine brains vary based on breed

Erin Hecht, who joined the faculty in January, has published her first paper on our canine comrades in the Journal of Neuroscience, finding that different breeds have different brain organizations owing to human cultivation of specific traits.

Jill Radsken | Sept. 3, 2019 | harvard
~7 mins   

Tags: science-technology brains breeds dogs erin-hecht fas human-evolutionary-biology jill-radsken neuroscience science


Theory that ridged skin helps dolphins debunked

New study debunks long-held theory that dolphins had ridged skin, which helped them swim faster.

Clea Simon | July 18, 2019 | harvard
~6 mins   

Tags: science-technology clea-simon dolphin-skin fas george-lauder marine-mammal oeb organismic-and-evolutionary-biology royal-society-biology-letters-journal

Harvard’s Extavour debunks old hypotheses on insect eggs

Biology Professor Cassandra G. Extavour debunks old hypotheses about form and function on insect eggs using new big-data tool

Clea Simon | July 3, 2019 | harvard
~6 mins   

Tags: health-medicine bruno-as-de-medieros cassandra-extavour clea-simon ecology egg-shape evolution fas molecular-and-cellular-biology museum-of-comparative-zoology nature organismic-and-evolutionary-biology samuel-church seth-donoughe

New NASA program studies sea and sky to better understand ocean worlds in space

A new NASA-funded program will study water worlds and environments to understand the limits of life as part of the search for life on other planets.

Clea Simon | July 1, 2019 | harvard
~5 mins   

Tags: science-technology christopher-german clea-simon donna-blackman exploring-ocean-worlds fas network-for-ocean-worlds organismic-and-evolutionary-biology peter-girguis tori-hoebler volcanoes water woods-hole-oceanographic-institution

Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman turns his attention to walking

A running-studies pioneer takes a look at walking, with and without shoes, and gives calluses a thumbs-up.

Jed Gottlieb | June 26, 2019 | harvard
~5 mins   

Tags: science-technology calluses dan-lieberman daniel-lieberman fas human-evolutionary-biology jed-gottlieb nick-howolka walking

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