New Hybrid Species Remix Old Genes Creatively
Clues from fish diversity suggest that interbreeding between species could be a major mechanism of fast speciation.
Rapid Oxygen Changes Fueled an Explosion in Ancient Animal Diversity
Skyrocketing animal diversity a half-billion years ago was linked to spikes and dips in marine oxygen levels, according to a detailed geological study.
Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses
New work raises the estimated diversity of viruses in the seas more than twelvefold and lays the groundwork for a better understanding of their impact on global nutrient cycles.
Jellyfish Genome Hints That Complexity Isn’t Genetically Complex
Jellyfish didn’t need novel genes to take an evolutionary leap in complexity.
Ancient Turing Pattern Builds Feathers, Hair — and Now, Shark Skin
A primordial developmental toolkit shared by all vertebrates, and described by a theory of the mathematician Alan Turing, sets the growth pattern for all types of skin structures.
What a Newfound Kingdom Means for the Tree of Life
Neither animal, plant, fungus nor familiar protozoan, a strange microbe that sits in its own “supra-kingdom” of life foretells incredible biodiversity yet to be discovered by new sequencing technologies.
Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?
How does evolution select the fittest “individuals” when they are ecosystems made up of hosts and their microbiomes? Biologist debate the need to revise theories.
World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks
Evidence for life in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks appears to be crumbling away.
‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster
A newly discovered mechanism may enable viruses to shuttle genes between bacteria 1,000 times as often as was thought — making them a major force in those cells’ evolution.