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evolution

Art for "How Equality and Inequality Shape the Birds and the Bees"
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘How Equality and Inequality Shape Birds and Bees’

Puzzle solvers explored how evolution may have used negative and positive control mechanisms to shape the conflicting parental functions of reproduction and child rearing.

Art for "Adaptations or Neutral Changes? Evolutionary Theory Seeks a Balance"
evolution

Theorists Debate How ‘Neutral’ Evolution Really Is

For 50 years, evolutionary theory has emphasized the importance of neutral mutations rather than adaptive ones at the level of DNA. Real genomic data challenges that assumption.

Art for "How Equality and Inequality Shape the Birds and the Bees"
insights puzzle

How Equality and Inequality Shape the Birds and the Bees

Two dynamic, seemingly opposing forces likely played an important role in the evolution of reproduction and child rearing in social animals like bees and humans.

Art for "‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster"
microbiology

‘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.

Art for "Three Biochemists Win Chemistry Nobel for Directing Evolution"
Abstractions blog

Three Biochemists Win Chemistry Nobel for Directing Evolution

By using the power of evolution to solve practical problems, three researchers opened new avenues to chemical discovery.

Photo of Trichoplax adhaerens
genomics

World’s Simplest Animal Reveals Hidden Diversity

The first animal genus defined purely by genetic characters represents a new era for the sorting and naming of animals.

Art for "Evolutionary Math and Just-So Stories"
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Evolutionary Math and Just-So Stories’

How much stock should we put in mathematical models of evolution that have not been validated by rigorous empirical data?

Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum leaf
botany

DNA Analysis Reveals a Genus of Plants Hiding in Plain Sight

Gene-sequence data is changing the way that botanists think about their classification schemes. A recent name-change for a common houseplant resulted from the discovery that it belonged in an overlooked genus.

Art for "Evolutionary Math and Just-So Stories"
insights puzzle

Evolutionary Math and Just-So Stories

Evolutionary stories like the grandmother hypothesis are easy to construct from mathematical models, but how well do they reflect reality?