Posts Tagged ‘evolution’

Punctuated equilibrium in the large-scale evolution of programming languages | Journal of The Royal Society Interface

September 22, 2015

Punctuated equilibrium in the large-scale #evolution of #programming languages Clustering groups these into trees

Punctuated equilibrium in the large-scale evolution of programming languages
Sergi Valverde, Ricard V. Solé

Did natural selection make the Dutch the tallest people on the planet?

June 16, 2015

Did natural #selection make the Dutch the tallest people on the
planet? Height spurt in last century not all nurture

“This study drives home the message that the human population is still subject to natural selection,” says Stephen Stearns, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University who wasn’t involved in the study. “It strikes at the core of our understanding of human nature, and how malleable it is.” It also confirms what Stearns knows from personal experience about the population in the northern Netherlands, where the study took place: “Boy, they are tall.”

“For many years, the U.S. population was the tallest in the world. In the 18th century, American men were 5 to 8 centimeters taller than those in the Netherlands. Today, Americans are the fattest, but they lost the race for height to northern Europeans—including Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, and Estonians—sometime in the 20th century.

Just how these peoples became so tall isn’t clear, however. Genetics has an important effect on body height: Scientists have found at least 180 genes that influence how tall you become. Each one has only a small effect, but together, they may explain up to 80% of the variation in height within a population. Yet environmental factors play a huge role as well. The children of Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, for instance, grew much taller than their parents. Scientists assume that a diet rich in milk and meat played a major role.

The Dutch have become so much taller in such a short period that scientists chalk most of it up to their changing environment. As the Netherlands developed, it became one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of cheese and milk. An increasingly egalitarian distribution of wealth and universal access to health care may also have helped.”

Mountain gorilla genomes reveal the impact of long-term population decline and inbreeding

May 25, 2015

Mtn gorilla genomes reveal…impact of long-term…inbreeding Pop. variation so low that very deleterious SNPs purged

Science 10 April 2015:
Vol. 348 no. 6231 pp. 242-245
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa3952

Mountain gorilla genomes reveal the impact of long-term population decline and inbreeding

Yali Xue1,*,
Javier Prado-Martinez2,*,
Peter H. Sudmant3,*,

Tomas Marques-Bonet2,12,
Chris Tyler-Smith1,†,
Aylwyn Scally13,†

Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation

May 16, 2015

Comparative #genomics reveals insights into avian…#evolution Less repeats & dups in birds; woodpecker, an exception

Science 12 December 2014:
Vol. 346 no. 6215 pp. 1311-1320
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251385

Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation

Guojie Zhang1,2,*,†,
Cai Li1,3,*,
Avian Genome Consortium§,
Erich D. Jarvis20,†,
M. Thomas P. Gilbert3,56,†,
Jun Wang1,55,57,58,59,†

The evolutionary history of lethal metastatic prostate cancer : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

May 2, 2015

The evolutionary history of…metastatic prostate #cancer Unexpected: polyclonal "seeding" w/ much met-to-met spread

Syntrophic exchange in synthetic microbial communities

March 28, 2015

Syntrophic exchange in synthetic #microbial communities [& their evolution] Trading metabolically costly amino acids

A New Theory on How Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia

February 27, 2015

New Theory on How #Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia by @carlzimmer 2nd pulse of mating w/ humans v better preservation

Mammalian Y chromosomes retain widely expressed dosage-sensitive regulators : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

February 21, 2015

Mammalian Y chromosomes retain widely expressed dosage-sensitive regulators Reconstructed #evolution across 8 species

Daniel W. Bellott,
Jennifer F. Hughes,

Richard A. Gibbs,
Richard K. Wilson
& David C. Page

Nature 508, 494–499 (24 April 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13206

The Superorganism Revolution » American Scientist

January 24, 2015

The Superorganism Revolution The lack of distinction between ecological v evolutionary change for the #microbiome

This distinction between ecological and evolutionary timescales appears fundamental, but may not apply when dealing with the microbiome. For many if not all members of the human microbial fauna, generation times are measured in hours or even minutes. These short generation times, coupled with the large population sizes of many bacteria, effectively elide the boundary between ecological and evolutionary time (this attribute also accounts for the fiendish ability of viruses to outrace both the immune system and efforts to combat viral infections).

Nuclear reaction

November 22, 2014

Nuclear reaction Hypothesis from BMC paper on #evolution of eukaryotes from membrane blebs (

An inside-out origin for the eukaryotic cell

David A Baum and Buzz Baum

BMC Biology 2014, 12:76 doi:10.1186/s12915-014-0076-2


The consensus is that the first eukaryote was a prokaryote which engulfed, but failed on several occasions to digest, other
prokaryotes. One of these undigested meals was a bacterium ancestral to mitochondria. Even today mitochondria have their own genes separate from those in the nucleus. These genes, which are carried on circular DNA molecules like those in bacteria, resemble those in a group of bacteria called Rickettsiales,

They imagine the original host prokaryote creating small protrusions, known to microbiologists as blebs, that poked out of it, as the diagram shows, like tiny fingers. Blebs like this are known to form in certain sorts of archaea, a group of prokaryotes distinct from bacteria proper that biochemical evidence suggests were involved in the formation of eukaryotes. The job of blebs is unclear, as archaea are not a well-studied group, but they may be feeding structures. The Drs Baum suggest that, in the case of the ancestral eukaryote, the blebs grew bigger and bigger, pinning proto-mitochondria (and, on a subsequent occasion, proto-chloroplasts), into the intervening spaces. “}}