Today’s Science sees the publication of a phylogenomic study of 196 bird species, which has some rather marked differences to the traditional phylogenies of bird species. Abstract says -
Deep avian evolutionary relationships have been difficult to resolve as a result of a putative explosive radiation. Our study examined ~32 kilobases of aligned nuclear DNA [...]
& in P.N.A.S. – Is an eclipse described in the Odyssey?
Plutarch and Heraclitus believed a certain passage in the 20th book of the Odyssey (“Theoclymenus’s prophecy”) to be a poetic description of a total solar eclipse. In the late 1920s, Schoch and Neugebauer computed that the solar eclipse of 16 April 1178 B.C.E. [...]
Paul Ehrlich talks about his recent study of Polynesian canoes, and whether human culture evolves via natural selection:
Biologists have a pretty good idea of both how flies become resistant to DDT and how humans and primates have diverged over time. That’s because the mechanism underlying these processes is the same. Using evolution we [...]
The term evolution in archaeology has accumulated an enormous range of meanings, with different implications, over many years. Traditionally, however, when not referring to the biological evolution of putatively ancestral species, it has occurred most commonly in the phrase cultural evolution (sometimes [...]
Remember the amazing lost tribe that was being hawked all over the news a few weeks ago? Ahh, not so lost after all. The real story is actually a whole lot more interesting:
…far from being unknown, the tribe’s existence has been noted since 1910 and the mission to photograph them was undertaken in [...]
Robin McKee in The Guardian talks about “How Darwin won the evolution race”:
In early 1858, on Ternate in Malaysia, a young specimen collector was tracking the island’s elusive birds of paradise when he was struck by malaria. ‘Every day, during the cold and succeeding hot fits, I had to lie down during which time [...]
Research misconduct at U.S. institutions may be more common than previously suspected, with 9 percent of scientists saying in a new survey that they personally had seen fabrication, falsification or plagiarism.
We report five new complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes of Siberian woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), sequenced with up to 73-fold coverage from DNA extracted from hair shaft material. Three of the sequences present the first complete mtDNA genomes of [...]
John Hawks has a nicely detailed discussion about handling exponential growth in demographic models. Very interesting, and hopefully he’ll keep them coming:
Exponential growth is a feature of current human populations, and was may represent how the human population behaved during some episodes of its demographic history. However, “exponential” can mean different things to different [...]
The honeybee waggle dance, through which foragers advertise the existence and location of a food source to their hive mates, is acknowledged as the only known form of symbolic communication in an invertebrate. [...]