Category Archives: Evolution

New Genus of Stingray

Ray X-Rayed: Two new (to science) stingrays from the Amazon have been studied and classified. H. rosai and Heliotrygon gomesi have been sold in the global pet trade for years under trade names. But only recently did scientists—working with local fishers … Continue reading

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Evolution Does Not Take Eons

Fifty years will do nicely. Talk about a quick learner: in just 50 years, a fish has evolved a resistance to toxic chemicals polluting its Hudson River home, a new study finds. Hudson River Fish Evolves to Live With PCBs … Continue reading

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On Evolved Circuits and the Most Evolved of Circuitry

I remember reading in Scientific American, years ago, about evolved circuits. (Here’s some background from Wikipedia: Evolvable hardware.) I believe the circuit described in SA is the “tone discriminator” mentioned in Wikipedia. The most intriguing element of that circuit was an … Continue reading

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Mexican Jumping Genes

Researchers have found a large cluster of genes which jumped directly from one species of fungus to another, the first time such a horizontal transfer has been seen in organisms more complex than bacteria. The tree of life just got … Continue reading

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Inherit the Windbag

Steve Benen has a post from yesterday on Representative Jack Kingston (R-Ga), who denies evolution. “Real Time” host Bill Maher asked Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) a fairly straightforward question: “Do you believe in evolution?” Kingston not only rejected the foundation … Continue reading

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Profiles in Cowardice

Despite 80 years of court battles ousting creationism from public classrooms, most public high school biology teachers are not strong advocates for evolution. While vocal advocates of intelligent design and similar non-scientific alternatives to evolution are a minority, more than … Continue reading

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Not Getting Enough Sex? Think You Can Stay Abstinent for 8,000 Years?

Grapes have been. Wine grapes anyway, which seem to have held off for just about that long. The lack of sex has been discovered by Sean Myles, a geneticist at Cornell University. He developed a gene chip that tests for the … Continue reading

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AyeAyeOSaurus

Researchers in China have unearthed a miniature single-clawed dinosaur that was likely an early relative of the ferocious T. Rex and is the only such creature known to have just one finger. The newly named species of theropod, Linhenykus monodactylus, would have … Continue reading

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Robots: The Larval Forms

Better to crawl before you walk. Even if you’re a robot. At the University of Vermont, the robots are learning about their bodies. Bot-tots who come online flat on the floor like babies and then gradually find upright positions, learned … Continue reading

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Does Evolution Have a “Signature”?

How can we find life off our planet? If we cannot find life itself, can we spot an effect of life, a signature? This problem famously engaged James Lovelock, he of the Gaia hypothesis, who looked for a signature of life … Continue reading

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