Length of Pregnancy Influenced by Placenta Structure

Some humans  placentas do not form the complex structure seen in animals

The nine-month pregnancy in humans is influenced by the structure of the placenta, according to new research into the evolution of reproduction in mammals which ends a 100-year mystery.

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New Explanation for the Origin of High Species Diversity in Amazon

New research shows that Amazonian diversity has evolved

An international team of scientists, including a leading evolutionary biologist from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, have reset the agenda for future research in the highly diverse Amazon region by showing that the extraordinary diversity found there is much older than generally thought.

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Flowering Plants Have Evolved Multiple Genes

green pistil surrounded closely by white anthers

A research team led by Teh-hui Kao, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University, in collaboration with a team lead by Professor Seiji Takayama at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, has discovered a large suite of genes in the petunia plant that acts to prevent it from breeding with itself or with its close relatives, and to promote breeding with unrelated individuals.

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Neanderthals Were More Promiscuous Than Modern Humans?

Also great with spears. These were days when you did NOT make your wife mad!

Fossil finger bones of early human ancestors suggest that Neanderthals were more promiscuous than human populations today, researchers at the universities of Liverpool and Oxford have found.

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Workers Hold Key to Power in Nature’s Oldest Societies

Some are stronger than others!

A new study analysing how complex, highly-evolved societies are organised in nature has found that it is workers that play a pivotal role in creating well-ordered societies where conflict is minimised. For when it comes to determining who reproduces in ants, University of Leicester biologists have found the humble worker is queenmaker — it is they who choose their queen.

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Unexpected Viral ‘Fossils’ Found in Vertebrate Genomes


Colorized negative stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicts a number of Marburg virus virions.

Over millions of years, retroviruses, which insert their genetic material into the host genome as part of their replication, have left behind bits of their genetic material in vertebrate genomes. In a recent study, published July 29 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, a team of researchers have now found that human and other vertebrate genomes also contain many ancient sequences from Ebola/Marburgviruses and Bornaviruses — two deadly virus families.

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Origins of Multicellularity: All in the Family


This is Volvox carteri

One of the most pivotal steps in evolution-the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms-may not have required as much retooling as commonly believed, found a globe-spanning collaboration of scientists led by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute.

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Dogs Likely Originated in the Middle East, New Genetic Data Indicate


Dog breeds and gray wolfs come from same evolutionary tree.

Dogs likely originated in the Middle East, not Asia or Europe, according to a new genetic analysis by an international team of scientists led by UCLA biologists.

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Flowering Plants May Be Considerably Older Than Previously Thought


A new analysis of the land plant family tree suggests that flowering plants may have lived much earlier than previously thought.

Flowering plants may be considerably older than previously thought, says a new analysis of the plant family tree.

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