COLOR KEY: Artificial Life; Origin of Life, Eukaryotes, Organelles;
Origin/Evolution of Prokaryotes, Viruses, Introns, etc.
Ancient Birds; Dinosaurs; Other Ancient Reptiles
Human Origins and Evolution; Domestication
Other Evolutionary Biology
Political, Religious, and Educational Issues
Clack, 2005 Dec. Getting a Leg Up on Land. Scientific American (December 2006). "Recent fossil discoveries cast light on the evolution of four-limbed animals from fish."
Warmflash and Weiss, 2005 Nov. Did Life Come from Another World? Scientific American (Nov). "Astronauts might not be the only space travelers: studies hint that microorganisms hitching onto meteorites could have survived a journey from Mars to Earth."
?, 2005 Nov 03. Evolutionary theory: Personal effects. (restricted access) Nature 438:14. "Living things from bacteria to humans change their environment, but the consequences for evolution and ecology are only now being understood, or so the 'niche constructivists' claim. Dan Jones investigates."
Drayna, 2005 Oct. Founder Mutations. Scientific American (Oct. 2005) "Special genetic changes that can cause (and protect against) diseases enable scientists to trace human migrations over thousands of years."
Kondrashov, 2005 Oct 20. Fruitfly genome is not junk. Nature 437:1106. "A comparison of two fruitfly genomes shows that much of their non-coding DNA is controlled by either negative or positive selection, dealing a double blow to the neutral theory of molecular evolution."
Lieberman, 2005 Oct 13. Palaeoanthropology: Further fossil finds from Flores. Nature 437:957. "New fossil discoveries on Flores, Indonesia, bolster the evidence that Homo floresiensis was a dwarfed human species that lived at the end of the last ice age. But the species' evolutionary origins remain obscure."
Turner, 2005 Sep-Oct. Cheating Viruses and Game Theory. American Scientist 93(Sep-Oct 2005). "The theory of games can explain how viruses evolve when they compete against one another in a test of evolutionary fitness."
Butlin and Roper, 2005 Sep 08. Evolutionary genetics: Microarrays and species origins. (restricted access) Nature 437:199. "Whole-genome arrays have been used to reveal small islands of genetic differentiation in Anopheles mosquitoes. Analysis of these regions will identify genes involved in the initial stages of speciation."
, 2005 Sep 01. Chimp genome: Branching out. (restricted access) Nature 437:17. "The chimp was a great start. But the genomes of our other primate relatives will help to reveal a whole lot more, says Carina Dennis."
Carroll, 2005 Sep 01. Palaeontology: Between water and land. Nature 437:38. "The most informative examples of large-scale evolution are provided by major transitions between environments. Fresh research on an ancient amphibian shows how it adapted to locomotion both in water and on land."
Bottjer, 2005 Aug. The Early Evolution of Animals. Scientific American (August 2005). "Tiny fossils reveal that complex animal life is older than we thought--by at least 50 million years."
Titus, 2005 Aug 25. A treasure trove of motors. Nature 436:1097. "The myosins are a superfamily of protein motors. Analysis of their sequences in a wide range of organisms reveals an unexpected variety of domains, and provides insights into the nature of the earliest eukaryotes."
?, 2005 Aug 11. Keeping religion out of science class. (restricted access)Nature 436:753. "President Bush's endorsement of 'intelligent design' has sparked a national debate in which scientists are well positioned to prevail."
Penny, 2005 Jul 14. Evolutionary biology: Relativity for molecular clocks. Nature 436:183. "An analysis of genetic data sets from primates and birds provides firm evidence that molecular evolution is faster on shorter than on longer timescales. The estimated times of various evolutionary events require a rethink."
Wong , 2005 Jun. The Morning of the Modern Mind. Scientific American (June 2005) "Controversial discoveries hint that symbolic thought, usually considered to have emerged in our species around 40,000 years ago, arose far earlier."
Queller, 2005 Jun 30. Evolutionary biology: Males from Mars. Nature 435:1167. "In an ant species — or is it two species? — females are produced only by females and males only by males. Explanations of this revelation have to invoke some decidedly offbeat patterns of natural selection."
Sherratt and Beatty, 2005 Jun 23. Evolutionary biology: Island of the clones. (restricted access) Nature 435:1039. "The discovery of an all-female population of damselflies in the Azores archipelago provides a novelty for entomologists. It also highlights the unique selection pressures faced by species that colonize islands."
Sutherland, 2005 Jun 02. The best solution. Nature 435:569. "Optimization: this beguilingly simply idea allows biologists not only to understand current adaptations, but also to predict new designs that may yet evolve."
West, 2005 May-Jun. The Lion's Mane. American Scientist (May-June 2005):226.
"Neither a token of royalty nor a shield for fighting, the mane is a signal of quality to mates and rivals, but one that comes with consequences."
Turner and Miller, 2005 May-Jun. New Ideas About Old Sharks. American Scientist (May-June 2005):244. "A rare fossil sheds light on the poorly understood relationship between early sharks and bony fishes."
Nee, 2005 May 26. The great chain of being. Nature 435:429. "Our persistence in placing ourselves at the top of the Great Chain of Being suggests we have some deep psychological need to see ourselves as the culmination of creation."
Diamond, 2005 May 19. Evolutionary biology: Geography and skin colour. Nature 435:283. "Human skin comes in many different shades. Recent studies of geographical differences in skin colour open up the subject scientifically by offering sophisticated accounts of the basis of this variation."
Wehner, 2005 May 12. Sensory physiology: Brainless eyes. Nature 435:157. "The visual equipment of box jellyfish includes eight optically advanced eyes that operate with only a rudimentary nervous system. As they produce blurred images, their function remains an open question."
Kocher, 2005 May 05. Evolutionary biology: Ghost of speciation past. Nature 435:29. "Lurking in the rivers of Botswana are the remnants of a diverse flock of cichlid fishes, whose origins can be traced to a lake that vanished more than 2,000 years ago."
Ast, 2005 Apr. The Alternative Genome. Scientific American. "Contrary to the old "one gene, one protein" axiom, complex organisms coax more flexibility from their DNA by having small numbers of genes do the work of many."
?, 2005 Apr 28. Dealing with design. Nature 434:1053. "The idea of intelligent design is being promoted in schools and universities in the United States and Europe. Rather than ignoring it, scientists need to understand its appeal and help students recognize the alternatives."
?, 2005 Apr 28. Intelligent design: Who has designs on your students' minds? Nature 434:1062. "The intelligent-design movement is a small but growing force on US university campuses. For some it bridges the gap between science and faith, for others it goes beyond the pale. Geoff Brumfiel meets the movement's vanguard."
Jones and Blaxter, 2005 Apr 28. Evolutionary biology: Animal roots and shoots. (restricted access) Nature 434:1076. "DNA sequence data from neglected animal groups support a controversial hypothesis of deep evolutionary history. Inferring that history using only whole-genome sequences can evidently be misleading."
Summers, 2005 Apr 14. Evolution: Warm-hearted crocs. (restricted access) Nature 434:833. "Our ideas about how crocodiles evolved have just taken a battering. It seems that these cold-blooded creatures, with their limited capacity for prolonged activity, might have had active, warm-blooded ancestors."
Hoekstra, 2005 Mar 31. Evolutionary biology: Why sex is good. Nature 434:571. "According to a proposal put forward many years ago, sexual reproduction makes natural selection more effective because it increases genetic variation. Experiments now verify that idea — at least in yeast."
Dalton, 2005 Mar 24. Palaeoanthropology: Looking for the ancestors. Nature 434:432. "The scientists who discovered a new species of human in Indonesia last year are now back, looking for the bones that will flesh out their theories. Rex Dalton joins them."
Weigel and Jürgens, 2005 Mar 24. Genetics: Hotheaded healer. Nature 434:443. "A previously unknown way of reversing genome-wide sequence changes in DNA has been revealed by an analysis of plants carrying mutations in a gene called HOTHEAD. The mechanism remains a mystery."
Gunter, 2005 Mar 17. Genome biology: She moves in mysterious ways. Nature 434:279. "The human X chromosome is a study in contradictions. The detailed sequence of the X, and a survey of inactivated genes in females, help to illuminate this unique 'evolutionary space'."
Gage, 2005 Mar 17. Evolution: Deep-sea spiral fantasies. Nature 434:283. "Pictures of strange, gelatinous deep-sea worms have intrigued zoologists, as they hinted at the solution to an evolutionary puzzle. But does the first specimen to be obtained in good condition back the theories up?"
Solé, 2005 Mar 17. Language: Syntax for free? (restricted access)Nature 434:289. "Human language is based on syntax, a complex set of rules about how words can be combined. In theory, the emergence of syntactic communication might have been a comparatively straightforward process."
Moorbath, 2005 Mar 10. Palaeobiology: Dating earliest life. (restricted access) Nature 434:155. Claims that 3.8-billion-year-old rocks from Greenland contain carbonaceous remnants of very early life have been the subject of argument for several years. The latest analyses look like settling matters."
Gray, 2005 Mar 10. Evolutionary biology: The hydrogenosome's murky past. Nature 434:29. "The evolution of specialized cellular powerhouses called hydrogenosomes has long confounded biologists. The discovery that in some cases they have their own genome sheds some much-needed light on the issue."
Wong, 2005 Feb. The Littlest Human. Scientific American (February 2005) "Spectacular but controversial discoveries on an Indonesian island reveal that 13,000 years ago we shared the planet with a hobbit-size race of people."
KWONG, 2005 Feb 24. Human immunodeficiency virus: Refolding the envelope. (restricted access) Nature 433:815. "HIV has evolved to avoid neutralization by human antibodies. New atomic-level details reveal that such evasion involves substantial refolding of its exterior glycoprotein."
HENDRY, 2005 Feb 17. Evolutionary biology: The power of natural selection. (restricted access) Nature 433:694. "Adaptation by natural selection is the centrepiece of biology. Yet evolutionary biologists may be deluding themselves if they think they have a good handle on the typical strength of selection in nature."
BRAKEFIELD AND FRENCH, 2005 Feb 03. Evolutionary developmental biology: How and why to spot fly wings. (restricted access) Nature 433:466.
"How can different species evolve different physical features despite using similar molecular toolkits? Studies of wing colour development in fruitflies point to specific changes in a gene's regulatory region."
RUXTON AND SPEED, 2005 Jan 20. Evolution: A taste for mimicry. (restricted access) Nature 433:205. "Looking inedible is a great way to deter predators, but the warning signs must be learnt first. It seems that unpalatable species employ some unexpected strategies to make the education a quick one."
SÁEZ AND LOZANO, 2005 Jan 13. Body doubles. (restricted access) Nature 433:111. "Cryptic species: as we discover more examples of species that are morphologically indistinguishable, we need to ask why and how they exist."
ANNE WEIL, 2005 Jan 13. Mammalian palaeobiology: Living large in the Cretaceous. (restricted access) Nature 433:116. "Discoveries of large, carnivorous mammals from the Cretaceous challenge the long-held view that primitive mammals were small and uninteresting. Have palaeontologists been asking the wrong questions?"
COLTMAN, 2005 Jan 06. Evolutionary genetics: Differentiation by dispersal. (restricted access) Nature 433:23. "Gene flow between populations — caused by migration, for instance — is most often viewed as a homogenizing force in evolution. But two studies of wild birds and non-random dispersal find otherwise."