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
Ariza, 2007 Dec. Evolution in a Petri Dish. Scientific American (Dec 2007). "In the lab, seeing how infectious disease triggers new species."
Dunn, 2007 Dec. Our Evolving Present. Scientific American (Dec 2007). "Human changes to the environment are accelerating evolution in many ecosystems."
Kerr, 2007 Dec 21. Did an Asteroid Shower Kick-Start the Great Diversification? (restricted access) Science 318:1854. "This week, a team of geologists and paleontologists reports that a collision in the asteroid belt showered Earth with debris just when the Ordovician diversification was getting started, suggesting a cause-and-effect connection."
Schmidt et al., 2007 Dec 14. Carnivorous Fungi from Cretaceous Amber. Science 318:1743. "Fungi with long filaments surrounding their nematode prey are preserved in Cretaceous amber, indicating that fungi have evolved trapping structures multiple times."
Williamson and Vickers, 2007 Nov-Dec. The Origins of Larvae. (restricted access) American Scientist (November-December 2007). "Mismatches between the forms of adult animals and their larvae may reflect fused genomes, expressed in sequence in complex life histories."
Kaiser, 2007 Nov-Dec. The Other Evolution Wars. American Scientist (November-December 2007). "Creationists have long battled with geologists and biologists, but they have only lately taken on physicists and cosmologists."
Lockwood et al., 2007 Nov 30. Extended Male Growth in a Fossil Hominin Species. Science 318:1443-1446.
"A large sample of facial bones from an early hominin, Paranthropus robustus, shows that males matured later than females and may have monopolized groups of females."
?, 2007 Nov 01. Palaeontology: Tunnel vision. (restricted access) Nature 450:18 "Is blasting into a river bluff any way to do palaeontology? Alison Abbott reports on an unusual expedition into the Alaskan wilderness in search of the bones of polar dinosaurs."
Choi and Bowles, 2007 Oct 26. The Coevolution of Parochial Altruism and War. Science 318:636-640. "Simulations show that altruism and parochialism may have coevolved, despite the negative costs of each, by yielding combined benefits through success in intergroup conflict."
McBrearty and Stringer, 2007 Oct 18. The coast in colour. Nature 449:793. "A South African cave overlooking the Indian Ocean was apparently a desirable residence for early humans. The site has provided rich evidence for the early use of colour and marine resources."
Diamond, 2007 Oct 11. An incomparable life. (restricted access) Nature 449:659. "Exceptional intellect and creativity made Ernst Mayr the last century's greatest evolutionary biologist."
Book Review of Ornithology, Evolution, and Philosophy: The Life and Science of Ernst Mayr 1904–2005 by Ornithology, Evolution, and Philosophy: The Life and Science.
Louis, 2007 Oct 11. Evolutionary genetics: Making the most of redundancy. Nature 449:673. "Single genes, chromosomal regions and even entire genomes can undergo duplication. What good can come of these extra copies? Evolution seems to use several tricks to take advantage of the situation."
Ostrander, 2007 Sep-Oct. Genetics and the Shape of Dogs. American Scientist (Sep-Oct 2007) "Studying the new sequence of the canine genome shows how tiny genetic changes can create enormous variation within a single species."
Polly, 2007 Sep 27. Development with a bite. Nature 449:413. "Predictions drawn from experiments on the growth of molar teeth in mice, and applied to a wide range of related species, provide a remarkable connection between developmental and evolutionary biology."
Turner et al., 2007 Sep 21. Feather Quill Knobs in the Dinosaur Velociraptor. Science 317:1721. "Regularly spaced knobs on a fossil ulna of a Velociraptor, a 1- to 2-meter-long theropod, are similar to knobs housing secondary feathers on modern birds."
Lieberman, 2007 Sep 20. Homing in on early Homo. Nature 449:291. "Newly described fossils from Georgia in Eurasia and from Kenya shed more light on the earliest members of the genus Homo. These finds indicate that there was considerable variability in their size and shape."
?, 2007 Sep 06. Time traps. Nature 449:20. "The whole world felt the effects of the dinosaur-killing mass extinction 65 million years ago. But a spot in Colorado may have the best record of it. Rex Dalton reports from Denver."
Tang et al., 2007 Aug 24. The Evolution of Selfing in Arabidopsis thaliana. Science 317:1070-1072. "An analysis of sex genes shows that at several times throughout its history—-including about 1 million years ago—-Arabidopsis has developed the ability to self-fertilize."
Retchless and Lawrence, 2007 Aug 24. Temporal Fragmentation of Speciation in Bacteria. Science 317:1093-1096. Unlike eukaryotes, bacteria can be considered to form new species when lineage-specific genes no longer recombine, long before recombination at other genes ceases completely.
Renner, 2007 Aug 28. Evolutionary biology: Structure in mutualistic networks. Nature 448:877. "Statistical analyses of the networks formed by plant–animal mutualisms can now take account of the relatedness of the players on either side. How helpful is this innovation for understanding network dynamics?"
Robertson and Scott, 2007 Aug 16. Designer enzymes. (restricted access) Nature 448:757. "Evolution has crafted thousands of enzymes that are efficient catalysts for a plethora of reactions. Human attempts at enzyme design trail far behind, but may benefit from exploiting evolutionary tactics."
Graffin and Provine, 2007 Jul-Aug. Evolution, Religion and Free Will. American Scientist (Jul-Aug 2007) "The most eminent evolutionary scientists have surprising views on how religion relates to evolution."
O'Brien and Johnson, 2007 Jul. The Evolution of Cats. (restricted access) Scientific American (Jul 2007) "Genomic paw prints in the DNA of the world's wild cats have clarified the cat family tree and uncovered several remarkable migrations in their past."
Driscoll et al., 2007 Jul 27. The Near Eastern Origin of Cat Domestication. Science 317:519-523. "The domestic cat and several of its closely related wild relatives originated in the Fertile Crescent over 100,000 years ago, earlier than had been thought."
Nick Lane, 2007 Jul 12. Mass extinctions: Reading the book of death. Nature 448:122. "Studies of mass extinctions tend to emphasize the sheer scope of the carnage. But subtle differences between the species that died and those that survived can be crucial."
Jiménez-Guri et al., 2007 Jul 06. Buddenbrockia Is a Cnidarian Worm. Science 317:116-118. "Protein sequences indicate that a strange worm discovered over a century ago is actually a cnidarian, a finding that challenges views on body plan evolution."
Sherratt, 2007 Jul 05. Evolutionary biology: Mimicry on the edge. Nature 448:34. "The latest turn in studies of mimicry in the animal world involves great tits as predators and almonds as prey. When it comes to being unpalatable, it seems that some mimics may neither flatter nor deceive."
Shapiro, 2007 Jun. A Simpler Origin for Life. Scientific American (June 2007). "Energy-driven networks of small molecules may be more likely first steps for life than the commonly held idea of the sudden emergence of large self-replicating molecules such as RNA."
Cifelli & Gordon, 2007 Jun 21. Re-crowning mammals. Nature 447:918. "The evolutionary history of mammals is being tackled both through molecular analyses and through morphological studies of fossils. The 'molecules versus morphology' debate remains both vexing and vibrant."
, 2007 Jun 14. Evolution and the brain. (restricted access) Nature 447:753. With all deference to the sensibilities of religious people, the idea that man was created in the image of God can surely be put aside.
Bell, 2007 May 31. Animal personalities. Nature 447:539. "That different people differ in their readiness to take risks is an obvious feature of human personality. Theoretical advances now help in making sense of observations of analogous behaviour in animals."
Holland, 2007 May 11. Developmental biology: A chordate with a difference. (restricted access) Nature 447:153. "Molecular studies of tunicate development show that genetic programmes for early embryonic patterning can change radically during evolution, without completely disrupting the basic chordate body plan."
Gee, 2007 Apr 26. In a hole in the ground.... Nature 440:979. "What happens when you find a hobbit — or a unicorn?"
Book Review of The Discovery of the Hobbit: The Scientific Breakthrough that Changed the Face of Human History by Mike Morwood & Penny Van Oosterzee.
Lake, 2007 Apr 26. Disappearing act. Nature 440:983. "The bizarre absence of certain gene classes in eukaryotes is key to understanding their evolution and complex links with prokaryotes."
Hopkin, 2007 Apr 19. Chimps lead evolutionary race. (restricted access) Nature 440:841. "More chimpanzee genes have been positively selected for than human ones."
Meyer-Berthaud & Decombeix, 2007 Apr 19. A tree without leaves. Nature 440:861. "The puzzle presented by the famous stumps of Gilboa, New York, finds a solution in the discovery of two fossil specimens that allow the entire structure of these early trees to be reconstructed."
Janvier, 2007 Apr 12. Born-again hagfishes. Nature 440:622 "The strange, slimy creatures called hagfishes are of abiding interest to students of vertebrate evolution: just where do they fit in? Investigations of hagfish development take the story forward."
Davis et al., 2007 Mar 30. Floral Gigantism in Rafflesiaceae. Science 315:1812. "Rafflesiaceae plants with huge flowers but neither stems nor leaves have been evolutionarily mysterious; they are now shown to be spurges (Euphorbiaceae)."
Penny and Phillips, 2007 Mar 29. Mass survivals. Nature 446:501. "The conclusion that the primary divergences of the modern groups of mammals occurred in the mid-Cretaceous requires fresh thinking about this facet of evolutionary history — especially in ecological terms."
Gillespie and Emerson, 2007 Mar 22. Adaptation under a microscope. Nature 446:386. "Experiments with microorganisms can guide thinking about the big questions being tackled by evolutionary biologists — for instance, how predation and immigration might play a role in adaptive radiation."
Friis and Crane, 2007 Mar 15. New home for tiny aquatics. Nature 446:269. "A shake-up of current thinking about the evolution of the angiosperms — the flowering plants — is a consequence of the relocation of a hitherto obscure branch on the angiosperm evolutionary tree."
Hendry, 2007 Mar 08. The Elvis paradox. (restricted access) Nature 446:147. "Evidence for a universal driver of evolution across all timescales could mean that the venerable paradox of stasis is dead. But even with such evidence, some biologists would be reluctant to accept its passing."
?, 2007 Feb 22. Plant biology: The flower of seduction. Nature 445:816. "Hundreds of orchid species lure their pollinators with the promise of sex, only to send them away unfulfilled. Heidi Ledford looks at how dishonesty gives them the evolutionary edge."
Allen and Martin, 2007 Feb 15. Evolutionary biology: Out of thin air. Nature 445:610. "The invention of oxygenic photosynthesis was a small step for a bacterium, but a giant leap for biology and geochemistry. So when and how did cells first learn to split water to make oxygen gas?"
Donoghue, 2007 Jan 18. Palaeontology: Embryonic identity crisis. Nature 445:155. "The oldest known animal fossils, identified as eggs and embryos, had been expected to reveal secrets from a period of great evolutionary change. Will the latest theory about the fossils' origins confound these hopes?"
Savolainen and Lehmann, 2007 Jan 18. Genetics and bisexuality. (restricted access) Nature 445:158. "A population-genetic model indicates that if there is a gene responsible for homosexual behaviour it can readily spread in populations. The model also predicts widespread bisexuality in humans."
Gee, 2007 Jan 04. Developmental biology: This worm is not for turning. (restricted access)Nature 445:33. "Molecular investigations of the origin of the dorso-ventral axis in an obscure marine invertebrate illuminate one of the longest-running debates in evolutionary biology — that over the origin of vertebrates."
Baudouin-Cornu and Thomas, 2007 Jan 04. Oxygen at life's boundaries. Nature 445:35. "Proteins are made of amino acids. But amino acids are made of atoms. Exploration of this self-evident principle opens up fresh perspectives on the evolution of biological membranes and multicellular life."