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
Prum, 2008 Dec 19. EVOLUTION: Who's Your Daddy? Science 322:1799-1800. "The male-only nest care system of some birds may have its evolutionary origins in theropod dinosaur behavior."
Varricchio et al., 2008 Dec 19. Avian Paternal Care Had Dinosaur Origin. Science 322:1826-1828. "The large egg clutches of troodontid and oviraptor dinosaurs and evidence that fossils of brooding dinosaurs were males shows that paternal care was ancestral to birds."
Jones, 2008 Dec 18. A wonderful life by leaps and bounds. (restricted access) Nature 456:873. "Stephen Jay Gould's idea of evolution by bursts was controversial. But it gave the field of palaeontology a long-overdue boost."
Charlesworth, 2008 Dec 5. EVOLUTION: Competitive Centromeres. Science 322:1484-1485. "Divergence in DNA sequence associated with a common chromosomal element is linked to fitness and evolution of a wild species of flower."
Wax , 2008 Oct. Using Math to Explain How Life on Earth Began. Scientific America. How did self-replicating molecules come to dominate the early Earth? Using the mathematics of evolutionary dynamics, Martin A. Nowak can explain the change from no life to life.
Hunt, 2008 Nov 28. EVOLUTION: All for One and One for All. (restricted access) Nature 322:1327. "Summarizing the past couple of decades of research on the ecology and evolution of social insects—with their tightly knit colonies, altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor—Hölldobler and Wilson argue that these "superorganisms" represent a basic stage of biological organization, between the organism and the species."
Reisz & Head, 2008 Nov 27. Palaeontology: Turtle origins out to sea. Nature 456:450. "Various aspects of turtle evolution are the subject of vigorous debate among vertebrate palaeontologists. A newly described fossil species, the oldest yet discovered, adds grist to the mill."
Price et al., 2008 Nov 21. Selfish Genetic Elements Promote Polyandry in a Fly. Nature 322:1241-1243. "Genes that confer a deleterious sex ratio in Drosophila also decrease male fertility and promote repetitive mating in females, providing a possible explanation of polyandry."
?, 2008 Nov 20. Darwin 200: The needs of the many. (restricted access) Nature 456:296. "The idea that natural selection acts on groups, as well as individuals, is a source of unending debate. Marek Kohn reports on what the two sides disagree about — and why it matters to them."
?, 2008 Nov 20. Darwin 200: Beneath the surface. (restricted access) Nature 456:300. "You might think that once evolution has found one way to get something done, it will stick with it. But similar physical forms can hide radically different wiring, finds Tanguy Chouard."
?, 2008 Nov 20. Darwin 200: Let's make a mammoth. (restricted access) Nature 456:310. "Evolution assumes that extinction is forever. Maybe not. Henry Nicholls asks what it would take to bring the woolly mammoth back from the dead."
?, 2008 Nov 20. Darwin 200: Great expectations. Nature 456:317. "A new path for evolution? A truce in the culture wars? Here's what a selection of readers told Nature they expect from Darwin 200."
Milinski, 2008 Nov 20. Colonies that conquer. Nature 456:320. "A landmark book documents how social insects form highly successful colonies that mimic a single organism."
Baker, 2008 Nov 20. Darwin: heading to a town near you. Nature 456:322. "The theory of evolution challenges artists and philosophers as much as scientists. Joanne Baker rounds up the many forthcoming events worldwide that examine Darwin's life, his work and reactions to it."
Hofreiter, 2008 Nov 20. DNA sequencing: Mammoth genomics. Nature 456:330. "Reconstruction of most of the genome sequence of the woolly mammoth illustrates how such investigations will pave the way for a deeper understanding of the biology and evolution of extinct species."
Bohannon, 2008 Nov 14. EVOLUTION: Vatican Science Conference Offers an Ambiguous Message. (restricted access) Nature 322:1038. "Scientists who hoped for a clear statement of support for evolution from the Catholic Church at a closed-door conference on evolutionary origins held at the Vatican last week went home empty-handed. Others, expecting little, were happy with a détente between science and faith."
Simpson et al., 2008 Nov 14. A Female Homo erectus Pelvis from Gona, Ethiopia. Nature 322:. "A nearly complete pelvis of an adult female Homo erectus reveals that its morphology had evolved in response to increasing fetal brain size, not environmental factors."
Bowler et al., 2008 Nov 13. . Nature 456:239. "The Phaeodactylum genome reveals the evolutionary history of diatom genomes."
Balter, 2008 Oct 31. EVOLUTION: Two Sets of Cave Bear DNA Uncover the Bear Facts. (restricted access) Nature 322:662. "A paper published online this week helps untangle bear phylogeny by presenting the mitochondrial genome of the extinct cave bear, Ursus spelaeus. Another paper, published last July, also reported the complete mitochondrial DNA of the cave bear as well as that of the extinct American short-faced bear, Arctodus simus."
Culotta, 2008 Oct 31. SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY 68TH ANNUAL MEETING: Two Legs Good. (restricted access) Nature 322:670-671. "At the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting, researchers presented a single bone, the thighbone of an ancient australopithecine from Galili, Ethiopia, that may add an interesting piece to the puzzle of how our famed ancestor "Lucy's" two-legged gait evolved."
Technau, 2008 Oct 30. Evolutionary biology: Small regulatory RNAs pitch in. Nature 455:1184. "How did organismal complexity evolve at a cellular level, and how does a genome encode it? The answer might lie in differences, not in the number of genes an organism has, but rather in the regulation of gene expression."
Sander and Clauss, 2008 Oct 10. PALEONTOLOGY: Sauropod Gigantism. (restricted access) Nature 322:200-201. "How did sauropod dinosaurs reach body sizes that remain unsurpassed in land-living animals?"
Cresko, 2008 Oct 10. EVOLUTION: Armor Development and Fitness. (restricted access) Nature 322:204-206. "The fitness of stickleback fish that develop different numbers of external bony plates varies between oceanic and freshwater environments."
Ruse, 2008 Oct 3. EVOLUTION: A Challenge Standing on Shaky Clay. Nature 322:47-48. "The author holds that for most of Western history, science and religion have "gone hand in hand," and he takes the search for intelligent design in nature to have been an overriding concern of science."
Kirkpatrick & Price, 2008 Oct 2. Sensory ecology: In sight of speciation. Nature 455:601. "Adaptation of a fish's eyes to its visual environment can bias females to mate with different males according to their coloration. This sensory preference can contribute to the formation of new species."
Wax, 2008 Sep-Oct. Using Math to Explain How Life on Earth Began. American Scientist.
"How did self-replicating molecules come to dominate the early earth? Using the mathematics of evolutionary dynamics, Martin A. Nowak can explain the change from no life to life."
Clery, 2008 Sep 26. Misjudged Talk Opens Creationist Rift at Royal Society. Science 321:1752-1753. "Last week, a talk titled "Should Creationism Be a Part of the Science Curriculum?" cost the speaker, Michael Reiss, his job as director of education at the Royal Society, Britain's academy of science."
?, 2008 Sep 18. Postmodern evolution? Nature 455:281. "This summer a group of high-profile researchers met in Altenberg, Austria, to try and plot the future course of evolutionary theory. John Whitfield was there."
Gibbons, 2008 Sep 12. Brainy Babies and Risky Births for Neandertals. Science 321:1429. "A new study of a rare Neandertal newborn and two infants shows that our closest relatives were born with brains as large as ours and that those brains grew rapidly during the first few years of life."
Roy, 2008 Sep 12. Dynamics of Body Size Evolution. Science 321:1451-1452. "Is bigger better? Does climate affect size? The processes controlling body size evolution remain unclear."
?, 2008 Aug 28. The evolution of cancer. Nature 454:1046. "Cancer cells vary; they compete; the fittest survive. Patrick Goymer reports on how evolutionary biology can be applied to cancer — and what good it might do."
Ghazanfar, 2008 Aug 15. Bridging the Big Gap. Science 321:914. "Drawing on neuroscience, cultural evolution, and human biology, the author argues for an approach that abandons "prehistory" and unites our recent and deep pasts."
Pennisi, 2008 Aug 8. Deciphering the Genetics of Evolution. Science 321:760-763. "Powerful personalities in evolutionary biology have been tussling over how the genome changes to set the stage for evolution."
Zimmer, 2008 Aug 1. Is Dinosaur 'Soft Tissue' Really Slime? Science 321:623. "This week, scientists challenged a 2005 report of intact blood vessels from a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, arguing that the dinosaur flesh was in fact just coatings of young bacteria. But the original researchers stand by their results, calling the new argument weak."
Clauset and Erwin, 2008 Jul 18. The Evolution and Distribution of Species Body Size. Science 321:399-401. "A model of evolutionary body-size changes that accounts for physical constraints and extinction risk reproduces the size distribution of land mammals from the Quaternary."
Pennisi, 2008 Jul 11. Modernizing the Modern Synthesis. (restricted access) Science 321:196-197. "Seventy years ago, evolutionary biologists hammered out the modern synthesis to bring Darwin's ideas in line with current insights into how organisms change through time. Some say it's time for Modern Synthesis 2.0."
Janvier, 2008 Jul 10. Squint of the fossil flatfish. Nature 454:169. "Evolutionary biologists have floundered when trying to explain how the asymmetrical head of flatfishes came about. 'Gradually' is the answer arising from exquisite studies of 45-million-year-old fossil specimens."
Pennisi, 2008 Jul 11. Where Have All Thoreau's Flowers Gone? (restricted access) Science 321:24-25. "By retracing Henry David Thoreau's footsteps during his famous stay at Walden Pond, researchers have detected a disturbing pattern in the fate of scores of plant species as the New England climate has changed since Thoreau's time, one that they described last week at the Evolution 2008 meeting."
Sanderson, 2008 Jul 11. Phylogenetic Signal in the Eukaryotic Tree of Life. Science 321:121-123. "A survey of sequences in GenBank, which represent about 10 percent of described species, shows that the patchy distribution of data is insufficient to build a eukaryotic tree of life."
?, 2008 Jul 3. Details of being human. (restricted access) Nature 454:21. "A difference in one molecule led physician Ajit Varki to question what sets humans apart from other apes. Bruce Lieberman meets a man who sees a big picture in the finer points."
Deamer, 2008 Jul 3. How leaky were primitive cells? Nature 454:37. "If the first cells were simple vesicles, how did nutrients cross their membranes without help from transport proteins? A model of a primitive cell suggests that early membranes were surprisingly permeable."
Zimmer, 2008 June. What Is a Species? Scientific American. "To this day, scientists struggle with that question. A better definition can influence which animals make the endangered list."
Rybicki,, 2008 June. Where Did Viruses Come From? Scientific American. "Tracing the origins of viruses is difficult because they do not leave fossils and because of how cunningly they make copies of themselves within cells."
Wong, 2008 June. Hobbit Hullabaloo. Scientific American "New findings challenge the idea of a mini human species on Flores."
Pennisi, 2008 Jun 27. Building the Tree of Life, Genome by Genome. (restricted access) Science 320:1716-1717. "Cheaper sequencing has put many more genes into the hands of researchers trying to sort out the degree of relatedness of a menagerie of organisms. Thanks to one such "phylogenomic" analysis reported on page 1763 of this week's issue of Science, bird guides may never be the same."
Ley et al., 2008 Jun 20. Evolution of Mammals and Their Gut Microbes . Science 320:1647-1651. "Genomic sampling of the microbes in the feces of 60 mammals show that herbivores harbor the most diversity and that individuals of the same species have the same flora."
Gee, 2008 Jun 19. The amphioxus unleashed. Nature 453:999. "The genome sequence of a species of amphioxus, an iconic organism in the history of evolutionary biology, opens up a fresh vista on the comparative investigation of chordates and vertebrates."
Sasidharan and Gerstein, 2008 Jun 5. Protein fossils live on as RNA. Nature 453:729. "Pseudogenes constitute many of the non-coding DNA sequences that make up large parts of genomes. Once considered merely protein fossils, it now emerges that some of them have active regulatory roles."
González-José et al., 2008 Jun 5. . Nature 453:775. "Cladistic analysis of continuous modularized traits provides phylogenetic signals in Homo evolution."
Carroll and Prudhomme, 2008 May. Regulating Evolution: How Gene Switches Make Life. Scientific American (May 2008). "Switches within DNA that govern when and where genes are turned on enable genomes to generate the great diversity of animal forms from very similar sets of genes."
Balter, 2008 May 30. Ancient DNA From Frozen Hair May Untangle Eskimo Roots. Science 320:1146-1147. "This week, researchers report online in Science the sequencing of mitochondrial DNA from a male Paleo-Eskimo who lived in western Greenland roughly 4000 years ago--the first near-complete ancient mtDNA genome ever published."
Schal, 2008 May 29. Evolutionary biology: Sex ratios writ small. Nature 453:605. "The evolutionary theory of sex ratios should apply to all creatures, both great and small. Experimental studies of the proportions of male to female sex cells of malaria parasites deliver cheering results."
Reece et al., 2008 May 29. . Nature 453:609. "Sex ratio adjustment and kin discrimination in malaria parasites."
Glaubrecht, 2008 May 23. Hard Facts About Soft Animals. (restricted access) Science 320:1014-1015. "The contributors combine data from anatomy, ecology, paleontology, and genomics to provide a summary of what we do and do not know about the evolutionary relationships of molluscs."
McDermott, 2008 May 15. The evolution of music. (restricted access) Nature 453:287. "In the second of a nine-part essay series, Josh McDermott explores the origins of the human urge to make and hear music."
Pennisi, 2008 May 2. Fossils Help Figure Out Food Webs Old and New. (restricted access) Science 320:598-599. "A daring analysis of fossils from China and Canada shows that marine plants and animals from the Cambrian Period formed food webs on par with those existing today."
Moore, 2008 May 1. Science teaching must evolve. Nature 453:31. "Evolutionary theory, study and knowledge moved on dramatically in the latter half of the twentieth century, but school teaching, curricula and teacher training are still in the primeval soup era."
Culotta, 2008 Apr 25. When Hobbits (Slowly) Walked the Earth. (restricted access) Science 320:433-435. 'At the recent American Association of Physical Anthropology meetings, a researcher described the foot bones of an 18,000-year-old Indonesian skeleton known as the "hobbit." The tiny hominin would not have walked like we do, he said, and may offer "a window into a primitive bipedal foot."'
Kuiper et al., 2008 Apr 25. Synchronizing Rock Clocks of Earth History. Science 320:500-504. "Tying an argon-argon dating standard to a section dated with Earth’s orbital variations yields older ages for the standard and for other events, including the K-T boundary."
Xiao, 2008 Mar 21. Rise and Demise of Ghostly Animals. (restricted access) Science 319:1618-1619. "The strange organisms of the Ediacaran are the topic of two recent titles, a monograph that will most interest paleontologists and evolutionary biologists and an account that will reward the general public."
?, 2008 Mar 20. Punisher pays. Nature 452:297. "The tendency of humans to punish perceived free-loaders, even at a cost to themselves, is an evolutionary puzzle: punishers perish, and those who benefit the most are those who have never punished at all."
Dalton, 2008 Mar 6. Hobbit was 'a cretin.' (restricted access) Nature 452:12. "Fossil may be early example of hypothyroidism."
Tice, 2008 Mar 6. Modern life in ancient mats. (restricted access) Nature 452:40. "Microbial communities seem to have inhabited tidal sediments 2.9 billion years ago much as they do today — but what organisms were involved, and how they made their living, remain intriguing questions."
Pennisi, 2008 Feb 29. Rocking the Cradle of Humanity. (restricted access) Science 319:1182-1183. "The nation of Ethiopia is seeking to leverage its past--including its most famous daughter, the hominid called Lucy--to help secure its future."
Kokko, 2008 Feb 29. Happening Now, Outdoors. Science 319:1187-1188. "Drawing on decades of research in the Galapagos (especially their own work), the authors offer a comprehensive introduction to Darwin's finches and to evolutionary radiations on islands."
Couzin, 2008 Feb 22. Crossing the Divide. (restricted access) Science 319:1034-1036. "Like others who have rejected creationism and embraced evolution, paleontologist Stephen Godfrey is still recovering from the traumatic journey. "
Keeling, 2008 Feb 21. Bridge over troublesome plastids. Nature 451:896. "Identification of a direct link between apicomplexan parasites and their algal ancestors is a development full of promise. It illuminates a dark corner in the evolution of photosynthesis, and further insights are to come."
Abedin and King, 2008 Feb 15. The Premetazoan Ancestry of Cadherins. Science 319:946-948. "A close unicellular relative of metazoans unexpectedly contains 23 genes for a cell adhesion protein, suggesting a role for the protein in the evolution of multicellularity."
Speakman, 2008 Feb 14. A first for bats. Nature 451:774. "Which came first as bats evolved — flight or echolocation? Newly described fossils favour the flight-first hypothesis. But these creatures may have been otherwise equipped for flying at night."
Hendry, 2008 Feb 14. Darwin in the fossils. (restricted access) Nature 451:779. "Adaptation by natural selection is thought to drive evolution. Although it has been difficult to confirm this process in the fossil record, evidence has been there all along: we just haven't been looking properly."
Padian, 2008 Feb 7. Darwin's enduring legacy. Nature 451:632. "As the 200th year since the great naturalist's birth begins, Kevin Padian looks forward to a season of celebration by outlining how Darwin's ideas changed scientific thinking."
Gouy and Chaussidon, 2008 Feb 7. Ancient bacteria liked it hot. Nature 451:635. "Proteins from ancestral bacteria have been modelled and reconstructed. Strikingly, the heat stability of these proteins parallels the temperatures of their ocean habitats, as determined from the geological record."
Phillips, 2008 Feb 7. Who shouldn't be your daddy. (restricted access) Nature 451:640. "Unusual reproductive incompatibility has been discovered between two strains of a nematode worm. This finding indicates that natural selection can generate long-term divergence within self-fertilizing populations."
Atkinson et al., 2008 Feb 1. Languages Evolve in Punctuational Bursts. Science 319:588. "A study of Bantu, Indo-European, Austronesian, and Polynesian languages shows that up to one-third of their words arose in rapid evolutionary bursts from the predecessor tongue."
Wong et al., 2008 Jan 25. Alignment Uncertainty and Genomic Analysis. Science 319:473-476. "Comparative evolutionary genomics can be improved by taking into account the uncertainties inherent in aligning genes from organism to organism."
Caron, 2008 Jan 10. Ancient worms in armour. Nature 451:133. "It requires a quirk of fossilization for the soft parts of an animal to be preserved. Study of such a specimen of the mysterious machaeridians provides these organisms with a well defined evolutionary home."