News: 2011

News relating to evolution from American Scientist, Nature, Science ,and Scientific American are listed. The most recent articles are first.

NATURE: Search
SCIENCE: Search, Evolution, Paleontology, Anthropology, Molecular Biology, Genetics.

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

Aug. The Evolution of Grandparents. Scientific American (Aug 2011). "Senior citizens may have been the secret of our species's success."

Aug 26. A Jurassic eutherian mammal and divergence of marsupials and placentals. Nature 476:442Š445.

Aug 26. optix Drives the Repeated Convergent Evolution of Butterfly Wing Pattern Mimicry. Science 333:1137. "Heliconius butterfly wing pattern mimicry is driven by cis-regulatory variation of the optix gene."

Aug 26. Who Were the Denisovans? Science 333:1084-1087. "Several fossils belonging to a previously unknown type of archaic human were found last summer in a remote cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia."

Aug 18. Fossil jawless fish from China foreshadows early jawed vertebrate anatomy. Nature 476:324Š327.

Aug 12. A Simple Type of Wood in Two Early Devonian Plants. Science 333:837. "The earliest evolution of wood occurred in plants of surprisingly small stature."

Aug 5. Is Bigger Always Better? Science 333:708-709. "Female perceptual limitations may explain why sexual selection doesn't always lead to exaggerated male traits."

Jul. Evolution of the Eye. Scientific American (Jul 2011). "Scientists now have a clear vision of how our notoriously complex eye came to be."

Jul 28. An Archaeopteryx-like theropod from China and the origin of Avialae. Nature 475:465Š470.

Jul 29. Bad Birthday News for First Bird? Science 333:511. "A new fossil from China that looks a lot like Archaeopteryx and is apparently just 10 million years older is threatening to topple the earliest known bird from its perch."

Jul 29. Evidence for Network Evolution in an Arabidopsis Interactome Map. Science 333:601. "An analysis of protein-protein interactions in Arabidopsis identifies the plant interactome."

Jun 23. Non-adaptive origins of interactome complexity. Nature 474:502Š505.

Jul 8. Sex, Death, and the Red Queen. Science 333:166-167. "Experiments involving host-parasite interactions demonstrate the evolutionary benefits of sexual reproduction."

Jul 8. Running with the Red Queen: Host-Parasite Coevolution Selects for Biparental Sex. Science 333:216-218. "Outcrossing provides better survival than self-fertilization during coevolution between a host and its parasite."

Jun 17. Who Was Homo habilisŃAnd Was It Really Homo? Science 333:1370-1371. "A report in press finds that Homo habilis's dietary range was more like that of an australopithecine than H. erectus, suggesting that the handyman had yet to make the key adaptations associated with our genus."

Jun 17. Green Genomes. Science 333:1372-1375. "With about 30 plant genomes in hand, researchers trace the evolution of our flora and discover that plant DNA is unusually dynamic."

Jun 9. Discovery of novel intermediate forms redefines the fungal tree of life. Nature 474:200Š203.

Jun 2. Palaeoanthropology: In search of the australopithecines. Nature 474:43Š45.

Jun 2. Molecular evolution: Hidden diversity sparks adaptation. Nature 474:45Š46.

Jun 3. In Evolution, the Sum Is Less than Its Parts. Science 333:1160-1161. "Laboratory experiments with bacteria shed light on how epistatic interactions influence the pace of evolution."

Jun 3. Negative Epistasis Between Beneficial Mutations in an Evolving Bacterial Population. Science 333:1193-1196. "Interactions between genes reduce the benefits of a mutation and decrease the rate of fitness gain during adaptation."

May. Masters of Disguise: Animal Mimics Fool Their Foes. Scientific American (May 2011). "Animal mimicry takes many formsŃincluding chemical and acoustic varietiesŃand offers unique insights into evolution."

May 26. EarthÕs earliest non-marine eukaryotes. Nature 473:505Š509.

May 20. Evolving Large and Complex Brains. Science 332:926-927. "X-ray studies of two Early Jurassic fossils offer insight into the evolution of mammalian brains."

May 5. Evolutionary biology: The origins of novelty. Nature 473:34Š35.

May 5. Body plan innovation in treehoppers through the evolution of an extra wing-like appendage. Nature 473:83Š86.

Apr. The Enemy within: A New Pattern of Antibiotic Resistance. Scientific American (Apr 2011). "A new pattern of antibiotic resistance that is spreading around the globe may soon leave us defenseless against a frighteningly wide range of dangerous bacterial infections."

Apr 29. A New Ancestor for Homo? Science 332:534. "South African researchers announced in talks at the Paleoanthropology Society and American Association of Physical Anthropologists meetings that they had found bones and teeth from at least four individuals of a new species of early human, Australopithecus sediba."

Apr 29. Brain Evolution Triggers Increased Diversification of Electric Fishes. Science 332:583-586. "Evolution of the perceptual abilities of mormyrid electric fishes increased signal variation and species diversification."

Apr 21. Evolutionary biology: Light sense. Nature 472:300Š301. "Evidence that a larval brachiopod has ciliary photoreceptors that are directionally selective, and therefore may function as eyes, bears on an enduring puzzle about photoreceptor evolution in animals."

Apr 14. Mammalian evolution: A jaw-dropping ear. Nature 472:174Š176. "A fossil from the Early Cretaceous provides insight into the evolution of the hearing apparatus in mammals. Anchoring the eardrum was, it seems, an essential step in freeing the middle ear from the jaw."

Apr 15. Tennessee House Bill Opens Door to Challenges to Evolution, Climate Change. Science 332:295. "U.S. science educators are wringing their hands over what they characterize as a significant legislative victory for those who oppose the teaching of evolution."

Apr 15. Interplay Between Changing Climate and SpeciesÕ Ecology Drives Macroevolutionary Dynamics. Science 332:349-351. "Fossil records show that speciation and extinction are influenced by interaction with other species and with the environment."

Apr 7. Transitional mammalian middle ear from a new Cretaceous Jehol eutriconodont. Nature 472:181Š185.

Apr 8. Rapid Insect Evolution by Symbiont Transfer. Science 332:185-186. "A symbiotic bacteria dramatically increases reproduction and survival in a common insect pest."

Apr 8. Rapid Spread of a Bacterial Symbiont in an Invasive Whitefly Is Driven by Fitness Benefits and Female Bias. Science 332:254-256. "A Rickettsia bacterium promotes its own geographical spread by manipulating its insect hostÕs sex ratio and fecundity."

Mar-Apr. Refuting a Myth About Human Origins. American Scientist (Mar-Apr 2011). "Homo sapiens emerged once, not as modern-looking people first and as modern-behaving people later."

Mar 28. The Evolution of Cave Life. American Scientist (Mar-Apr 2011). "New concepts are challenging conventional ideas about life underground."

Mar 31. A eudicot from the Early Cretaceous of China. Nature 471:625–628.

Mar 25. Paleontology: On Dental Occlusion and Saber Teeth. Science 331:1525-1528. "An early mammal relative from Brazil offers insight into the early evolution of herbivory."

Mar 25. Early Pleistocene Presence of Acheulian Hominins in South India. Science 331:1596-1599. "Dates from a site in southeast India imply an early migration of Homo through Eurasia about 1.1 to 1.5 million years ago."

Mar 4. Dietary Change and Evolution of Horses in North America. Science 331:1178-1181. "A survey of horse-teeth wear during the past 55 million years implies that evolutionary pressures were generally low."

Mar 3. Phylogenomic analyses unravel annelid evolution. Nature 471:95–98.

Feb 25. Tracing the Tree of Life. Science 331:1005-1006. "With the help of next-generation sequencing, a team of evolutionary biologists is shining a scientific spotlight on little-studied organisms in order to refine the much-debated animal tree of life."

Feb 24. An armoured Cambrian lobopodian from China with arthropod-like appendages. Nature 470:526–530.

Feb 17. The evolutionary context of the first hominins. Nature 470:347–352.

Feb 10. Evolution: A can of worms. Nature 470:161-162. "An obscure group of tiny creatures takes centre stage in a battle to work out the tree of life."

Feb 4. The Golden Age of Human Population Genetics. Science 331:547. "Population genetics allows us to reconstruct human genealogical and mutational history."

Feb 4. What Defines Us? Science 331:548. "The Human Genome Project undermines cherished ideas about human uniqueness. But it also hints at a new vision of humanity."

Feb 4. Climate and Human Evolution. Science 331:540-542. "Climate change and its effects on African ecosystems may have played a key role in human evolution."

Feb 4. Directed Evolution of a Protein Container. Science 331:589-592. "An engineered protein container protects its bacterial host by efficient and selective encapsulation of a toxic protease."

Jan-Feb. Chromatin Evolving. American Scientist (Jan-Feb 2011). "Despite our long familiarity with the chromosome, much about its function and evolution remains a mystery."

Jan. Dawn of the Deed: The Origin of Sex. Scientific American (Jan 2011). "Fish fossils push back the origin of copulation in backboned animals and suggest that it was a key turning point in our evolution."

Jan 28. The Species Problem. Science 331:394. "Our ancestors are now thought to have mated with at least two kinds of archaic humans at two different times and places. Were they engaging in interspecies sex, or does the fact that they were able to produce offspring mean they were all members of the same species?"

Jan 28. Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom, But Not in the Classroom. Science 331:404-405. "Sixty percent of U.S. high school biology teachers are not advocates for either evolutionary biology or nonscientific alternatives."

Jan 28. The Genomic View of Bacterial Diversification. Science 331:407-409. "By comparing whole genome sequences, researchers reconstruct the evolution and global spread of an antibiotic-resistant strain."

Jan 28. The Newest Synthesis: Understanding the Interplay of Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics. Science 331:426-429.

Jan 20. Evolutionary biology: The many styles of sperm. Nature 470:269.

Jan 20. Phylogenetics: How one elephant became two. Nature 470:269.

Jan 20. Evolutionary biology: Farming writ small. Nature 470:308–309.

Jan 14. Pint-Sized Predator Rattles The Dinosaur Family Tree. Science 331:134. "A team working in Argentina reports the discovery of a very early dinosaur—possibly a distant ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex—that lived about 230 million years ago, during what paleontologists call the dawn of the dinosaurs."

Jan 14. A Basal Dinosaur from the Dawn of the Dinosaur Era in Southwestern Pangaea. Science 331:206-210. "Two hundred thirty million years ago, in what is now Argentina, dinosaurs could be found as the dominant carnivores or as small herbivores."

Jan 6. Evolutionary biology: Catfish mimics. Nature 470:41–42.

Jan 6. Rapid evolutionary innovation during an Archaean genetic expansion. Nature 470:93–96.

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Copyright © 2011 Stanley C. Spencer. All Rights Reserved.