Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Evolution

Searching for habitable exoplanets? Look for phosphorus

Scientists develop a new way to search for potentially habitable exoplanets by measuring the amount of phosphorus in their stars. Such planets should also have abundant phosphorus – necessary for life on Earth – increasing the chances for life.

Rodent ancestors combined portions of blood and venom genes to make pheromones

Experts who study animal pheromones have traced the evolutionary origins of genes that allow mice, rats and other rodents to communicate through smell. The discovery is a clear example of how new genes can evolve through the random chance of molecular tinkering and may make identifying new pheromones easier in future studies. The results represent a genealogy for the exocrine-gland secreting peptide (ESP) gene family.

Genomes of two millipede species shed light on their evolution, development and physiology

Researchers have sequenced and analyzed complete genomes from two very different millipede species. The study provides important insights into arthropod evolution, and highlights the genetic underpinnings of unique features of millipede physiology.

Coronavirus mutations: what we’ve learned so far

Geneticists around the world are studying 100,000 coronavirus genomes – sampled from Covid-19 patients in over 100 countries – to try to understand how the virus is mutating, What science has learned.

Looking at evolution’s genealogy from home

Evolution leaves its traces — in particular — in genomes. Researchers used ‘2-n-way’ software to determine the relationships between species or individuals and compare any genome of and for anyone.

Evolutionary and heritable axes shape our brain

(Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences) Every region has its place in the brain. However, it has been unclear why brain regions are located where they are. Now, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have defined two main axes along which brain regions are genetically organized, stretching from posterior to anterior and inferior to superior in the brain. These axes are mainly shaped by genes and evolution.

Primate brain size does not predict their intelligence

A research team has systematically investigated the cognitive abilities of lemurs, which have relatively small brains compared to other primates. Conducting systematic tests with identical methods revealed that cognitive abilities of lemurs hardly differ from those of monkeys and great apes. Instead, this study revealed that the relationship between brain size and cognitive abilities cannot be generalized and it provides new insights into the evolution of primates.