by Piyush Nandafigures by Corena Loeb Around 600 million years ago, single-celled life transitioned to multicellular life forms, begetting a paradigm shift in the definition of life on earth. This was an event so remarkable in earth’s timeline that it would set the stage for the evolution of complex organisms, from sponges to the human body we each reside in. These complex life forms eventually … Continue reading Grand Evolutionary Transitions: The eruption of multicellularity
A new study shows that some lizards can use air bubbles to breathe underwater. Continue reading Air Bubbles Allow Some Lizards to Breathe Underwater
An international team of researchers sequenced the microbes from dental scrapings of Neanderthals to understand more about their diet. Continue reading Understanding Our Evolution through our Mouth Microbes
Research has revealed distinct sleeping pattern in octopuses, providing new evolutionary insights into speciation. Continue reading Cephalopod Resting Cycles Provide Evolutionary Insights
by Sophia Swartzfigures by Shreya Mantri The first reports of a mysterious, pneumonia-like illness surfaced in early December 2019. Fast-forward to 2021, and the culprit—SARS-CoV-2, a virus a thousand times smaller than a speck of dust—has sickened more than 111 million people, infected all seven continents, and killed approximately 2.5 million. The toll of COVID-19 is heart-wrenching and borders on dystopian. Our pandemic present is … Continue reading Mutation Madness: How and why SARS-CoV-2 keeps changing
Territorial red squirrels were found to live longer and have more offspring when they had friendly social relationships with their neighbors. Continue reading Be Nice to Your Neighbors: If You’re a Squirrel, You’ll Live Longer
Commercial harvesting of plants may have forced them to evolve to camouflage and evade humans. Continue reading Plants Can Camouflage Too, and They’re Hiding from Us
How do you introduce yourself, scientifically? My name is Mia Miyagi, and I’m an evolutionary biologist, which means that I study how the process of evolution works and how that process has generated the incredible biodiversity that we have today. More specifically, I’m a theoretical population geneticist. Population genetics is how we think about evolution and variation across entire populations. In other words, how individuals … Continue reading What Does an Evolutionary Biologist Do?
by Aleks Prochera figures by Jovana Andrejevic Imagine wading through the fresh waters of the Paleozoic era over 300 million years ago. You bump into various ancient marine creatures from fishes adorned with horseshoe-shaped shields to aquatic scorpions the size of a modern-day seal. Around you, however, there also exists an unseen world teeming with microbes: viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Despite their deceivingly microscopic size, these organisms pose a … Continue reading Insights from the Past: Lampreys give teeth to theories of vertebrate immune system evolution
Researchers recently examined DNA sequences a snail living in deep ocean hydrothermal vents. They found similar DNA to other mollusks, but different DNA expression giving the snail its unique appearance. Continue reading Different Snail, Same Genes: What Gives the Scaly-foot Snail Its Scales?