Grand Evolutionary Transitions: The eruption of multicellularity

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

What Can Evolution Teach us About the Viruses of the Future?

by Sam Berry In 1918, a new influenza (flu) strain infected nearly a third of the world’s population, leaving tens of millions dead. At the time, relatively little was known about this strain, later called the Spanish Flu—why it was so dangerous, how it spread, even what it was made up of. In the past 100 years, we’ve unveiled the structure of the double-helical DNA … Continue reading What Can Evolution Teach us About the Viruses of the Future?

Evidence of an Ancient Human Species Unearthed in the Philippines

In 2007, during an excavation on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, archeologist Armand Salvador Mijares discovered a 67,000-year-old foot bone that led scientists to rethink the history of human evolution.  The bone had features resembling hominins—a subfamily of primates comprised of modern Homo sapiens and others closely related human species.  The finding provided the earliest direct evidence of human presence in the Philippines, … Continue reading Evidence of an Ancient Human Species Unearthed in the Philippines

Could Woolly Mammoths Walk Again?

The Church lab at Harvard University recently announced plans to create a hybrid mammoth and elephant. Using a technology called CRISPR, researchers in the Church lab have learned how to insert mammoth DNA into the cells of modern elephants. Theoretically, this could set the stage for developing an embryo with DNA from both a modern elephant and the woolly mammoth. The group would like to … Continue reading Could Woolly Mammoths Walk Again?