Tag: evolution

Did Neanderthals and Humans Mate? Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence

The Spittoon has pointed out several times in the last few months (here, here and here) that when researchers look for evidence of interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals, they often fail to find any. But there are still a number of geneticists who would like us to pay heed to the words of ...

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Plus ca change … The Mystery of Ultraconserved Elements

Before efforts to sequence the human genome began, scientists thought they’d find about 100,000 protein coding genes in the three billion bases pairs of DNA that are found in almost every cell. But much to everyone’s surprise, the true number turned out to be much lower. It’s now thought that the human ...

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Is That a Peacock Feather under your Coat … Or are You Just Happy to See Me?

An animal's ability to survive often depends on how well it can avoid predators.  Many species of fish, birds, and mammals have evolved ingenious methods of staying hidden from predators by blending into the background in one form or another.  But what about animals that do the opposite?  How and why would ...

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Did Neanderthals and Humans Mate? The Answer, Again, is No

(Ed: Newer research suggests that Homo sapiens and Neanderthals did in fact interbreed. On average, two to four percent of DNA in present-day humans who trace their ancestry from Europe or Asia comes from our Neanderthal cousins. 23andMe customers can check out their own Neanderthal ancestry here! -- ...

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Benvinguts a Barcelona: Part 2

Last month I had the opportunity to go to the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution conference in the striking city of Barcelona. This is the premiere conference for geneticists studying evolution in everything from bacteria to fruit flies, weeds, worms and our favorite model organism, humans! This is a ...

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Benvinguts a Barcelona: Notes from the 2008 Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference

This month I had the opportunity to go to the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution conference in the striking city of Barcelona. This is the premiere conference for geneticists studying evolution in everything from bacteria to fruit flies, weeds, worms and our favorite model organism, humans! This is a ...

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