How new species emerge

International research team reconstructs the evolutionary history of baboons

Quell: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Baboons provide new insights into the evolution of the genome

A team of researchers including scientists from Vetmeduni Vienna investigated the process of evolutionary diversification by looking at six baboon species. The results of the study provide exciting new insights into the evolution of the genome – including that of humans.

Quell: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

What makes the Red Queen tick?

Kiel Evolution Center provides new insights into the genetic basis of evolutionary dynamics

„Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place“. This advice from the Red Queen in the book „Through the Looking-Glass“ by the British author Lewis Carroll serves as a metaphor for a fundamental principle in the field of evolutionary biology.

Quell: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Tree of walking sticks

Stick and leaf insects (Phasmatodea) are among the most fascinating insects on earth: they are extremely large and, thanks to their remarkable ability to camouflage themselves perfectly as twigs, bark or leaves for protection, they have a truly bizarre appearance. A German-American research team with participation from the University of Göttingen has now published the most comprehensive genetic evolutionary tree of Phasmatodea to date. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Revolutionary technology pinpoints biopsies to detect prostate cancer

Medical software that overlays tumor information from MRI scans onto ultrasound images can help guide surgeons conducting biopsies and improve prostate cancer detection. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Dodging antibiotic resistance by curbing bacterial evolution

Lowering mutation rates in harmful bacteria might be an as yet untried way to hinder the emergence of antimicrobial pathogens. One target for drug development might be a protein factor, DNA translocase Mfd, that enables bacteria to evolve rapidly by promoting mutations in many different bacterial species. This action speeds antibiotic resistance, including multi-drug resistance. Working on drugs to block Mfd and similar factors could be a revolutionary strategy to address the worldwide crisis of treatment-resistant infectious diseases. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring

Leipzig/Brunei. Orangutan populations are still declining rapidly, despite claims by the Indonesian Government that things are looking better for the red apes. In the journal Current Biology, a team of scientists including Maria Voigt of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology criticise the use of inappropriate methods for assessing management impacts on wildlife trends. The researchers call for scientifically sound measures to be employed in order to ensure that wildlife monitoring provides reliable numbers. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Study explains why tall individuals are more prone to cancer

For most cancers, risk increases dramatically with age. But what about the effect of having more cells in the body? Might taller people be more prone to cancer because they have more cells? Yes, according to an evolutionary biologist who examined data from four large-scale surveillance projects on 23 cancer categories. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Evolution does repeat itself after all: How evolution lets stripes come and go

A team of evolutionary biologists from the University of Konstanz, headed by Prof. Dr. Axel Meyer, discovers the genetic basis for the repeated evolution of colour patterns. The findings about the stripes of the especially diverse species of East-African cichlid fishes explain how evolution can repeat itself at record speed. The study is published in “Science” magazine on 26 October. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Fruit flies adapt to climate change through metabolic rewiring

Evolutionary consequences due to climate change are currently a “hot topic” in evolutionary research. A warmer environment results in the complete rewiring of the metabolism in fruit flies by changes only in few genes. Researchers at Vetmeduni Vienna have shown in Genome Biology that evolutionary processes result in the adaption to a new, hot environment in just a few generations. Variants of two genes connected to an essential regulator of the metabolic budget system were identified as a key factor. The study shows that fruit flies, contrary to previous assumptions, do not adapt through many small genetic changes but through changes in a small number of “influential” genes. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

‚Chromosomal catastrophes‘ in colorectal cancer

‚Chromosomal catastrophes‘ have been found to occur along the evolutionary timeline of colorectal cancer development, according to new research. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

How nutrients are removed in oxygen-depleted regions of the ocean

Kiel research team describes genetic and evolutionary mechanisms of nitrate reduction from foraminifera for the first time (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Protein discovery may explain why patients develop resistance to new anti-cancer drugs

Researchers have identified a protein complex that might explain why some cancer patients treated with the revolutionary new anti-cancer drugs known as PARP inhibitors develop resistance to their medication. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems

Evolutionary biologists from the University of Tübingen investigate how water treatments affect fish (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Algae Have Land Genes

The genome of the algae species Chara braunii has been decoded. It already contains the first genetic characteristics that enabled the water plants‘ evolutionary transition to land. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Uncovering the evolutionary history of IBD-associated colorectal cancer

A team of researchers have reported the genetic events involved in the early development of bowel cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Evolution does repeat itself after all

A team of University of Konstanz biologists led by Professor Axel Meyer shows that evolutionary outcomes can be predicted (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Nachtaktive Fische haben kleinere Gehirne

Frankfurt am Main, den 06.07.2018. Ein internationales Forscherteam, darunter Wissenschaftler des Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrums, hat herausgefunden, dass nachtaktive Fische trotz ihrer größeren Augen kleinere Gehirnareale zur Verarbeitung visueller Reize haben als tagaktive Fische. Die Studie wirft ein neues Licht darauf, welchen Einfluss der Tag- und Nachtrhythmus auf die Evolution von Wirbeltiergehirnen hat und wurde kürzlich im „Journal of Evolutionary Biology“ veröffentlicht. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Proteins with different evolutionary histories now do the same job

University of Tübingen researchers discover convergent evolution in mitochondria in fungi and single-celled parasites (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Threat of malaria left its mark on the immune system in people with African ancestry

Researchers have identified a genetic difference between people with African and European ancestry that affects how the immune system triggers inflammation. They suspect these differences are rooted in how the immune system evolved and the evolutionary pressure exerted by malaria on ancestors who lived in Africa. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Mathematical model explains why metastasis can occur even when cancer is caught early

Leaning on evolutionary and ecological theory, researchers modeled how a tumor’s various cancer cell lineages compete for dominance. Their findings help explain a surprising observation: Most metastatic tumors derive from cancer cell lineages that emerge at early stages of the disease. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Wie aus fleischfressenden Wespen vegetarische Bienen wurden

Ein Team aus Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern, darunter Entomologe und Evolutionsbiologe Michael Ohl vom Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, stellt eine Hypothese über den evolutiven Ursprung der Bienen und ihre nächsten Verwandten im renommierten Wissenschaftsmagazin Journal BMC Evolutionary Biology auf. Danach zählen die nächsten Verwandten der Bienen zu einer Wespengruppe, die zu den Grabwespen gehört. Damit wurde eines der faszinierendsten Rätsel in der Evolutionsforschung der Wespen und Bienen gelöst, nämlich wie aus den ursprünglich fleischfressenden Grabwespen vegetarische Bienen wurden. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Using mathematical modeling and evolutionary principles important in treatment decisions

Researchers are using mathematical modeling based on evolutionary principals to show that adaptive drug treatments based on tumor responses to prior treatment are more effective than maximum-tolerated dose approaches for certain tumor situations. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Evolution: Urban Life Leaves Behind Traces in the Genome of Bumblebees

Bumblebees living in the city have genes that differ from those in the countryside. Although genetic differences are minor, they may influence how well the insects adapt to their habitat: Urban bumblebees are probably better able to react to environmental challenges that come with city life, such as higher temperatures. These differences in their genetic makeup are an indication that urban life does impact the evolutionary trajectory of a species, write researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Leipzig-Jena in the current issue of the renowned journal „Proceedings of the Royal Society B“. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Some human cancers are ‚evolutionary accidents‘

New research has found some type of cancers unique to humans may be a result of evolutionary accidents. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)