When archaeologists discovered a 40,000 year old pinky bone in a Siberian cave, everyone wondered who the bone belonged to. Researchers extracted DNA from the fossil and used it to construct an evolutionary tree to see how the pinky bone's owner was related to modern day humans and Neanderthals. Scientists were surprised by what they found — read more about it in this month's Evo in the news: Making sense of ancient homonin DNA. Each month, the UCMP's Understanding Evolution website features an … [Read more...] about Evo in the news: Making sense of ancient homonin DNA
Ring species are often touted as examples of speciation in action — and the Ensatina salamander, which forms a ring around California's Central Valley, is a classic example. Biologists discovered this ring species back in the 1950s, and investigations of Ensatina continue today. Learn more about Ensatina in this research profile of biologist Tom Devitt, on the UCMP's Understanding Evolution website. Tom is a graduate student in Integrative Biology here at UC Berkeley. The profile follows him … [Read more...] about Highlights from Understanding Evolution
Speciation isn't always slow — sometimes, we can see evidence of evolution over a very short period of time. This month's Evo in the news: Speciation in real time looks at two examples of speedy speciation. The Central European blackcap, a bird, could be on the verge of a speciation event — over the past 30 years, researchers have seen a split in the behavior and morphology of two groups of blackcaps. Speciation has occurred in another bird species over a similar time period: the Galapagos … [Read more...] about Evo in the news: Speciation in real time
Congratulations Judy Scotchmoor, UCMP Assistant Director for Education and Public Programs! Judy was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Judy receives this prestigious award "for leadership in defending teaching of evolution and quality science education through nationally recognized websites on these issues and through leadership of Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science." The websites, for which Judy is project coordinator, include The … [Read more...] about Judy Scotchmoor named AAAS Fellow
Evolution doesn't just happen in a textbook — evolution is happening right now, and one example is the pathogen that causes malaria. Malaria kills nearly one million people each year. The disease can be treated, but new drug-resistant strains of the pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum, have recently been discovered in western Cambodia. These strains are resistant to artemisinin, the most effective anti-malarial drug available. Learn more about the evolution of drug resistant malaria pathogens, and … [Read more...] about Evo in the news: Fighting the evolution of malaria in Cambodia
Evolution is everywhere — including in the news! That's why each month we publish a new Evo in the News feature on our Understanding Evolution website. This month, we focus on oxygen as an evolutionary constraint. When life began 3.5 billion years ago, all organisms were tiny. Today, earth has some pretty big inhabitants, like the blue whale and the giant sequoia. Learn how the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere opened the door for the evolution of these big organisms. Read the latest Evo in the … [Read more...] about Evo in the news: Oxygen as an evolutionary constraint
Well, hairspray is not really the focus of this article, but the process of science IS, and that explains its connection to the UCMP! With all of the efforts on our Understanding Evolution website, it did not take long before it became apparent to us that much of the confusion about evolution is linked to confusions about science itself – how it works, what it is, what it is not, and what is not science. In response, UCMP pulled together an astonishing set of advisors and launched a new website … [Read more...] about Uncovering the hidden hazard of hairspray what is the connection to the UCMP?