Evolution

Gene Expression

Category archives for Evolution

Others in Siberia

The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia: With the exception of Neanderthals, from which DNA sequences of numerous individuals have now been determined…the number and genetic relationships of other hominin lineages are largely unknown. Here we report a complete mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequence retrieved from a bone excavated in 2008…

The evolution of morals

I have a short piece up at Comment is Free at The Guardian, The origins of morality do not matter. Its flavor is a bit different from my typical blog posts because the format enforces more brevity, so I decided to try and leverage some analogies. I conclude: … Our moral consensus is a river…

Evolutionary history reversible

At least in this case, Troglomorphism, trichobothriotaxy and typhlochactid phylogeny (Scorpiones, Chactoidea): more evidence that troglobitism is not an evolutionary dead-end: The scorpion family Typhlochactidae Mitchell, 1971 is endemic to eastern Mexico and exclusively troglomorphic. Six of the nine species in the family are hypogean (troglobitic), morphologically specialized for life in the cave environment, whereas…

A few weeks ago I commented on the paper about the origin of the small dog phenotype in the Middle East. Now The New York Times has an article on a newer paper, New Finding Puts Origins Of Dogs in Middle East. Here’s the conclusion: Dog domestication and human settlement occurred at the same time,…

A little bit of the Others in Us

Dienekes has reposted some of the abstracts from the meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. This one caught my eye,

The Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic transition in Cova Gran (Catalunya, Spain) and the extinction of Neanderthals in the Iberian Peninsula: The excavations carried out in Cova Gran de Santa Linya (Southeastern PrePyrenees, Catalunya, Spain) have unearthed a new archaeological sequence attributable to the Middle Palaeoloithic/Upper Palaeolithic (MP/UP) transition. This article presents data on the stratigraphy, archaeology, and…

Over the history of this weblog I have blogged about pigmentation a fair amount. The major reason is that that’s where the money is; unlike height, let alone intelligence, the genetic architecture and evolutionary history of pigmentation has been elucidated with relative clarity. That is, we know roughly the number and nature of the genes…

National Geographic has a coverage of the Kanzawa paper. The title: Liberals, Atheists Are More Highly Evolved? I get what’s going on with terms like “highly evolved,” but I think it’s really problematic when media which serves as an interface with the public in regards to evolutionary ideas uses this sort of terminology, as it…

Of Polar Bears & People

I have pointed to the fact that mtDNA genetics has suggested that the polar bear is actually a derived lineage of brown bears. And, more specifically, that some extant lineages of brown bears share a more recent common ancestor with polar bears than other brown bears. In other words, brown bears are paraphyletic. Apparently there…

A few days ago I pointed to a paper which suggests the possible utility of looking at selection on standing genetic variation on quantitative traits to get a sense of the role of adaptation in the human genome. We humans like to think we’re a complex species, so I see no a priori reason why…