Archive for the ‘evolution’ category

Apr 28, 2023

Memory Across Time & Space — Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Biologist

Posted by in categories: evolution, habitats, physics, space

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake believes that memory is inherent to nature, and has spent the last forty years of his career investigating slippery, esoteric phenomena at the very edges of empiricism. Some of the results are intriguing — dogs that know when their owners have started the long journey home, crosswords that become easier to solve a few days after they’ve been published in the papers, IQ scores increase generation after generation. His work is ongoing, the territory marginal, and the implications immense.

Support the scientific revolution by joining our Patreon: https://bit.ly/3lcAasB
Support us both when you pick up one of Rupert’s books: https://amzn.to/3xdrRmo.

Continue reading “Memory Across Time & Space — Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Biologist” »

Apr 28, 2023

Huge cache of mammal genomes offers fresh insights on human evolution

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, evolution, existential risks, genetics

Using Zoonomia’s data, researchers have also constructed a phylogenetic tree that estimates when each mammalian species diverged from its ancestors5. This analysis lends support to the hypothesis that mammals had already started evolutionarily diverging before Earth was struck by the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago — but that they diverged much more rapidly afterwards.

Only the beginning

The Zoonomia Project is just one of dozens of efforts to sequence animal genomes. Another large effort is the Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP), which aims to generate genomes for roughly all 71,000 living vertebrate species, which include mammals, reptiles, fish, birds and amphibians. Although the two projects are independent of one another, many researchers are a part of both, says Haussler, who is a trustee of the VGP.

Apr 27, 2023

Genomes from 240 mammalian species reveal what makes the human genome unique

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, existential risks, genetics, health

Over the past 100 million years, mammals have adapted to nearly every environment on Earth. Scientists with the Zoonomia Project have been cataloging the diversity in mammalian genomes by comparing DNA sequences from 240 species that exist today, from the aardvark and the African savanna elephant to the yellow-spotted rock hyrax and the zebu.

This week, in several papers in a special issue of Science, the Zoonomia team has demonstrated how can not only shed light on how certain species achieve extraordinary feats, but also help scientists better understand the parts of our genome that are functional and how they might influence health and disease.

In the new studies, the researchers identified regions of the genomes, sometimes just single letters of DNA, that are most conserved, or unchanged, across mammalian species and millions of years of evolution—regions that are likely biologically important. They also found part of the genetic basis for uncommon mammalian traits such as the ability to hibernate or sniff out faint scents from miles away. And they pinpointed species that may be particularly susceptible to extinction, as well as genetic variants that are more likely to play causal roles in rare and common human diseases.

Apr 26, 2023

Researchers develop new method for layered structure detection in open star clusters

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

Morphological study of open clusters can provide observational evidence for tracing the formation mechanism of star clusters and help to explore the evolution of star clusters.

The morphology of open clusters on the two-dimensional (2D) projection planes mostly conforms to the core-shell structure. However, whether this layered structure actually exists in three-dimensional (3D) space is not known.

Recently, researchers from the Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory (XAO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a rose diagram overlaying method based on Gaia data to study the 3D layered structure of open samples within 500 parsec (pc) near the sun.

Apr 25, 2023

Scientists Grow Bigger Monkey Brains Using Human Genes, Replicating Evolution

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

Scientists have successfully grown a monkey brain to be larger than its regular size by using a human brain gene, replicating that historical moment when humans and primates were set apart.

Apr 25, 2023

‘Goldilocks zone’ may not be a good metric for whether life exists on exoplanets, say astrobiologists

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution

Most exoplanets lying in the habitable zones around stars are in fact inhospitable to plant life as we know it. That is according to a new study from microbiologists and astronomers at the University of Georgia who say that taking into account the light a planet receives as well as its ability to hold liquid water is a better definition of whether life could exist on other planets.

The Habitable Zone (HZ) is traditionally defined to be the range of distances around a star where an exoplanet can support liquid water on its surface. Too far, and the planet remains frozen like Mars. Too close and the oceans evaporate, as happened to Venus. The zone in the middle is neither too hot, nor too cold, but just right – the so-called “Goldilocks zone”.

Nothing certain is known about the properties and requirements of alien life. However, there are generally two schools of thought in astrobiology. One is that evolution on other planets can figure out ways to sidestep seemingly insurmountable barriers to life as we know it, while others claim that life is everywhere bounded by the same universal physical principles, and can thus only operate a certain way, similar to as on Earth.

Apr 24, 2023

Trillions of Miles Away — Distant Supernovae May Impact the Diversity of Life on Earth

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, habitats, space, sustainability

A new study published in Ecology and Evolution by Henrik Svensmark of DTU Space has shown that the explosion of stars, also known as supernovae, has greatly impacted the diversity of marine life over the past 500 million years.

The fossil record has been extensively studied, revealing significant variations in the diversity of life forms throughout geological history. A fundamental question in evolutionary biology is identifying the processes responsible for these fluctuations.

The new research uncovers a surprising finding: the fluctuation in the number of nearby supernovae closely corresponds to changes in biodiversity of marine genera over the last 500 million years. This correlation becomes apparent when the marine diversity curve is adjusted to account for changes in shallow coastal marine regions, which are significant as they provide habitat for most marine life and offer new opportunities for evolution as they expand or shrink. Thus, alterations in available shallow marine regions play a role in shaping biodiversity.

Apr 23, 2023

How does our brain create a coherent image when we look at different objects?

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

When we look at something, the different properties of the image are processed in different brain regions. But how does our brain make a coherent image out of such a fragmented representation? A new review by Pieter Roelfsema sheds light on two existing hypotheses in the field.

When we open our eyes, we immediately see what is there. The efficiency of our vision is a remarkable achievement of evolution. The introspective ease with which we perceive our visual surroundings masks the sophisticated machinery in our brain that supports . The image that we see is rapidly analyzed by a complex hierarchy of cortical and subcortical brain regions.

Neurons in low level brain regions extract basic features such as line orientation, depth and the color of local image elements. They send the information to several mid-level brain areas. Neurons in these areas code for other features, such as motion direction, color and shape fragments.

Apr 22, 2023

Exposing the Strange Blueprint Behind “Reality” (Donald Hoffman Interview)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, mathematics, neuroscience, quantum physics

Donald Hoffman interview on spacetime, consciousness, and how biological fitness conceals reality. We discuss Nima Arkani-Hamed’s Amplituhedron, decorated permutations, evolution, and the unlimited intelligence.

The Amplituhedron is a static, monolithic, geometric object with many dimensions. Its volume codes for amplitudes of particle interactions & its structure codes for locality and unitarity. Decorated permutations are the deepest core from which the Amplituhedron gets its structure. There are no dynamics, they are monoliths as in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Continue reading “Exposing the Strange Blueprint Behind ‘Reality’ (Donald Hoffman Interview)” »

Apr 20, 2023

Comb jellies’ unique fused neurons challenge evolution ideas

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

Fused neurons suggest ctenophores’ nervous system evolved independently of that in other animals.

Page 1 of 10112345678Last