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Small Oxygen Jump in Atmosphere Helped Enable Animals Take First Breaths

Measurements of iron speciation in ancient rocks were used to construct the chemistry of ancient oceans. Analysis suggests that it took less oxygen than previously thought to trigger the appearance of complicated life forms.

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Evolution Not Just Mutation Drives Development of Cancer

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A paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argues against the commonly held "accumulation of mutations" model of oncogenesis in favor of a model that depends on evolutionary pressures acting on populations of cells.

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Finding the Origins of Life in a Drying Puddle

Anyone who’s ever noticed a water puddle drying in the sun has seen an environment that may have driven the type of chemical reactions that scientists believe were critical to the formation of life on the early Earth.

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You Need This Hole in the Head ─ to Be Smart

University of Adelaide researchers have shown that intelligence in animal species can be estimated by the size of the holes in the skull through which the arteries pass.

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Study Discovers Human Hands May Be More Primitive Than Chimp's

Today, Nature is publishing a paper "The evolution of human and ape hand proportions," a study that discovers that human hands may be more primitive than chimp's.

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NM Professors, Graduate Explore Tiny, Complex Brain of Old World Monkey

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time with the help of two professors and a graduate from New Mexico State University. The ancient monkey, known scientifically as Victoriapithecus, first made headlines in 1997 when its fossilized skull was discovered on an island in Kenya’s Lake Victoria, where it lived 15 million years ago by NMSU anthropology professors Brenda Benefit and Monte McCrossin.

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Evolution Study Finds Recent Agricultural Pest Stems From One Fly Generation's Big Genetic Shift

A new study involving a Kansas State University entomologist reveals that the genes of a fruit fly that has plagued American apple producers for more than 150 years is the result of an extremely rapid evolutionary change.

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Exit Dinosaurs, Enter Fishes

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A pair of paleobiologists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego have determined that the world’s most numerous and diverse vertebrates ¬– ray-finned fishes – began their ecological dominance of the oceans 66 million years ago, aided by the mass extinction event that killed off dinosaurs.

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Doves Share Pigeon Gene for Head Crests

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The same gene that creates elaborate head crests in domestic rock pigeons also makes head and neck feathers grow up instead of down in domesticated doves to give them head crests, although theirs are much simpler and caused by a different mutation, University of Utah researchers found.

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Studies Find Early European Had Recent Neanderthal Ancestor

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The new study, co-led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator David Reich at Harvard Medical School and Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, provides the first genetic evidence that humans interbred with Neanderthals in Europe.