The Science of Sustainability

Tag: evolution

Producer's Notes: Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin

Producer's Notes: Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin

Today QUEST TV broadcasts its half-hour documentary "Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin," which tells the story of California Academy of Sciences beetle expert David Kavanaugh's unusual prediction that a new species of beetle would be found in Northern California's Trinity Alps.

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Reporter's Notes: Investigating Darwin's Legacy

Reporter's Notes: Investigating Darwin's Legacy

This year marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin – and the 150th anniversary of his landmark work, "On the Origin of Species". One of the iconic fossils that supports Darwin's theory of evolution is called the Archaeopteryx.

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Charles in Charge! Darwin Around the Bay Area

Charles in Charge! Darwin Around the Bay Area

As I mentioned in a previous post, February 12th marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the "Origin of Species".

All across the world, scientists are leading a month long celebration of the man & his science, widely seen as the public hero of science & science education.

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Traveling DNA

Traveling DNA

A billion years ago or so, mitochondria were free living bacteria. Then our ancestors hijacked them and now they do our bidding. And mitochondria aren't the only cells that got hijacked.

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Surviving Chromosomal Rearrangements

Surviving Chromosomal Rearrangements

Last blog I talked about the Transcaucasian mole vole. This little burrowing mammal has lost its Y chromosome over time. Now both males and females have only a single X. I focused on how scientists can't yet figure out how there are any male mole voles running around. This week, I want to focus on what this means from an evolutionary perspective.

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Fish and SNPs: What fish are teaching us about human skin color

Fish and SNPs: What fish are teaching us about human skin color

These fish can tell us a lot about ourselves. Species often end up a different color when their environment changes. And humans are no exception. When people moved out of Africa tens of thousands of years ago, they were dark-skinned. Now when we look around Northern Europe or parts of Asia, we see much lighter […]

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Explosive hypothesis about humans' lack of genetic diversity

Explosive hypothesis about humans' lack of genetic diversity

Genetically, we're all pretty much the same. A massive volcanic eruption 75,000 years ago may be why. Lake Toba is all that is left of the volcano that nearly wiped out mankind.Last blog I talked about how East Africans are genetically more diverse than Asians. Who are genetically more diverse than Native Americans. From all […]

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Wired for wireless: the genetics of text messaging

Wired for wireless: the genetics of text messaging

I love my cell phone. We have a serious relationship. One that may be biologically predetermined. Let me explain. On New Year's Eve I brought my phone with me to San Francisco's Ocean Beach, where I traditionally go, rain or shine, to watch the year's last sunset. I was by myself, but I wasn't alone. […]

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Science v. Pseudoscience On Trial

Science v. Pseudoscience On Trial

NOVA commemorates the historical evolution trial of 2005. Credit: NOVAIf you tune in or point your web browser to PBS this week, you'll see a whole bunch about evolution. It's not Charles Darwin's birthday, but it's a celebration that may one day carry much more significance: it's the two year anniversary of the Kitzmiller vs. […]

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The Reverse Evolution Machine

The Reverse Evolution Machine

In search of the common ancestor of all mammals, UC Santa Cruz scientist David Haussler is pulling a complete reversal. Instead of studying fossils, he's comparing the genomes of living mammals to construct a map of our common ancestors' DNA. His technique holds promise for providing a better picture of how life evolved.

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