Evolution stuck in slime for a billion years

Tasmanian researchers have revealed ancient conditions that almost ended life on Earth, using a new technique they developed to hunt for mineral deposits.

'Be different or die' does not drive evolution

A new study has found that species living together are not forced to evolve differently to avoid competing with each other, challenging a theory that has held since Darwin's Origin of Species.

The evolution of the Earth's atmosphere

An international team of researchers led by Ralf Tappert, University of Innsbruck, reconstructed the composition of the Earth's atmosphere of the last 220 million years by analyzing modern and fossil plant resins.

Evolution can select for evolvability, biologists find

Evolution does not operate with a goal in mind; it does not have foresight. But organisms that have a greater capacity to evolve may fare better in rapidly changing environments. This raises the question: does evolution favor characteristics that increase a species' ability to evolve?

Report: Abundant oxygen does not necessarily lead to the evolution of advanced life

Any textbook will tell you that oxygen is essential for advanced life to evolve. But why did life not explode when oxygen levels rose dramatically 2.1 billion years ago? This is the big question after a Danish/Swedish/French research team, led by University of Southern Denmark, has shown that the oxygen content 2.1 billion years ago was probably the same as when life exploded 500 million years ago.

BMW C Evolution electric scooter ready to hit the streets

Much of the hype around BMW with low carbon transportation right now is the to market plans of its i8 plug-in hybrid and i3 electric car, but the automaker is also making steps in greening other parts of its mobility inventory as well. One area in which this is happening is scooters, with news that its new C evolution electric scooter will debut in Europe next year.

Evolution's 'big bang' explained by 5x faster rates

The incredible burst of innovation in animals' body plans and habits during the Cambrian explosion, between 540 and 520 million years ago, can be explained by a reasonable uptick in evolutionary rates.

Evolution picks up hitchhikers

In a twist on "survival of the fittest," researchers have discovered that evolution is driven not by a single beneficial mutation but rather by a group of mutations, including ones called "genetic hitchhikers" that are simply along for the ride.

Evolution's toolkit seen in developing hands and arms

Thousands of sequences that control genes are active in the developing human limb and may have driven the evolution of the human hand and foot, a comparative genomics study led by Yale School of Medicine researchers has found.

The prehistoric ear bone-evolution link

The tiniest bones in the human body – the bones of the middle ear – could provide huge clues about our evolution and the development of modern-day humans, according to a recent study by a team of researchers that include a Texas A&M University anthropologist.

Video: This algorithm simulates evolution

A research team led by Cornell University's Creative Machines Lab has created a computer algorithm that simulates virtual creatures evolving their squishy, muscle-like features in order to teach themselves to walk.

Cliff swallows evolve to speed past automobiles

Cliff swallows are evolving so fast that they have developed shorter wings to deal with the threat of speeding cars.

Humans have unique brain structures

Humans have at least two functional networks in their cerebral cortex that aren't found in rhesus monkeys, and which appear to be unique.

Evolution 'surprisingly predictable', says team

Scientists have shown that similar - or even identical - mutations can take place in completely separate populations of E. coli evolving in different environments over more than 1,000 generations.

Researchers boost Artificial Intelligence (AI) with evolution

Cornell University researchers have successfully simulated 25,000 generations of evolution in an effort to determine why biological networks tend to be organized as modules.

Dogs evolved to eat our food

One key way dogs differ from wolves, scientists have discovered, is in their ability to digest starchy foods, indicating that the split between the two species may have come about as dogs adapted to scavenging human leftovers.

Brainy guppies show evolutionary tradeoff

It's long been suspected that having a big brain isn't necessarily an evolutionary advantage. Now, scientists have come up with experimental evidence for this view, by breeding a strain of big-brained guppies.

Human evolution driven by sudden climate change

Erratic changes in the East African climate around two million years ago may have been the driving force behind human evolution, say researchers at Penn State and Rutgers University.

Life on land started millions of years earlier, claims scientist

A University of Oregon scientist has made the controversial claim that ancient multicellular fossils long thought to be ancestors of early marine life are in fact land-dwelling lichen or other microbial colonies.

Bigger wasn't always better for plant-eating dinosaurs

The reason herbivore dinosaurs got so big was their environment, not their diet, researchers say.