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Even toxics can act as a generic selection factor in the environment

One of the themes of this blog has been that virtually anything present in the environment can act as a selection factor influencing the course of evolution. A recent study on fish and PCB's and dioxins illustrates this point. Unfortunately for humans, the end result is not necessarily positive or...

Evolution is a complex process, just ask the Transylvanian naked-neck chicken

Prior posts have noted that selection factors that influence evolution can be highly variable, and sometimes surprising. It is not the simple "survival of the fitest" postulated by Darwin (who in fairness could not have known about many of the selection factors and processes described in these...

Could DNA that is no longer present in the human genome have helped to make humans what we are? Very likely.

Prior posts have looked at a variety of issues related to genes and what allegedly makes humans what we supposedly are. But, is it possible that DNA that is no longer present in the genome also helped to shape us? How would we know? Most research into homo sapien genomics has focused on teasing out...

Wolf-Coyote-Dog hybrids are being found in much of the U.S., but not in the Western U.S.

In order to resolve a debate over the history and origin of various Wolf populations in the U.S., researchers turned to genetic analysis. In recently published research, the scientists used molecular genetic techniques to look at over 48,000 markers throughout the full genome. The study showed a gradient...

The Columbian and Woolly Mammoth may be one highly variable species

What is interesting about genetic analysis is the way it has the potential to upset otherwise well-established classifications of animals. A good example is the Mammoth, Ice Age beasts well known to one and all. Although they both roamed North America a millennia ago, accepted taxonomy had classified...

DNA Predicts Only a Few Disorders

Prior posts have noted that gene functioning can be modified by a number of processes, such as methylation. Recently animal tests have found that some of these modifications are passed on to off-spring even though no change is made to the gene itself, only to its expression. Prior posts have also noted...