Environmental

Recent Posts

Genetic assessments often provide fascinating insights into the underlying agents of evolutionary change
Posted on 17 Sep 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the numerous selection factors that help to drive evolutionary change. Genetic analysis of two such changes show evolutionary change in action. It turns out that Zygaena caterpillars make cyanide in the same manner as their host... Read More

Coriander oil is found to kill E. Coli, Salmonella, & MRSA
Posted on 30 Aug 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the adverse environmental effects that are being seen with some bactericides. Prior posts have also noted the wide variety of substances that can act as selection factors affecting the evolution of various organisms. Researchers... Read More

Could DNA that is no longer present in the human genome have helped to make humans what we are? Very likely.
Posted on 24 May 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

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... Read More

Evolutionary Change Is Just That, Change, and Change Often Is a Mixed Bag and More Complex Than Anticipated
Posted on 3 Apr 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

There is an unfortunate tendency to conceive of evolutionary change as causing an adaption to a selection factor that marks an improvement in addressing the environment in which the selection factor exists. Were it only so simple. Change may be an improvement... Read More

Noise Can Alter the Composition of an Ecosystem
Posted on 5 May 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have reviewed the wide variety of "selection factors" than can drive evolution in a species. Now it appears that noise can alter the makeup of an entire ecosystem. Researchers have found that noise can drive away some species and... Read More

What Makes a Mammal? The Boundaries May Be Getting a Tad Fuzzy
Posted on 14 Jun 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

What makes an animal a mammal? Well, in school we all learned the characteristics that determine what is a mammal: "warm blooded" (endothermy), body hair, three middle ear bones, live birth, and functional mammary glands in mothers with young... Read More

Fungus identified as cause of widespread die-off of little brown bats in U.S.
Posted on 22 Jan 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

A lethal disease has been causing large die-offs of little brown bats; it has been found in bats hibernating in 16 States and 4 Canadian provinces. Researchers have now identified the fungus Geomyces destructans as the primary cause of white-nose syndrome... Read More

The Columbian and Woolly Mammoth may be one highly variable species
Posted on 22 Jan 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

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... Read More

Adaptation to poison, evolution at work
Posted on 6 Jul 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the wide diversity of selection factors (well beyond Darwin's original thesis) that are able to influence evolution, or what individuals of a population will survive to procreate and define the nature of the future population... Read More

Widespread use of herbicides create immunity and resistance in weedy plants
Posted on 6 Aug 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted that a wide variety of substances, including hazardous substances, can act as selection factors in fostering "evolution" amongst impacted organisms. Now, researchers have found that many weeds, including some of significant... Read More

Having the Right Blend of "Personalities" Can Impact the Survival of the Animal Group
Posted on 6 May 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

It was not that long ago that anyone who suggested that animals had "personalities" was seen as anthropomorphizing. While that criticism is not without some merit, research has shown that it may not be correct in all or most circumstances. ... Read More

Do comb jellies indicate that evolutionary theory needs a serious rethink? Maybe instead they are a door to understanding the evolution of complexity
Posted on 18 Jun 2013 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

When viewing evolution over time, scientists generally favor parsimony, that is, lineages radiating from a common ancestor share most of the ancestor's features. This also means that animals at the bottom have simple features, which may grow more... Read More

The Cambrian "Explosion" is looking less so
Posted on 1 Dec 2010 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The Cambrian "explosion", as evidenced by the fossil record of specific aspects of the Burgess Shale, has been interpreted as representing the relatively rapid appearance of most major Phyla over the course of several million years. The fossils... Read More

Neanderthal and Homo Sapien DNA: What does it indicate?
Posted on 13 May 2010 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Past posts have described the science of evolution, and the development on Earth over time of its atmosphere and of various life forms. Prior posts have also noted that science is a constantly changing picture as new data and information are developed... Read More

Why are mammals warm blooded? Thank fungi?
Posted on 6 Dec 2010 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The optimum body temperature for warding off fungal infections, without burning too much energy, is 36.7 degrees Celsius (close to the core temperature for mammals), according to researchers. The research supports an emerging theory that fungal organisms... Read More