Browse our latest Evolutionary Biology articles

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    1. Cell Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Epidermal threads reveal the origin of hagfish slime

    Yu Zeng, David C Plachetzki ... Douglas Fudge
    The hagfish slime glands, which produce a large volume of defensive slime within 0.4 s by ejecting threads and mucus into seawater, evolved from cells and genes expressed in the skin.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    Structural screens identify candidate human homologs of insect chemoreceptors and cryptic Drosophila gustatory receptor-like proteins

    Richard Benton, Nathaniel J Himmel
    A new screening strategy for divergent homologs of insect odorant and gustatory receptors, based upon predicted three-dimensional structural similarity, unexpectedly identifies candidates in humans.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Hierarchical sequence-affinity landscapes shape the evolution of breadth in an anti-influenza receptor binding site antibody

    Angela M Phillips, Daniel P Maurer ... Michael M Desai
    An anti-influenza receptor binding site antibody acquires breadth through hierarchical sets of epistatic mutations distributed across the light and heavy chains, demonstrating how mutations can interact to shape the evolution of antibody breadth in various antigen exposure regimens.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Metamorphosis of memory circuits in Drosophila reveals a strategy for evolving a larval brain

    James W Truman, Jacquelyn Price ... Tzumin Lee
    The mushroom body neuropils of the larval brain have regions that share neurons and functions with the adult and larval-specific regions built with 'doomed' neurons or cells that trans-differentiate for temporary larval function before assuming their adult phenotypes at metamorphosis.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Metamorphosis: The making of a maggot brain

    Andreas S Thum, Bertram Gerber
    The way neurons in the brain rewire in larvae as they turn to adult fruit flies sheds light on how complete metamorphosis was ‘invented’ over the course of evolution.
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    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Neuroscience

    Mice and primates use distinct strategies for visual segmentation

    Francisco J Luongo, Lu Liu ... Doris Y Tsao
    The behavioral ability of mice and treeshrews to detect visual figures is highly texture dependent, unlike that of primates including macaques and mouse lemurs, and neural responses to figures in mouse visual cortex are similarly texture dependent.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    The layered costs and benefits of translational redundancy

    Parth K Raval, Wing Yui Ngan ... Deepa Agashe
    Manipulation of the E. coli translation machinery sheds new light on evolutionary constraints and optimization strategies for bacterial translation and growth.
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Nitrogenase resurrection and the evolution of a singular enzymatic mechanism

    Amanda K Garcia, Derek F Harris ... Betül Kaçar
    Life is constrained in its sampling of protein sequence space to catalyze one of the most energetically challenging biochemical reactions.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Community diversity is associated with intra-species genetic diversity and gene loss in the human gut microbiome

    Naïma Madi, Daisy Chen ... Nandita R Garud
    Longstanding eco-evolutionary theories are tested using shotgun metagenomic data from the human gut microbiome, showing links between community diversity and the evolutionary trajectory of a focal species within the community.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    Polygenic adaptation from standing genetic variation allows rapid ecotype formation

    Nico Fuhrmann, Celine Prakash, Tobias S Kaiser
    Baltic and Arctic ecotypes of the marine midge Clunio emerged from a recent adaptive radiation, which is based on standing genetic variation at many loci involved in time-keeping and nervous system development.