Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. Major mechanisms include drift, natural selection, mutation, and gene flow (migration).

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Evolution (Reductionism)

My recent post was tagged as unclear so I wanted to re frame my question. Though I am a layman, I would love to read books and find the stuff, if I get an overall picture of intelligence factor. My ...
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173 views

Why does the slope of parent-offspring regression equals the heritability in the narrow sense?

Background ---- Notations and assumptions ---- let $W_{ij}$ be the fitness associated to the genotype $AiAj$. $x$ is the frequency of the allele $A1$ in the population. The frequency of the allele ...
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60 views

What evidence do we have to derive a rate of evolution?

When analyzing how the human species evolved and will continue to evolve over time, what evidence and tools (theory/models) do we have available to derive the rate at which this happens? Is it even ...
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72 views

Is there any evidence of increased life expectancy for animal species?

Life expectancy for human has significantly increased during the last century or so. We all know that there are many reasons that are not linked with "evolution", but I am wondering if such change in ...
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78 views

Hill-Roberston effects and effective population size

From this article, first page, middle of the second column: Even if harmful alleles do not become fixed, they can still reduce the efficacy of selection on neighbouring loci through a process ...
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60 views

Does recombination increase the additive genetic variance for fitness?

On this article, first column, eighth line of the introduction: By bringing together favourable alleles from different chromosomes, sex and recombination increase the additive genetic variance for ...
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26 views

What indices can we use to describe fitness landscapes?

We usually talk of smooth or rugged fitness landscape. Are there any (standard) indices to measure the "structure" of fitness landscapes? For example, one might consider the mean epistatic ...
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33 views

comparing conventional phylogenetic tree to phylogenetic trees which are based on enzymes

I built trees (for 4 organisms: mouse, human, drosophila and C-elegans) for different enzymes family, compared them to the conventional tree, and try to explain them. how would you explain these ...
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84 views

Phylogenetic tree

I want to find the conventional phylogenetic tree of human, mouse, C elegans and drosophila, without all the other organisms. Do you know where can I get it? thanks, Noga
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52 views

Mutation rate in viruses

Mutation rate is a phenotypic trait that evolves. The process of evolution of such kind of traits are often referred to as evolvability. I am wondering about the evolution of the mutation rates in ...
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54 views

Aren't current explanations for the evolution of human cooperation a little too reductionist?

Lately, I've become a believer in the limits of reductionist explanations especially in areas like complex systems and biology. So, without wasting any more time, I'll get to my question.. Whenever ...
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244 views

What modern insects are not (flying OR descended from flying ancestors)?

What modern insects are not flying or descended from flying ancestors? (I read somewhere that 99% are, so of course I instantly became curious which aren't. xD ) EDIT: Sorry, I should have been ...
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57 views

vestigial structure question

If a species has a vestigial anatomical structure that it no longer uses, would you expect this structure to disappear over many generations through the action of natural selection? Always, sometimes, ...
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32 views

Book on yeast reproduction, evolution and on the use of yeast as model organism

I am looking for a good book in: Yeast reproduction mating types Recombination mating type determination mechanism Yeast evolution Yeast as model organism and its use in experimental biology It ...
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69 views

Evolution, self organization and neuroscience

I have rudimentary knowledge of evolution, and biology in general, so bear with me if this question is a bit naive. Let's say we have a particular trait, like highly sensitive peripheral vision. ...
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38 views

Cambrian explosion and evolutionary arms race

I've seen many times mentioned in textbooks and popular articles that a reason of the Cambrian explosion is an 'evolutionary arms race' between predators and prey. But this isn't really a sufficient ...
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156 views

Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection

Ronald Fisher discovered what he, with humility, called the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection. This theorem says (in its modern terminology): The rate of increase in the mean fitness of any ...
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1answer
125 views

Why do genetic drift generates negative linkage disequilibrium?

The very first sentence of the abstract of this article are: "In finite populations subject to selection, genetic drift generates negative linkage disequilibrium, on average, even if selection ...
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115 views

Birds and Dinosaurs

This came up in an argument with some friends. I know that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs, shown pretty clearly through the fossil record. However, is it proper to say that birds are ...
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120 views

How many loci explain 50%, 80%, 99%, … of the total genetic variance in fitness?

Standard models in population genetics look up at the evolution of few loci which impact fitness. The variance in fitness is determined by the genetic variance and the environmental variance (and the ...
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66 views

Why do hummingbirds build nests with live ferns instead of dead materials?

Hummingbirds prefer to build their nests with spore-bearing ferns, and mosses. This is helpful for the reproduction of the ferns, which are then better able to spread their seeds. But how is this ...
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2answers
126 views

Can diploidy evolve in absence of sexual reproduction?

Theoretical question Can diploidy (or polyploidy) evolve from a haploid lineage in the absence of sexual reproduction ? For what theoretical reason? How can such evolution take place? Empirical ...
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70 views

Can nature create codes and specified complexity? [closed]

Is there an example of nature creating codes or specified complexity? It is said by Creationists that codes can only come from minds, and since DNA has a code, it was created by a mind. Is this true? ...
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240 views

Can you answer Ray Comfort's question on Biological Evolution? [closed]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ There's this video on Youtube about biological Evolution that has gone viral. I'll paste it above for your convenience. To cut to the chase, Ray Comfort ...
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154 views

Why aren't we ambidextrous?

It seems so simple that if my brain can tell my right hand to do something, then it should be able to tell equally well to the left ? This seems like a pretty major evolutionary advantage. Why haven't ...
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60 views

What's the use of RNA editing in kinetoplast?

The genes of the mitochondrion (kinetoplast) of some Kinetoplastida - e.g. Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite which causes African sleeping sickness - are "encoded" in a way that the pre mRNA requiries ...
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Could a normative population ever be non-heterosexual? [closed]

In the modern documentary called "Bi the way", one American geneticist said that if modern American youngsters may as well be functionally bisexual, then some generations ahead Americans could be ...
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48 views

Evolutionary conservativeness

List the following proteins in the order of decreasing evolutionary conservativeness of their primary structure: Somatotropin. Catalytic subunit of a DNA – polymerase. Histone H1. ...
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338 views

Why do we assume that the first humans were dark-skinned?

According to the article Dark skin and blue eyes: How Europeans once looked: It is widely accepted that Man's oldest common forefather was dark skinned, and that people became more pale as they ...
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What percentage of possible proteins has been tested by human brain evolution?

When the human human brain is discussed, I frequently hear an argument that goes like this "If there was a simple chemical solution for people to be smarter, nature would've already found it". I'm ...
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206 views

How did fish evolve the ability to breathe on land?

Doesn't make sense. It would be like a human evolving the ability to breathe on the moon without a spacesuit. How would the organism be able to carry out such an evolutionary adaptation, when the ...
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2answers
193 views

Why is the strength of genetic drift inversely proportional to the population size?

I saw a concept on the Internet that says "the strength of genetic drift is inversely proportional to the population size". I don't know why they are inversely proportional? Can somebody explain? ...
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69 views

Chromosome 2 alternate explanation - apes gaining a set of chromosomes?

I'm preparing for a debate (just between friends) on evolution (I'm in support), and one of the points I plan to bring up is the Chromosome 2 evidence. I'm now trying to predict their potential ...
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1answer
29 views

Is it possible for bacteria to acquire family-wide antibiotic resistance?

If there is bacteria, lets say Enterococci that is sensitive to: Amoxycillin-Clavulinic acid Ampicillin-Sulbactam Ofloxacin Ciprofloxacin Is it possible to ...
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356 views

Evolution- Variations, adaptations and selective advantages

I am trying to understand Variations, adaptations and selective advantages and how they are all related. Feel free to add or correct me if I'm wrong- Variations are structural, functional, or ...
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157 views

Opposite results between Blomberg's K and phylogenetic signal in Phylocom (AOT)

I've been trying to test for significant phylogenetic conservatism in some plant traits. So far I used R-package picante (Blomberg's K) and AOT in Phylocom. So far these two methods yield completely ...
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97 views

Can we say that microevolution and macroevolution is fundamentally the same thing over different time scales?

This Wikipedia article states: Macroevolution is evolution on a scale of separated gene pools. Macroevolutionary studies focus on change that occurs at or above the level of species, in contrast ...
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1answer
198 views

Why do farts stink, but perfume does not?

Why is it that natural things like farts, poop, halitosis etc., from which we are always surrounded smell "bad"; whereas manufactured products, such as perfume or glue smell "good" to most of us? In ...
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260 views

Are we inevitable in the evolution?

Suppose we wind time back to the instance when life emerged on Earth and let evolution start over again, will human beings or any other kind of self-conscious animals evolve ultimately, inevitably? ...
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404 views

Are humans an eusocial species?

In the evolution of sociality among animals, different degrees are acknowledged. Some species present overlapping generations, some division of labor, and the minority present reproductive division. ...
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234 views

The Origin of Mitochondria

For a long time I've just accepted, because it is just what everyone told me, that mitochondria became organelles in the cell when they were "engulfed" by another cell which acted like it's host. This ...
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133 views

The Assumption of Weak Selection?

I was reading this question and I failed to fully understand the introductory part of it. The OP (@Artem Kaznatcheev) says: Most analytic models like to assume weak selection because it allows ...
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114 views

Evolutionary history: did any organs start out as autonomous organisms?

I've read that the cell nucleus was once an autonomous organism that was "enslaved" by the larger cell at the time of the Eukaryotic Revolution. Are there any organs in the human body that we know of ...
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67 views

Definition of “Regime of selection”

How would you define Regime of selection (or Selection regime)? In addition to a accurate definition, a developped example ...
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92 views

Disproportion in cranial nerve innervation?

The cranial nerve innervation is highly disproportionate, as far as humans are concerned. I am not sure of the advantage of being innervated by cranial nerve versus being innervated by a normal ...
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175 views

How would constantly growing nails have aided early human?

Nails grow rapidly and constantly, such that without constant artificial trimming they would reach lengths difficult to manage. How did this benefit early humans, say 200kya? Were they used like ...
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550 views

Why did abiogenesis only happen once?

If the "primordial soup" theory of abiogenesis is to be believed, self-reproducing organisms spontaneously arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago, surprisingly soon after the Earth cooled down ...
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135 views

Book recommendations for algorithms used in evolutionary biology

Do you have recommendations for a book that presents the different algorithm used in theoretical evolutionary biology? I don't mean evolutionary or genetic algorithms (otherwise this question would ...
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363 views

Ka/Ks (dN/dS) analysis module for Python?

From this wiki article: In genetics, the Ka/Ks ratio (or ω, dN/dS), is the ratio of the number of Nonsynonymous substitutions per non-synonymous site (Ka) to the number of synonymous ...
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How should I put a large phylogeny into a scientific paper?

I've been trying to put a phylogeny tree into a scientific paper. This tree includes ~220 species, which is too too large for one page for journal articles (Letter or A4 size). But in my paper it is ...