Questions tagged [evolution]

Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. The mechanisms of evolution are mutation, migration, drift, and selection.

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Do bacteria select for "soap resistance"?

When people wash their hands with soap, this limits the spread of bacterial infections. That much, I am pretty convinced of. Duh. What I don't get is how this doesn't lead to evolutionary pressure on ...
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What is the highest concentration of sodium chloride for the oceans to be able to sustain life?

What is the maximum concentration of NaCl for life in the oceans to be possible? Was it fortuitous that the concentration was originally no higher, in which case the evolution of life on Earth would ...
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Does surface to volume ratio matter for cold-blooded species with regards to temperature?

While surface grows quadratically with scale, volume growth is cubic. Temperature exchange (gain and loss) of animals is mostly dependant on surface area (the more area, the faster) whereas heat ...
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Are there life forms that freely fly in the atmosphere?

Are there (unicellular) Earth lifeforms that most of their life fly high in the atmosphere without contact with surface? For instance, in clouds, etc? If so, at what max altitude have they been ...
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Evolution of Aging according to Weismann

Several authors agree to the fact that August Weismann was the first to propose an explanation to biological aging (Kirkwood and Cremer, 1982; Gems and Partridge, 2013). A lot of hallmarks (and some ...
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Difference between heritability on the scale of liability versus the scale of observation

I was reading a paper on disease heritability ("Estimating Missing Heritability for Disease from Genome-wide Association Studies") and it struck me that I don't have a great understanding of ...
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How do evolutionary forces influence the number of copies of the p53 gene?

p53 is an important tumor suppressor gene. Around 50% of cancers are associated with loss of function in p53. Humans have only two copies of p53 in their genome (one on each homologous chromosome). ...
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Why are mosquito bites and other histamine-triggering events itchy?

When a mosquito bites a human, it injects some saliva containing compounds that dilate the blood vessels and prevent blood clotting. The human body's response to this is to create an extremely itchy ...
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What determines the complexity of phenomenology of humans senses with respect to evolutionary development?

My question is a bit hard to phrase as I'm not sure what is cause and effect of evolution of human or animal senses. But in general I need a pointer where to start reading concerning why for instance ...
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Heart Location in Human Anatomy

https://www.google.com/search?q=heart+location&source=lmns&bih=544&biw=360&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiN2aOSmsvyAhXTEHIKHaTIDMcQ_AUoAHoECAAQAw https://www.google.com/search?q=...
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Explanation for lack of wing-leg-fin transformations in arthropod evolution?

I don't know much about evolutionary biology so I may be missing something obvious. It seems that vertebrate evolution somewhat frequently re-invents the fin out of the leg or wing and the wing out of ...
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Why Banana Tree produce Fruits , even though it serves no purpose?

Why Banana tree produce fruits (seedless), as it not even helps them in propagation and also is a drain of energy, wasteful. Is this a Vestigial Character, if yes then why is it still so Prominent why ...
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Cell Theory- does the first cell not contradict cell theory [closed]

In cell theory, we have cells arise from other existing cell. But the first cell did not arise from existing cell, and that means there are some other condition which allows cell to be formed. I ...
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Evolutionary reason green bottle flies are shiny

Just noticed some green bottle flies in my backyard. They are shiny. A shine like that attracts attention (of potential predators) and probably takes some work to maintain. This made me wonder why ...
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From an evolutionary standpoint, why don’t couples attempt to have as many kids as possible?

Many couples have 4 or 5 kids, but it is unusual for a couple to have 10 or 15. Shouldn’t humans have evolved to want as many kids as possible to maximize the chances that their genes are passed down?
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How it happened that in cactuses the difference between the fruit, the leaf and the stem so much blurred if they were normal plants in the past?

Looking at a cactus may make impression that they evolved separately from other plants, which usually have stem, leaf and fruit. But the fruit in cactuses has the same structure and surface as the ...
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Darwinism and the idea of being too successful

Is there an example of any animals or insects that have evolved too efficiently and went extinct due to upsetting the homeostasis of their environment? Outside humans. I was thinking about venomous ...
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On the Origin of Homo Sapiens

Paleoanthropologists are certain Homo sapiens originate from Africa. However where in Africa is still contested. Could you give the reasons why it is thought that Homo sapiens evolved in Eastern ...
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Where in Africa did Homo sapiens evolve from? [closed]

I’m aware that the possible oldest homo sapiens fossil was found in Morocco. The vast majority of our fossils however is found in Eastern Africa. In recent years,a controversial study on mitochondrial ...
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What’s the largest animal in the evolutionary history of birds?

I know that birds evolved from dinosaurs (or a related clade). However, some dinosaurs are large and others are small. Did birds evolve only from a line of dinosaurs that stayed small throughout ...
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Fluctuations in disease burden of respiratory viruses (especially influenza/coronaviruses)

Compared to peaks in terms of disease burden (morbidity and mortality, or incidence of severely symptomatic cases and deaths caused by a viral strain within a population), is the relatively light ...
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How old is the Pogona genus?

What it says on the title, how old is the genus Pogona, which includes all bearded dragons? I tried looking online, and all I got was the useless answer of “bearded dragons are descended from their ...
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can a cell evolve into a different species in the lab?

A friend of mine does not believe in evolution. He claimed that we can not as humans observe a single cell evolving into a different cell. Is that possible to be observed in the lab? Thanks in advance....
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Can vaccines drive viruses to evolve? If so, how?

Obviously, destroying vaccine-vulnerable strains of a virus will leave the vaccine-resistant ones to represent an increased fraction of the overall viral population. I'm asking, though, whether/how ...
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When does a virus become a different species?

Related: When does one decide to refer to a virus as a new variant? I've been thinking about all the news related to "variants" of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the infamous "Delta ...
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Kleiber's law and Bergmann's rule

I was researching that deep-sea animals are much larger than their close relatives in the upper ocean (gigantism), and from what I've seen, this is due to two rules: Kleiber's law and Bergmann's rule. ...
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Are there mammalian species in which the male makes no contribution after coitus?

It seems that live bearing is very high cost relative to egg laying. Therefore, I would expect that in a live bearing species the male would always have a post coital role. Is this the case?
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Resource recommendation: a good book explaining and evaluating the evidence for evolution?

I take a great interest in the intersection between science and religion and evolution is therefore something I often read about. Many of the critics of evolution like to poke "scientific" ...
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Is the principle of "the least energy" a fundamental principle of evolution? How does it stand with the rule "the one who replicate the most"? [closed]

The principle of "least energy" seems to be a fundamental law of the universe (is it?). I probably use the wrong word. I'm just talking about the reason why electrons are filling first the ...
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Are there some natural instances of thermosensitizer?

Let's define thermosensitizer as any chemical or biological agent that can sensitize the cells to heat. In lab setting, thermosensitization seems to be achievable, such as by inhibiting chaperone ...
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Do mutations that cause the loss of a complex trait occur more often than mutations causing gain of a complex traits?

The Wiki entry on the evolution of biological complexity states that "[m]utations causing loss of a complex trait occur more often than mutations causing gain of a complex trait". There is ...
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At what point in evolution is a new species identified? [duplicate]

As we know, a change in allelic frequency leads to evolution, and as these changes accumulate a new species is created. My question has two parts - A classical definition of species which is now not ...
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What were the three dinosaur evolutions and do they imply that bipedalism could have evolved multiple times in hominins?

At this pop-sci article transcribing an interview with Jeremy DeSilva, they state: "If we’ve learned anything about evolutionary trends, it’s that good ideas evolve over and over again. For ...
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How did Aposematism evolve?

Disclaimer: I know nearly nothing about biology. My understanding is that camouflage evolved gradually with individuals that looked more like their environment even slightly being less likely to be ...
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If we evolve from microbes then why so many microbes are still here? [closed]

Researchers say that we evolve from microbes then why there are still so many microbes ?
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What's the most recent common ancestor of reptiles and humans?

In the Phylogeny of humans and reptiles, what is/are some of the most recent common ancestors?
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Understanding the paper "Why war is a man's game"

I have read this article https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2018.0975 but I don't understand the mathematics which tries to explain why war is male-exclusive. In which branch of ...
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Were the Francevillian biota real?

The announced discovery of macrofossils suggestive of large multicellular organisms 2.1 Ga ago is now over ten years old. Is there by now a scientific consensus whether these constitute real fossils ...
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How is the possibility of beneficial mutations ensured in the genome?

To ensure natural selection and variability, the genome must have a structure in which the occurrence of beneficial mutations has a high enough probability. But how is this ensured? The space of ...
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higher-order evolutionary adaptations

Most adaptations are what I'd call first-order. Cats evolve better eyesight; redwoods evolve to grow taller; male cardinals evolve attractive bright feathers. All of these changes were selected for ...
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Reasons for the existence of symporters and antiporters

I'm wondering what is an evolutionary adaptation to the evolution of symporters and antiporters instead of just uniporters. Antiporters might help preserve electrical neutrality by pumping in/out an ...
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Are dark skinned natives of Central America dark skinned due to the same genes as people of African heritage?

I'm trying to understand how strong the evolutionary pressure on genes for skin color happens to be. Was it fast enough that the humans that migrated through the Bering Strait had lighter skin color ...
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Do sharks possess a more hydrodynamical shape than dolphins? [closed]

I do not study biology at all. Is it known if sharks who evolved over milion of years have more hydrodynamical shape than say e.g. dolphins who evolved for much shorter time. It probably depends on ...
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Visualizing selection's effect on a population with a fitness landscape in R

I'm trying to write a script to demonstrate the effect of selection in a population. The problem that I have is that it is not realistic in the sense that not only the mean would change for ...
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What are evolutionary reasons for humans' limited regeneration abilities? [duplicate]

As far as I understand (I am not a biologist), a ability of a species arises during the evolution if: It increases reproduction chances It is not too energy expensive It is physically possible At ...
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Are SNPs or SSR copy number variation mutations more prominent?

I'm trying to get a sense of the dominant way that mutations occur. I have seen various numbers which seem at least at first glance to conflict, and I was curious if anyone had clarification on this. ...
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Does mitochondrial eve have to exist?

Suppose we took all living humans and found the set of their mothers, mothers' mothers, etc. and then traced down as far as possible. Is there a logical reason that this tree has to converge to one '...
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Can hunting of large specimens of a species make the size and weight of the species tend to be smaller?

Siberian tigers in the wild don't grow as much as they used to be in past (in the 1900s). Their average weight was measured 176 kg in 2005 study. But it was also said that those tigers observed in ...
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Is there "stem" organelles in plant meristems?

Two cytoplasmic genomes exist in plant in addition to the nuclear one. As far as I understand, they divide more or less during the entire life of the plant along with cell proliferation/growth in ...
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What was the evolutionary advantage of having seeds so large that they could only be dispersed by megafauna?

I understand that fruits like the avocado and the osange orange are so large and unwieldy that their evolutionary "intent" was to be consumed whole by megafauna that are now extinct. What I ...

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