Archive for the ‘evolution’ category: Page 9

Oct 12, 2023

Directing Superior Reagents for Better PCR Results

Posted by in category: evolution

Thanks to directed evolution accelerating natural selection processes, scientists are generating mutants with beneficial properties and improving functionality.

Learn more about these reagents in the new Research Products.

Directed evolution approaches are creating new reagents to help a tried-and-true technique reach new heights.

Continue reading “Directing Superior Reagents for Better PCR Results” »

Oct 10, 2023

Darwin or Kimura? Natural selection or pure chance? New literature review aims to clarify a heated debate

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, genetics

Some of nature’s mysteries have kept scientists busy for decades—for example, the processes that drive evolution. The question of whether certain differences between and within species are caused by natural selection or by chance processes divides evolutionary biologists even today. Now, an international team of researchers has teased apart a scientific debate concerning the evolutionary theories of Darwin and the Japanese geneticist Kimura. Their conclusion: the debate is unnecessarily convoluted by the co-existence of different interpretations.

Due to his contributions to geological and , British naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) is considered one of the most important natural scientists. His influential work “On the Origin of Species” (1859), with its strictly scientific explanation of the diversity of life, forms the basis of modern evolutionary biology. Darwin concluded that species evolve through natural selection: well-adapted organisms survive, others don’t.

However, by the end of the 1960s, the Japanese geneticist Motoo Kimura (1924–1994) proposed that at the genetic level, most changes in the course of evolution do not offer direct advantages or disadvantages to the individual but are simply neutral. According to his “Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution,” first published in 1968, most of the within and between species arises from random fluctuations of neutral mutations.

Oct 9, 2023

Promptbreeder: Self-Referential Self-Improvement Via Prompt Evolution (Paper Explained)

Posted by in categories: engineering, evolution, information science


Promptbreeder is a self-improving self-referential system for automated prompt engineering. Give it a task description and a dataset, and it will automatically come up with appropriate prompts for the task. This is achieved by an evolutionary algorithm where not only the prompts, but also the mutation-prompts are improved over time in a population-based, diversity-focused approach.

Continue reading “Promptbreeder: Self-Referential Self-Improvement Via Prompt Evolution (Paper Explained)” »

Oct 7, 2023

New ‘assembly theory’ unifies physics and biology to explain evolution and complexity

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution, physics

An international team of researchers has developed a new theoretical framework that bridges physics and biology to provide a unified approach for understanding how complexity and evolution emerge in nature.

This new work on “assembly ,” published today in Nature, represents a major advance in our fundamental comprehension of biological evolution and how it is governed by the physical laws of the universe. The paper is titled “Assembly Theory Explains and Quantifies Selection and Evolution.”

This research builds on the team’s previous work developing assembly theory as an empirically validated approach to life detection, with implications for the search for and efforts to evolve new life forms in the laboratory.

Oct 5, 2023

Study of 17,000 years of fish fossils reveals rapid evolution

Posted by in category: evolution

When a new island or lake appears, the plants and animals that get there first have a leg up on later arrivals and are more likely to diversify into new species—or so evolutionary biologists have long assumed. But a study of fossils from East Africa’s Lake Victoria shows that it takes more than arriving early to win the speciation race. Although several kinds of fish colonized this lake around the same time, only cichlids took off, forming 500 species in less than 17,000 years, the team reports today in.

“The paper uses a very smart [way] to find a clear answer to a longstanding question, which is why certain groups of organisms are more successful at forming many species over a short period of time,” says Claudius Kratochwil, an evolutionary developmental biologist at the University of Helsinki who was not involved with the work. The findings suggest opportunity and versatility matter more than primacy, adds George Turner, an evolutionary biologist and cichlid fish expert at Bangor University who was also not involved.

Most cases of adaptive radiation, wherein one species gives rise to many more, took place over millions of years, making it nearly impossible for scientists to figure out why that one colonizing species became so successful. But the extreme diversity within a group of fish called cichlids began to arise a mere 17,000 years ago, when the modern version of Lake Victoria began to fill where today the borders of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania meet. Now 500 species strong—each inhabiting a particular niche within the lake—this group’s evolution represents “the most rapid radiation event known among vertebrates,” says Nare Ngoepe, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Bern.

Oct 5, 2023

V0610 Virgo is a low-mass contact binary, observations find

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

Astronomers from the Binary Systems of South and North (BSN) project have conducted photometric observations of a distant binary star known as V0610 Virgo. Results of the observation campaign, published Sept. 23 in a research paper on the pre-print server arXiv, indicate that V0610 Virgo is a low-mass contact binary system.

W Ursae Majoris-type, or W UMa-type binaries (EWs) are eclipsing binaries with a short orbital period (below one day) and continuous light variation during a cycle. They are also known as “contact binaries,” given that these systems are composed of two with similar temperature and luminosity, sharing a common envelope of material and are thus in contact with one another. In general, studies of contact binaries have the potential to reveal many details about the evolution of stars.

Located some 1,560 away from the Earth, V0610 Virgo is an EW with an apparent magnitude of 13.3 mag. Although not much is known about this system, previous observations have found that it has an orbital period of approximately eight hours.

Oct 4, 2023

James Webb Space Telescope Has Spotted Something Lurking in the Orion Nebula That “Shouldn’t Exist,” and They Come in Pairs

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

New images of the Orion Nebula captured by the James Webb Space Telescope have revealed the existence of 150 free-floating objects once considered a scientific impossibility.

South of Orion’s belt is one of the brightest nebulae visible in the night sky, the Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42, which is home to the Trapezium Cluster of stars. This cluster produces extremely strong ultraviolet radiation fields that cause the surrounding gas to glow, which is the source of the nebulae’s brightness.

Within the cluster is a veritable nursery for the formation of protostars, which the European Space Agency (ESA) recently called “a treasure trove for astronomers studying the formation and early evolution of stars, with a rich diversity of phenomena and objects” that include a mysterious category of celestial phenomena known as free-floating planetary mass objects.

Oct 4, 2023

From Atoms to Organisms: “Assembly Theory” Unifies Physics and Biology To Explain Evolution and Complexity

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, particle physics

“Assembly Theory,” a pioneering theoretical framework bridging physics and biology, offers transformative insights into biological evolution and its place within universal physical laws. With applications from…

Oct 3, 2023

Beetle grows ‘termite’ on back to steal food

Posted by in categories: evolution, food

In what may be one of Earth’s craziest forms of mimicry, researchers have discovered a new species of rove beetle that grows a termite puppet on its back to fool real termites into feeding it. The replica is so precise, it even mirrors the termites’ distinct body segments and has three pairs of pseudoappendages that resemble antennae and legs.

Rove beetles (family Staphylinidae) are already infamous in the animal kingdom as masters of disguise. Some, for example, have evolved to look like army ants, allowing the beetles to march alongside them and feed on their eggs and young.

The new beetle species (Austrospirachtha carrijoi)—found beneath the soil in Australia’s Northern Territory—emulates a termite by enlarging its abdomen, a phenomenon known as physogastry. Evolution has reshaped this body part into a highly realistic replica of a termite (as seen above), head and all, which rides on top of the rest of the beetle’s body. The beetle’s real, much smaller head peeks out from beneath its termite disguise, the authors report this month in the journal.

Oct 3, 2023

Search giant Google turns 25 today, CEO Sundar Pichai thanks Googlers for… | Mint

Posted by in category: evolution

Search giant Google is celebrating its 25th birthday today with a special doodle and by thanking its users. The idea of Google was born when Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at a Stanford University dormitory in 1995. Reportedly, Brin and Page made the search engine as part of a PhD project in 1998. The startup earlier called BackRub has gone on to become one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world.

In a blog post celebrating the 25th birthday of Google, the company wrote, “We may be a technology company, but Google is what it is today because of people: Our employees, our partners, and most importantly, all the people who use our products. So as we celebrate our 25th birthday today, we’re also celebrating 25 years of your curiosity. After all, your curiosity is what has fueled us — and our progress.”

In a blog post updating about the 25th birthday celebrations, Google informed that today’s Google Doodle honours the evolution of the Google logo over the last quarter century.

Page 9 of 122First678910111213Last