Tag: evolutionary biology

  • Parasitoid wasps and GM butterflies

    Foreign pieces of DNA are found in the genomes of many animals – these ‘Genomic parasites‘ are pure, genome hopping pieces of DNA code which embed their lifecycle within the DNA in our own cells. You could call this genomic parasitisation a form of genetic modification, just as scientists in labs the world over use […]

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  • Mosquitos – fine-tuned by evolution to preferentially feed on humans

    Would you look at that! The story of mosquitos, cheese and body odour has taken another leap into scientific respectability with a paper being published in the pinnacle of journals, Nature. “Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor” by McBride and colleagues was published towards the end of last year and […]

  • Plants, polyploidy and producing new species

    When I talk about my career and my interest in evolutionary biology, I often get asked, “How do you actually get new species?”. It’s not a stupid question; for people without a background in biology it really is very hard to imagine how the diversity of life we see today has formed from the types […]

  • The physics of human walking and considering the wider picture

    Impulsive ankle push-off powers leg swing in human walking Susanne W. Lipfert, Michael Günther, Daniel Renjewski, and Andre Seyfarth J Exp Biol 2014 217:1218-1228. I love papers like this. The extreme level of detail people go to in the quest to discover is fascinating. The question that always comes to my mind is “What made them decide […]