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Did last ice age affect breastfeeding in Native Americans?
A gene linked to shovel shaped teeth and breast ducts that increase vitamin D in milk seems to have appeared in at least one population that lived in the far north.
science  biology  evolution  breastfeeding 
19 hours ago by mcherm
RT : Latest research on by Pobiner, Beardsley, Bertka, & Watson

Using human case studies t…
Evolution  Human  Teaching  from twitter
20 hours ago by jrosenau
Casualties of Your Own Success · Collaborative Fund
Evolution knows what it’s doing. And one of the things it does is give animals bigger bodies over time. Edward Drinker Cope was a 19th Century paleontologist. His work, later deemed Cope’s Rule – not universal enough to call a law – tracked the lineages of thousands of species and showed a clear bias towards animals evolving to become larger over time. Horses went from the size of small dogs to their modern height. Snakes from no larger than a inch to modern boas. Dinosaurs from 3-in...
evolution  finance  business  size 
yesterday by karl11
Scientists Still Can't Decide How to Define a Tree - The Atlantic
"So far, there is no standout gene or set of genes that confers tree-ness, nor any particular genome feature. Complexity? Nope: Full-on, whole-genome duplication (an often-used proxy for complexity) is prevalent throughout the plant kingdom. Genome size? Nope: Both the largest and smallest plant genomes belong to herbaceous species (Paris japonica and Genlisea tuberosa, respectively—the former a showy little white-flowered herb, the latter a tiny, carnivorous thing that traps and eats protozoans).

A chat with Neale confirms that tree-ness is probably more about what genes are turned on than what genes are present. “From the perspective of the genome, they basically have all the same stuff as herbaceous plants,” he said. “Trees are big, they’re woody, they can get water from the ground to up high. But there does not seem to be some profound unique biology that distinguishes a tree from a herbaceous plant.”

Notwithstanding the difficulty in defining them, being a tree has undeniable advantages—it allows plants to exploit the upper reaches where they can soak up sunlight and disperse pollen and seeds with less interference than their ground-dwelling kin. So maybe it’s time to start thinking of tree as a verb, rather than a noun—tree-ing, or tree-ifying. It’s a strategy, a way of being, like swimming or flying, even though to our eyes it’s happening in very slow motion. Tree-ing with no finish in sight—until an ax, or a pest, or a bolt of Thanksgiving lightning strikes it down."
biology  botany  classification  trees  2018  verbs  rachelehrenberg  plants  science  genetics  multispecies  wood  longevity  andrewgroover  ronaldlanner  evolution  davidneale  genomes  complexity 
2 days ago by robertogreco

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