Pseudogenes at Work
Pseudogenes are important in gene regulation and other activities.
Changing a DNA sequence can affect a protein even if it does not change the amino acid sequence.
The "Cambrian explosion" is a term used to describe the abrupt appearance in the fossil record of major animal phyla, without intermediate forms in lower layers. This pattern of abrupt appearance can be observed for many groups of organisms, including crinoids (sea lilies).
Chromosomes regulate their own structure through their sequences of non-protein-coding DNA.
Fossilized crane fly eyes discovered to be calcified and have melanin
Cichlid fish in Nicaraguan lakes show evidence of rapid change.
The specific genes have been identified that cause a lizard to match the black rocks it lives on.
Humans have unique “developmental control genes” that distinguish them from chimpanzees and other animals
Is the genetic basis of loss of flight due to mutations in protein-coding genes or in regulatory genes?
Comparison of genomes of jellyfish and sea anemones highlights the importance of orphan genes in taxonomically close organisms.
Is a recent fossil found in Peru evidence for transitional forms in an evolutionary sequence?
The abrupt appearance of trilobites in Cambrian strata and their absence in Precambrian sediments is a real feature of the rock record and not due to failure of preservation in Precambrian rocks.
A newly described Cambrian locality in China has added more than 50 new species to our knowledge.
Confirmation that fathers may sometimes pass mitochondrial DNA to their children violates the assumptions used to calculate the age of the most recent female common ancestor of all living humans. Published in Origins v. 21, n. 2.
In recent decades, epigenetics has been shown to be a promising field of research, since it describes changes in inheritance patterns that do not involve DNA modifications and are related to interactions between the organism and the environment. Epigenetic marks are chemical changes that occur in chromosomes and result in the silencing or activation of specific genes in different tissues. It has been…
A fossil bird recovered from Cretaceous lake deposits in China shows preservation of some soft tissues, including a pair of lungs that appear to have functioned in a way similar to those of living birds.
The Yellowstone "fossil forest" has many layers of volcanic ash. Trace element analysis of these layers reveals they derive from about four volcanic sources, and the layers from different sources are interlaced, implying contemporaneous eruptions of the different sources. Published in Origins n. 65.