Genome Biology and Evolution's latest virtual issue highlights recent research published in the journal within the field of human genetics.
New research by the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has demonstrated a clear fluctuation in the trade of wildmeat in and around the High Niger National Park in Guinea, West Africa.
Using high resolution paleoecological information obtained from fossilized footprints, a new study published in Science Advances presents ~120 thousand-year-old human and animal footprints from an ancient lake bed in northern Arabia. These findings represent the earliest evidence for humans in this part of the world and show that human and animal movements and landscape use were closely linked.
By comparing genetic variants differing in the two fly populations, researchers found that polygenic traits led to the quickness of adaptation; many genes, each with very small effects, worked together to determine the rate of development. The research illustrates that crop pests and insect disease vectors with similar biology may rapidly respond to changing climates by a similar genetic mechanism.
Biologists observing the formation of leaves noticed the nuclei moved in bewildering ways. Further investigation uncovered proteins that act as compasses and motors, guiding the divisions of individual cells to create the overall pattern of the leaf.
Researchers have identified an invasive blood-sucking parasite on mud shrimp in the waters of British Columbia's Calvert Island. The discovery represents the northern-most record of the parasite on the West Coast and is likely an indication of its ability to spread without human transport.
How much time does a brain need to learn a new word? A team of Skoltech researchers and their colleagues monitored changes in brain activity associated with learning new words and found that cortical representations of the sound and meaning of these words may form in just 1 to 2 hours after exposure without any night's sleep consolidation, as earlier research suggested. This research has implications for diagnosing speech disorders and improving the efficiency of learning.
The vast majority of Twitter users who vape with JUUL e-cigarettes are not using the devices to stop smoking or to improve their health, according to a research team led by University of Utah Health scientists. The researchers say this finding, which challenges JUUL's stated mission of improving smokers' lives, could help hone anti-smoking and vaping efforts targeted at Twitter users, particularly underage teens.
Policies across the world seek clear paths to sustainability, but it takes a broad look to know their true impact.
A duo from Columbia University and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has begun to crack the neural code behind Hydra's simplest behavior, called contraction bursts. The team found that the concentration of dissolved particles in the surrounding water affects the activity of a neural circuit in one of Hydra's nerve nets, which can trigger a specific set of muscle cells to contract the torso.