The Han Chinese are the world's largest ethnic group, making up 91.6% of modern-day China. Now, in a new study drawing from the largest study to date of three generations of 21,668, unrelated Han Chinese DNA samples, spread out over all provinces, lead author Qing-Peng Kong and his team, of the Kunming Institute of Zoology have shown the importance of how the three main river valleys in China contributed to Han genetic diversity.
This new study applied X-ray imaging to several 3-million-year-old fossils in order to untangle the story of key pigments in ancient animals and reveal how we might recognize the chemical signatures of specific red pigments in long extinct animals to determine how they evolved.
Researchers have for the first time detected chemical traces of red pigment in an ancient fossil -- an exceptionally well-preserved mouse, not unlike today's field mice, that roamed the fields of what is now the German village of Willershausen around 3 million years ago.
Most living things have a suite of genes dedicated to repairing their DNA, limiting the rate at which their genomes change through time. But scientists at Vanderbilt and University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered an ancient lineage of budding yeasts that appears to have accumulated a remarkably high load of mutations due to the unprecedented loss of dozens of genes involved in repairing errors in DNA and cell division, previously thought to be essential.
In many social animal species individuals share child-rearing duties, but new research from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, finds that bonobo mothers go the extra step and actually take action to ensure their sons will become fathers. This way bonobo mothers increase their sons' chance of fatherhood three-fold.
Historic climate change events can have a lasting impact on the genetic diversity of a species, reveals a new study on the alpine marmot.
Evolutionary biologist Ernst Haeckel became the first person to define the term ecology in his work published in 1866, entitled 'General Morphology of Organisms'. Science historians and biologists from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) have now worked out just how close his original classification is to our modern understanding of ecology -- at the invitation of the renowned journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.
New discoveries made at the Klasies River Cave in South Africa's southern Cape, where charred food remains from hearths were found, provide the first archaeological evidence that anatomically modern humans were roasting and eating plant starches, such as those from tubers and rhizomes, as early as 120,000 years ago.
When the bones of an ancient heron were unearthed at a North Florida fossil site, the find wasn't made by researchers but by two Florida Museum of Natural History volunteers. A previously unknown genus and species, the heron has been named Taphophoyx hodgei.
Researchers report that male 'genital sparing' in fruit flies during times of inadequate nutrition is due to lower levels of a negative growth factor called FOXO in the genitals and that this phenomenon helps preserve reproductive success.