Topic: Evolution

Mass Extinctions Can Accelerate Evolution

Aug. 12, 2015
Virtual Biped Robot

A computer science team at UT Austin has found that robots evolve more quickly and efficiently after a virtual mass extinction modeled after real-life disasters such as the one that killed off the dinosaurs. Beyond its implications for artificial intelligence, the research supports the idea that mass extinctions actually speed up evolution by unleashing new creativity in adaptations.

Read more

Corals Already Adapting to Global Warming, Scientists Say

June 25, 2015
A diver surveys temperature-tolerant corals in the Great Barrier Reef

Some coral populations already have genetic variants necessary to tolerate warm ocean waters, and humans can help to spread these genes, a team of scientists has found.

Read more

Partly Human Yeast Show A Common Ancestor’s Lasting Legacy

May 21, 2015
Microscope image reveals internal organization of yeast cell

Despite a billion years of evolution separating humans from the baker’s yeast in their refrigerators, hundreds of genes from an ancestor that the two species have in common live on nearly unchanged in them both, say biologists at UT Austin. 

Read more

Computer Scientists at UT Austin Crack Code for Redrawing Bird Family Tree

Dec. 11, 2014

[caption id="attachment_49761" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Siavash Mirarab, computer science graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin, helped develop a new technique for estimating evolutionary relationships that allowed researchers to redraw the bird family tree."]Siavash Mirarab[/caption]

AUSTIN, Texas  A new computational technique developed at The University of Texas at Austin has enabled an international consortium to produce an avian tree of life that points to the origins of various bird species.

Read more

Florida Lizards Evolve Rapidly, Within 15 Years and 20 Generations

Oct. 23, 2014

[caption id="attachment_48874" align="alignright" width="240" caption="The left hind foot of the green anole after evolution. Toe pad measurements were taken on the expanded scales at the end of the longest toe. Credit: Yoel Stuart/U. of Texas at Austin"]left hind foot of the green anole[/caption]

AUSTIN, Texas  Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species  in as little as 15 years  as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba.

Read more