Category Archives: Evolution 101

Exaptation

This Evol 101 post is by MSU grad student Alex Lalejini A Conceptual Analogy Technological innovations throughout the history of human invention are often the result of co-­opting an existing technology to develop something new. The invention of the microwave depended on … Continue reading

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Culture, Sociality, & Evolution

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU grad student Alex Lalejini Culture and Chimpanzees Our species is incredibly social, and one of the major products of our sociality is culture. People typically imagine culture to be exclusive to humans. The idea … Continue reading

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Genetic Drift

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU grad student Ali Tehrani Darwinian evolution suggests that the pattern of changes in populations is driven by natural selection, i.e. those individuals that are more fit survive and reproduce. Does that mean populations of … Continue reading

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Evolution of Reliable Signals

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU grad student Thassyo Pinto The ownership of goods such as luxury cars, expensive boats and conspicuous consumption, and showing it off to others, transmits a signal informing that owner is capable of bearing expenses. … Continue reading

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Artificial selection and correlated traits

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU grad student Tyler Derr One of the basic mechanisms of evolutionary change is natural selection. It was in Charles Darwin’s famous book, On the Origin of Species, where he defined natural selection to be … Continue reading

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It’s a (Selective) Sweep for the Good Genes!

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU grad student Douglas Kirkpatrick In baseball, ice hockey, and basketball, when a team wins all of the games in a playoff series, they are said to have swept the other team out of the … Continue reading

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Pseudogenes

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU grad student Tyler Derr I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that our DNA is the “blueprint” of who we are. Well, our genes are the sequences in our DNA that actually encode instructions for … Continue reading

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Evolution 101 – Mutations: From the X-Men to the X-Chromosome

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU grad student Douglas Kirkpatrick Everyone knows what mutation is, right? It’s that magical scientific hand-wave that gives the X-Men their powers. Almost certainly the result of interaction with gamma radiation or toxic substances, mutation … Continue reading

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Evolution 101: Group Selection

This week’s Evolution 101 post is by MSU graduate student Thomas LaBar. Many organisms live and interact within groups. Beehives, wolf packs, and bird flocks are just a few of the groups that exist in the natural world. Humans also … Continue reading

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Evolution 101: Digital Evolution

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU graduate student Armand Burks. When scientists study the process of evolution in living organisms, two of the key limiting factors are that of time and the amount of data available. In practice, it … Continue reading

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