Goodies in Nature

From the latest Nature email announcement:

Evolution: Spot on (and off)
The repeated appearance and loss of a spot on the wings of fruitflies during their evolution is caused by mutations in one gene. This finding provides an unprecedented window on the genetics of convergent evolution.
Gregory A. Wray
http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y3g0Eq

A Cretaceous terrestrial snake with robust hindlimbs and a sacrum A new species of fossil snake with robust hindlimbs and a sacral region is likely to be the most primitive snake yet known – its features indicating a terrestrial, perhaps burrowing origin of snakes, rather than the marine origin that is sometimes suggested.
Sebastian Apesteguia and Hussam Zaher
Abstract: http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y3p0Ez
Article: http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y3q0E1

Evolution of cooperative strategies from first principles
A computer model that lets notional organisms make their own rules as they go along results in a rich ecology of cooperative behaviour never before seen in such simulations, in which cooperative ‘starlings’ and ‘ravens’ are added to the expected ‘hawks’ and ‘doves’ of game theory.
Mikhail Burtsev and Peter Turchin
Abstract: http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y3r0E2
Article: http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y3s0E3

Repeated morphological evolution through cis-regulatory changes in a pleiotropic gene
Male wing pigmentation pattern involved in courtship display has been gained and
lost multiple times in a Drosophila clade, each of the cases analysed (two gains
and two losses) involving regulatory changes at the pleiotropic pigmentation
gene yellow.
Benjamin Prud’homme et al.
Abstract: http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y3v0E6
Article: http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y3w0E7

Designed divergent evolution of enzyme function
Yasuo Yoshikuni et al.
Abstract: http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y380E4
Article: http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eXqF0Bhsg80Ch0y4A0EF

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.