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

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

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

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.

Designed divergent evolution of enzyme function
Yasuo Yoshikuni et al.

Wesley R. Elsberry

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