The first animals evolved from their single-celled ancestors around 800 million years ago, but new evidence suggests that this leap to multi-celled organisms may not have been quite as dramatic as scientists once assumed. In a Developmental Cell paper, IBE researchers demonstrate that the single-celled ancestor of animals likely already had some of the mechanisms that animal cells use today to develop into different tissue types.
The scientists looked at the morphology [structure and form] of geckos from the Hajar Mountains of the UAE and Oman that are classified as belonging to the Asaccus caudivolvulus species. A complex computer analysis of the data led the scientists to conclude that A caudivolvulus is made up of creatures from three species.
Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo and colleagues analyze the diversity of a group of animals that are crucial to understand the origin of bilaterian symmetry: the Xenacoelomorpha, a group of morphologically simple worms that are known to occupy a pivotal phylogenetic position between non-bilaterian and bilaterian animals.
Work, led by Carles Lalueza-Fox, recovers DNA from two strains of malaria from old samples from the Ebro Delta in Spain. The results reveal the origins of P. vivax y P. falciparum, and help us comprehend the mutations which have become resistant to numerous drugs.
Biologists of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology of Barcelona (CSIC-UPF) and Harvard University (USA) have been tracking the painted lady butterfly Vanessa cardui to study their migratory paths. It is confirmed that it is able to cross the Sahara desert and that it breeds in the African savannah. This study has been funded by the National Geographic Society and the European Union
Changes in the regulation of two genes explain how the Drosophila respiratory system evolved from a primitive to a more developed state. The paper by the groups of Xavier Franch-Marro at IBE and Jordi Casanova at IRB Barcelona and IBMB is published today in Development.
The first large-scale genome-wide analysis of ancient human remains from the Near East sheds light on the genetic identities and migrations of the world’s first farmers. The study, published in Nature, has been led by Harvard University and counts with the support of David Comas, principal investigator at the IBE (CSIC-UPF), among others.
Led by Jaume Bertranpetit, scientists at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology have shown that Out of Africa came in single wave. The pygmies of Andaman Islands have fragments of the DNA of this extinct hominid in their genome. The genetic data prove that humans of the Andaman Islands are smaller as a result of natural selection .
The Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC) is a singular programme run by the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation that seeks to bring together students with a passion for science and the best scientists in prestigious research centres in Catalonia. IBE participates in the BIYSC through the project “Uncovering the hidden diversity of the oceans”, leaded by the Multicellgenome Lab.
IBE scientist that led the study have named the new butterfly Spialia rosae because it nests and feeds from wild roses. The discovery has been possible thanks to the combination of cutting edge technology and ecology fieldwork. News in Catalan.