Bots show how tough environments affect evolution

Animals come in sorts of shapes and sizes, but why they have to be so different from each other remains a mystery to evolutionary biologists. But a recent computer simulation suggests that body types remain simple when placed in simple environments, but evolve into complex shapes when things get challenging. » 1/03/14 8:40am 1/03/14 8:40am

Genealogist Builds a Family Tree Connecting 13 Million People

By using data culled from genealogy websites, computational biologist Yaniv Erlich has put together some of the largest family trees ever seen, including a single pedigree comprising 13 million individuals — some of whom date back 500 years. » 10/29/13 12:20pm 10/29/13 12:20pm

Did men create menopause by chasing after younger women?

From an evolutionary perspective, human menopause doesn’t make a lot of sense. Searching for an explantion for this somewhat uniquely human process, a group of Canadian researchers used computer models to show that menopause is an unintended outcome of natural selection — and men's sexual preferences might be to blame. » 6/13/13 2:20pm 6/13/13 2:20pm

Breakthrough: The First Complete Computer Model of a Living Organism

Scientists always say you can't understand something until you can create a model of it. This rule is the driving force behind the rise of computational biology, the effort to replicate the inner workings of a biological organism in software. Efforts to do this have been pretty limited and basic — until now. » 7/23/12 4:12pm 7/23/12 4:12pm

A drug that could make you grow sensory whiskers (and penis spines)

Only a few molecules separate you from having sensory whiskers and a penis spine. That's right - evolution has cheated you out of those whiskers that make your cat a super-sensor and the spines that, well, make your penis super-sensitive. A study published today in Nature reveals that human DNA still bears traces of… » 3/09/11 3:30pm 3/09/11 3:30pm

The supercomputer that folded a protein

The atoms of proteins move around in incredibly complicated ways, but modeling how all those moving parts fit together is vital to understanding biology. Now, thanks to a supercomputer, you can see every step of the process right here. » 10/15/10 10:20am 10/15/10 10:20am

Were Africans The First People To Domesticate Dogs?

Though many believe that domestic dogs originated in Eurasia, new research shows that the human-dog bond may have begun in the cradle of human evolution: Africa. A study published this week cites evidence from the DNA of African village dogs. » 8/06/09 9:00am 8/06/09 9:00am