Category Archives: Evolution 101

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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Evolution 101: Beauty is in the Genes of the Beholder

This Evolution 101 post is by MSU graduate student Anselmo Pontes. What do you think when you see a woman painfully balancing on sky-high heels? How about when you overhear the lame pick up lines guys come up with to … Continue reading

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Evolution 101: Synthetic Biology

This week’s Evolution 101 blog post is by UW graduate student Bryan Bartley. Synthetic biology is a new frontier in biological research where scientists and engineers are creating living systems out of molecular chemistry.  In the last half century, the … Continue reading

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Evolution 101: Fitness Landscapes

This week’s Evolution 101 blog post is by MSU postdoc Arend Hintze and MSU graduate student Randy Olson. While fitness landscapes are generally thought to be more of a theoretical construct, they are in fact quite tangible and underly every … Continue reading

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Evolution 101: Natural Selection

This week’s Evolution 101 post is by an interdisciplinary group of BEACONites, all of whom rely on the principles of natural selection in their research: MSU graduate student Nikki Cavalieri (Zoology), MSU postdoc Prakarn Unachak (Evolutionary Computation), and NC A&T … Continue reading

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Evolution 101: Host-Parasite Interactions: Of Mice and Cheese and Men and Zombies

This week’s Evolution 101 Post is by MSU graduate student Alita Burmeister. Hollywood loves a good parasite story—from zombies and vampires to Alien and Star Trek II — nothing creeps audiences out like a parasitic infection that controls its host’s … Continue reading

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Evolution 101: Epistasis

This week’s Evolution 101 post is by MSU postdoc Bjørn Østman. Bjørn also blogs at Pleiotropy. What is epistasis? Epistasis is a measure of the strength of epistatic interactions. Epistatic interactions are non-additive interactions between alleles, loci, or mutations. That is, … Continue reading

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Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics

This week’s Evolution 101 blog post is by MSU graduate student Byron Smith. Evolution is often thought of as a constant, gradual change in the characteristics of a species based on how well those traits are adapted to a static … Continue reading

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Evolution 101: Maternal Effects

This week’s Evolution 101 blog post is by MSU graduate student Emily Weigel. This is a moment to thank your mom. Mothers have more of an effect on their offspring than one might first think. In addition to the DNA, … Continue reading

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