Different mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana

Evolution

Without evolution there is no life

"Nothing in biology makes sense except when viewed in the light of evolution." This is the famous title of a 1973 article by Theodosius Dobzhansky, in which the Russian-American evolutionary biologist describes evolution as the means by which God created life on earth. But what exactly is evolution?

Detlef Weigel

An interview with Detlef Weigel about his discovery that cells prevent particularly important genes from mutating more

Sailing in Darwin's wake

Eduardo Sampaio sailed for ten days along a section of the route of the MS Beagle more

The role of natural selection in ageing

Scientists are on the trail of the theory behind the evolution of aging
  more

The thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)

Discovery that plants protect their most essential genes transforms our view of evolution more

Fluorescence microscopy image of protocells in contact with a gas bubble

Researchers create scenario for the evolution of membraneless microdroplets on Early Earth more

Procaryots are better protected from transposable elements

Although individual are likely to die due to DNA damage, The early death of cells "infected" with transposable elements prevents these elements from spreading more

Earliest evidence of humans decorating jewellery in Eurasia

A 41,500-year-old ivory pendant provides direct evidence of the use of punctate decorative motifs by Homo sapiens in Poland more

Female finches are picky but pragmatic when choosing a mate

Females remain unmated when competition for preferred mates is too big - but then often smuggle their eggs into other nests more

Reproduction: How can the division of labor of cells prevail?

Research shows factors that contribute to irreversible somatic differentiation providing an evolutionary advantage more

Early modern human from Southeast Asia adapted to a rainforest environment

New insights into the diet of our species' earliest member in the tropical rainforest of Southeast Asia more

Sailing in Darwin's wake

Eduardo Sampaio sailed for ten days along a section of the route of the MS Beagle more

The thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)

Discovery that plants protect their most essential genes transforms our view of evolution more

Fluorescence microscopy image of protocells in contact with a gas bubble

Researchers create scenario for the evolution of membraneless microdroplets on Early Earth more

Earliest evidence of humans decorating jewellery in Eurasia

A 41,500-year-old ivory pendant provides direct evidence of the use of punctate decorative motifs by Homo sapiens in Poland more

A fish on its way to new shores

Ice Age bones reveal how sticklebacks adapt to new habitats more

A long day for microbes

A slowdown in the Earth's rotation could have affected the oxygen content of the atmosphere more

Songbirds like it sweet

Songbird ancestors evolved a new way to taste sugar more

Mammals evolved big brains after big disasters

Largest study of its kind reveals the way relative brain size of mammals changed over the last 150 million years more

Starvation turns slime moulds into multicellular organisms

How sulfur metabolism may have paved the way for the evolution of multicellularity more

Genomic insights into the origin of pre-historic populations in East Asia

Integrating evidence from genetics and archaeology resarchers shed light on East Asia's population history more

Detlef Weigel

An interview with Detlef Weigel about his discovery that cells prevent particularly important genes from mutating more

Scientific highlights 2020

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2020 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 13 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year more

A Stickleback - Full of Worms

Around 40 percent of all species on Earth are parasitic – apparently a highly successful way of life. Even a fish such as the three-spined stickleback is plagued by up to 25 different parasites. more

Genes as Parasites

Scientists analyse, how jumping genes can be copied in the DNA more

From fish to mammal heart

Fish hearts are genetically divided more

Defence at almost any price

The efforts of bacteria in their defence against predators is so great that they can barely invest resources in offspring more

Researchers sequence a new Neandertal genome

The genome of a European Neandertal allows more Neandertal DNA to be identified in present-day people more

How easily we tan is influenced by Neandertal DNA

Neandertal DNA influences variation in skin tone and hair colour in people living today more

First large-scale ancient genomes study from sub-Saharan African skeletons lifts veil on prehistoric populations

Genetic analyses uncover lost human populations and surprising relationships, revealing a complex history of population movements in ancient Africa more

Evolution in the lab

Experiments with bacteria show that genes can fuse together, leading to the production of novel proteins more

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