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?

Symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence?

The evolution of humans and artificial intelligence could one day be intertwined more

The dark cost of being toxic

Sequestration of plant toxins by monarch butterflies leads to reduced warning signal conspicuousness more

Chloroplast from the father

Under cold conditions, not only the mother plant but also the father plant can pass on its chloroplasts to the offspring more

Heavy infestation by waterhemp strongly reduces corn growth (right rows) compared to corn plants that do not have to compete with waterhemp (left rows)

How intensive agriculture turned a wild plant into a pervasive weed more

Nematode teeth consist of chitin

Genetically modified worms may make us rethink invertebrate evolution more

Schematic overview of functions of TGF-beta signaling in two nematode species

Worms provide new insights into evolution and diversity of the TGF-beta signaling pathway more

Rewards only promote cooperation if the other person also learns about them more

The Mona Lisa effect: Eyespots deter predators that approach from different directions

Experiments with chicken chicks and artificial peacock butterflies prove that predators are intimidated by eyespots more

“We can try to guide evolution into another direction”

In our interview, Luca Schulz, Georg Hochberg and Tobias Erb explain why knowing the history of proteins might help create alternatives for the future more

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The dark cost of being toxic

Sequestration of plant toxins by monarch butterflies leads to reduced warning signal conspicuousness more

Chloroplast from the father

Under cold conditions, not only the mother plant but also the father plant can pass on its chloroplasts to the offspring more

Heavy infestation by waterhemp strongly reduces corn growth (right rows) compared to corn plants that do not have to compete with waterhemp (left rows)

How intensive agriculture turned a wild plant into a pervasive weed more

The Mona Lisa effect: Eyespots deter predators that approach from different directions

Experiments with chicken chicks and artificial peacock butterflies prove that predators are intimidated by eyespots more

“We can try to guide evolution into another direction”

In our interview, Luca Schulz, Georg Hochberg and Tobias Erb explain why knowing the history of proteins might help create alternatives for the future more

Back to the future of photosynthesis

Resurrecting billon-year-old enzymes reveals how photosynthesis adapted to the rise of oxygen more

Sweet sap, savory ants

Woodpeckers taste sweet, but wrynecks—unusual woodpeckers that specialize on ants—lost the ability to taste sugars more

A troop of baboons stroll through the savannah

Baboons borrowed a third of their genes from a closely related species more

Fewer chromosome segregation errors in modern human than Neanderthal neural stem cells.

Brain stem cells of modern humans make fewer mistakes in the distribution of their chromosomes to the daughter cells more

Shedding light on linguistic diversity and its evolution

Linguists and computer scientists collaborate to publish a large global Open Access lexical database more

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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

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