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Volume 1 Issue 3, March 2017


  • Evolution is essential to understanding human biology, and the evolutionary impact of humans is an important factor in understanding the biology of other species.



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Comment & Opinion

  • The founding members of the Cultural Evolution Society were surveyed to identify the major scientific questions and ‘grand challenges’ currently facing the study of cultural evolution. We present the results and discuss the implications for an emergent synthesis in the study of culture based on Darwinian principles.

    • J. Brewer
    • M. Gelfand
    • D. S. Wilson
  • Can applying an evolutionary perspective generate effective change in clinical care and/or public health policy? An evolution-informed research programme has changed practice on UK post-natal units and UK health policies on infant care over the past two decades.

    • Helen L. Ball
  • Environmental laws are binding and enforceable tools that constrain human impacts on the environment, but how effective are they at keeping humanity away from critical planetary boundaries?

    • Guillaume Chapron
    • Yaffa Epstein
    • José Vicente López-Bao
  • Global Forest Watch provides up-to-date and interactive information on forest cover for governments, the private sector, NGOs, journalists, universities and the general public. We talked to Director Crystal Davis about how it works, its achievements and its future plans.

    • Patrick Goymer
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Books & Arts

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News & Views

  • Artificial selection for antibiotic resistance in microorganisms reveals why and how expected evolutionary trade-offs between population growth rate and population carrying capacity are not observed in resource-limited environments, with ‘trade-ups’ occurring instead.

    • David Reznick
    • Kayla King
    News & Views
  • New microfossils suggest that a rich meiofauna was already present in the early Cambrian, offering a solution to the problem that the Cambrian explosion appears to have sprung out of nothing.

    • Reinhardt Møbjerg Kristensen
    News & Views
  • Female genital cutting in five West African nations is frequency-dependent and is associated with higher reproductive success among ethnicities in which cutting predominates, a fitness advantage that may outweigh its costs to physical and psychological health.

    • Katherine Wander
    News & Views
  • New palaeoecological data from New Guinea reveal that climatic change at the Holocene boundary is unlikely to have driven early agriculture in the region. More nuanced understanding of how humans responded to past climate change could better inform our responses in the future.

    • Ian Lilley
    News & Views
  • An ‘underwater elevator’ takes research 10,000 m under the sea and reveals a pollution legacy in remote oceanic trenches.

    • Katherine Dafforn
    News & Views
  • We need to estimate protein tertiary structure, as well as using primary sequences, in order to further our understanding of protein evolution and evolutionary processes in general.

    • David Penny
    News & Views
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  • miRNAs are crucial regulators of normal development in plants and animals, but their origins remain obscure. Exploration of the similarities and differences between different miRNA pathways help to elucidate their origins and role.

    • Yehu Moran
    • Maayan Agron
    • Ulrich Technau
    Review Article
  • Recent developments in data acquisition and quantitative modelling allow evolutionary biologists to predict future processes. This Perspective reviews progress in understanding the evolutionary dynamics of systems such as microorganisms and cancer and discusses unifying concepts of predictive analysis.

    • Michael Lässig
    • Ville Mustonen
    • Aleksandra M. Walczak
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