This category contains 6 posts

Giant Viruses!

In the last year, multiple new “giant viruses” have been discovered that are challenging what it means to be a virus… and what it means to be alive. Giant viruses are so much bigger than other viruses that until the early 2000s some had been miscategorized as bacteria — the upper size limits that defined … Continue reading »

How Oxygen Helped Life to Flourish

About 4.5 billion years ago, our planet formed. Around a billion years later, the first life forms appeared, which were mostly single-celled microbes, and this is pretty much how life was on our planet for billions of years. Then, about 540 million years ago (or some three billion years after those microbes first appeared), multicellular … Continue reading »

Many Animals Don’t “Age”

Why do we have to visibly age as we get older? It might sound like a silly question – the terms “aging” and “growing old” are virtually synonymous – but for many organisms on the planet, this question actually does not need to be asked. Earlier this week, a paper was published in the journal … Continue reading »

Biology Bytes: The Books

The Biology Bytes blog was inspired by the publication of two separate books by the same author. If you enjoy reading about the fascinating critters and plants that are all around us, or the latest developments in stem cell research or modern medicine in general, or have simply been enjoying reading the wide variety of … Continue reading »

Dogs and Humans: Possibly a 32,000–Year-Old Friendship

“Man’s best friend” has had a close relationship with humans for thousands of years, which has resulted in the amazing diversity of breeds we’re familiar with today (specifically, more than 400 breeds exist today, 163 of which are recognized by the American Kennel Association). In fact, they’re the most diverse mammal species alive, with members … Continue reading »

Our Early Ancestors: Were There Fewer Hominid Species Than Previously Thought?

Around 1.9 million years ago, it’s thought that the first members of our Homo genus appeared on the evolutionary scene. Probably the most well-known member is Homo erectus, who likely originated in Africa and, from there, migrated out to Europe and Asia (though some experts argue that an older migration occurred). The successful, just over … Continue reading »