An important breakthrough has been made in determining the forces responsible for the evolution of populations in nature. By studying wild populations of grayling (a close relative of salmon), Mikko Koskinen and Craig Primmer at the University of Helsinki and Thrond Haugen at the University of Oslo found that natural selection, a force suggested by Charles Darwin in `The Origin of Species`, was responsible for up-to 90% of grayling evolution.
In their study, published in Nature on October 24, the team stated that their findings were in fact the reverse of what many people expected: As the grayling originated from a common source only about a century ago and were very small in number, a random process known as genetic drift was expected to be the driving evolutionary force. However, by comparing the evolution of important biological features of the fish (such as growth rate) with the evolution of sections of DNA not affected by natural selection, the team found that natural selection was in fact much more important than genetic drift. This finding agrees with the hotly debated view of a British geneticist Sir Ronald Fisher, one of the founders of the field of population genetics.
Minna Meriläinen | alfa
Closing the carbon loop
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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