Writing in this weeks issue of Nature, Professor Paul Pearson relates how he discovered an account of the theory - regarded as one of the most important in the history of science – in a rare 1794 publication by geologist, James Hutton. Darwins Origin of Species was published in 1859. Professor Pearson tracked down a copy, which runs to three volumes and more than 2000 pages, in the National Library of Scotland. Couched in the middle of the second volume is a whole chapter on the selection theory. It supplements an earlier discovery of a similar account in an unpublished manuscript by Hutton, the Elements of Agriculture.
Professor Pearson, of the University’s School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences
In the Nature article, Professor Pearson explains how Huttons experiments in animal and plant breeding led him to observe that new traits arise in animals and plants in every generation. He appreciated that this "seminal variation" is passed on to the offspring, unlike the variety induced by differences in soil or climate.
Hutton went on to argue that "those which depart most from the best adapted constitution, will be most liable to perish", whereas the best adapted survive to multiply the race. Thereby species would be continually adapting to local conditions, and also able to meet the demands of a changing environment. "Although he never used the term, Hutton clearly articulated the principle of evolution by natural selection," said Professor Pearson. "However he specifically rejected the idea of transformations between species. For him, it was all about how separately created species adapt to their local conditions."
Professor Paul Pearson | EurekAlert!
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences