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Evo in the news

Ebola and evolution - October, 2014
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has international medical organizations on high alert and people all around the world antsy — even those who live in the Americas and Australia, oceans away from the disease's epicenter. The disease is normally carried by animals like fruit bats, but occasionally makes the jump to humans, and when it does, it is deadly, killing more than half of those infected. However, because it is only spread by direct contact with bodily fluids, most of the world need not fear for their lives. In recent months, some media outlets, and even a scientist or two, have begun to wonder aloud whether the Ebola virus could "mutate" and become airborne — but of course, what is actually meant is whether the virus can evolve in ways that allow it to be passed along more easily, just as the flu can be spread by a sneeze. Here we'll unpack the question of Ebola's evolution a little further and see why this outcome is unlikely.

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Highlights

Kim Bostwick How boogieing birds evolved: The work of Kim Bostwick
When ornithologist Kim Bostwick goes hunting with her binoculars, she's not just looking for birds; she's looking for untold evolutionary stories.
Jackson Njau CSI: Olduvai Gorge. The work of Jackson Njau
Follow paleoanthropologist Jackson Njau as he examines fossil evidence for clues of crocodile predation on early hominids.
Evo Connection Evo Connection slide sets
This series of short slide sets explain several basic biology topics in evolutionary terms. Each set includes notes to help you present every slide.
A fisheye view of the tree of life A fisheye view of the tree of life
Explore our interactive fish evolutionary tree to learn about amazing innovations that have evolved in the different lineages.

 

This site was created by the University of California Museum of Paleontology with support provided by the National Science Foundation (grant no. 0096613) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (grant no. 51003439).