Bird origin for 1918 flu pandemic

Nature

Model also links avian influenza strains to deadly horse flu.

The virus that caused the 1918 influenza pandemic probably sprang from North American domestic and wild birds, not from the mixing of human and swine viruses. A study published today in Nature reconstructs the origins of influenza A virus and … Read the rest

Lyme bacteria show that evolvability is evolvable

Nature

Natural selection favours those with a greater capacity to generate genetic variation.

Some gamblers succeed by spiriting cards up their sleeves, giving them a wider range of hands to play. So do some bacteria, whose great capacity for genetic variability helps them evolve and adapt to rapidly changing environments.

Now research onĀ Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, shows that the capacity to evolve can itself

Read the rest

Muslim students weigh in on evolution

In Indonesia and Pakistan, questions about how science and faith can be reconciled.

In the first large study of its kind, a survey of 3,800 high-school students in Indonesia and Pakistan has found that teachers are delivering conflicting messages about evolution.

The Can$250,000 Islam and Evolution research project is the first large study of students, teachers and scientists in countries with significant Muslim populations to examine their understanding and acceptance … Read the rest