Dino-killing asteroid’s impact on bird evolution

ITHACA, N.Y. – Human activities could change the pace of evolution, similar to what occurred 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving modern birds as their only descendants. That’s one conclusion drawn by the authors of a new study published in Systematic Biology. Cornell University Ph.D. candidate Jacob Berv and […]

In brain evolution, size matters – most of the time

ITHACA, N.Y. – Which came first, overall bigger brains or larger brain regions that control specialized behaviors? Neuroscientists have debated this question for decades, but a new Cornell University study settles the score. The study reports that though vertebrate brains differ in size, composition and abilities, evolution of overall brain size accounts for most of […]

Cornell ‘cosmic archeologist’ will study Juno mission mysteries starting July 4

Media Note: To access the full NASA Juno mission online press kit, click here. Any press inquiries on July 2, 3 or 4 should be directed to the NASA Juno newsroom at (818) 393-9011. ITHACA, N.Y. – On July 4, the veil over Jupiter’s mysteries will be ripped away with the arrival of NASA’s Juno […]

The contented shall inherit the Earth. The glum? Not so much

Media note: A video of the researcher explaining the findings is available on YouTube, and can be downloaded along with the research paper at https://cornell.box.com/v/happiness   ITHACA, N.Y. The survival of the fittest might just be the survival of the steadfast instead. Having a positive attitude could be evolutionarily advantageous, according to Cornell researchers who […]

New book explains the creation and evolution of language

ITHACA, N.Y. – Is language innate? How did we get language? A new book offers a revolutionary, unifying framework to understand the processing, acquisition and evolution of language. “Creating Language: Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing” by Morten H. Christiansen, Cornell professor of psychology, and Nick Chater (University of Warwick, U.K.), integrates recent findings across numerous […]

Malaria family tree has bird roots

ITHACA, N.Y. – A study published this week in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution reveals a new hypothesis on the evolution of hundreds of species of malaria – including the form that is deadly to humans. Extensive testing of malarial DNA found in birds, bats and other small mammals from five East African countries […]

Eyes are windows to the soul – and evolution

ITHACA, N.Y. – Why do we become saucer-eyed from fear and squint from disgust? These near-opposite facial expressions are rooted in emotional responses that exploit how our eyes gather and focus light to detect an unknown threat, according to a study by a Cornell University neuroscientist. Media note: Images, video and research paper available at: https://cornell.box.com/EyeEvolution Our […]

Virtual, squishy creatures evolve to run using evolutionary algorithms

CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE FOR RELEASE:  April 23, 2013 Contact: Syl Kacapyr Phone: (607) 255-7701 vpk6@cornell.edu Virtual, squishy creatures evolve to run using evolutionary algorithms ITHACA, N.Y. – A research team led by Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab has created a computer algorithm that can be used to witness virtual creatures evolving their squishy, muscle-like […]