Researcher Tomàs Marquès-Bonet is the new director of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology

The Board of Trustees of the IBE, a joint centre of Pompeu Fabra University and the CSIC, has appointed the scientist Tomàs Marquès-Bonet as the new director of the Institute, replacing his predecessor Xavier Bellés, who has been in charge of the institution for the last eight years.

Deciphering the origins of technological innovation

Pompeu Fabra University and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology are launching the project  NEWS: Prediction of Technological Innovation in Culturomic Networks, aimed at understanding the origins of innovation through the development of a theory of technological evolution.

The Hidden Biodiversity of Reptiles

IBE Scientists have discovered that a gecko subspecies could actually contain up to 14 different species. These species are called cryptic because it is necessary to analyse them genetically to be able to distinguish one from the others. These results are very important since, once differentiated, it has been seen that some of them may be in endangered.

Selection on the genomic diversity of a species increases with the population size

The rate of genomic adaptation is determined by the rate of environmental change, the availability of beneficial mutations, and the efficiency of positive selection. Scientists conclude that the impact of selection on the genomic diversity of a species increases with the effective population size, most likely due to the differential influx rate of beneficial mutations.

The fundamental causes of human ageing explained

Natural selection favours fragile and unhealthy old age if it is due to mutations that are beneficial during childhood. As of 40-50 years of age, natural selection is blind because we have already passed on our genes, whether beneficial or not, to our descendants. Knowing the genes and mutations involved in ageing may help to develop new strategies for the treatment of age-related diseases.


International experts debate the most recent breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence at the CosmoCaixa

On 7 and 8 March, on the occasion of a B-Debate, an initiative promoted by Biocat and Obra Social “la Caixa”, national and international experts in Artificial Intelligence will come together at the CosmoCaixa to talk about the dreams, the riscks and the reality of AI. This B-Debate organized by Luc Steels, principal investigator at the Isntitute of Evolutionary Biology.

Key genes for disease

Scientists at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology find common features in genes associated with diseases. The study, published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, suggests a degree of biological importance in the genome depending on the linkage of genes to disease.

Applications for the Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC) are open!

IBE participates practical course “Uncovering the hidden diversity of the oceans” run by the Multicellgenome Lab. In this course students will be the first one to study a new species of Sphaeroforma that was isolated from the gut of a crustacean from the Arctic Ocean.

The bone remains of the person exhumed from the mass grave in Tremp have been genetically identified

Minister of the Catalan Government, Raül Romeva, has met with family members of Vicente Santolaria to present them with the archaeological summary and a genetic identification report. Genetic identification, led by the company Tríade Serveis Culturals, involved Pompeu Fabra University, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology.

Scientists at IBE participate in the sequencing of the Iberian lynx genome

Genomic analysis of the Iberian lynx confirms that it is one of the species with the least genetic diversity among individuals, which means that it has little margin for adaptation. The research, which is published today in Genome Biology, has been coordinated by scientists at the Doñana Biological Station (CSIC). The use of new genomic resources will contribute to optimizing management aimed at preserving the maximum genetic diversity.

"Genes, reyes e impostores", nuevo libro de Carles Lalueza-Fox

El libro narra cómo el genoma ayuda a descifrar misterios históricos sobre las dinastías reales. Carles Lalueza-Fox, experto mundial en paleogenética, publica un ameno libro sobre falsas identidades y paternidades dudosas en las monarquías.

Tomàs Marquès-Bonet included in the Advisory Board of Diplocat

The Advisory Council is formed by 39 internationally-recognized citizens and aims to help promote Catalonia on the world stage. President Carles Puigdemont presided over the Diplocat plenary session which approved the creation of the Advisory Council and he thanked the members for their altruistic collaboration.

Interview with Tomàs Marquès-Bonet: "No matter how clever we are, humans will disappear"

Tomàs Marquès-Bonet is an ICREA researcher at the Department of Health and Life Sciences at UPF and head of the Research Group on Comparative Genomics of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, a joint UPF and CSIC centre, and of the CNAG-CRG. His research focuses on the study of the genome.

21st Edition of Science Week - Recap of IBE participation

With a programme of events from 11 to 20 November, Science Week is organised by the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRi) with the support of the Catalan Ministry of Business and Knowledge and the collaboration of  “la Caixa” Foundation, Gas Natural Fenosa, and Esteve.

Slavery and Arabization left a genetic footprint in North Africa

Its inhabitants have markers in the genome of the major migratory flows. As a result of the genetic impact of migrations, Berbers and Arabs are not as genetically different as was thought. The study was led by David Comas at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology of Barcelona.

Screening of the film "The Fly Room" at the PRBB auditorium

At the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) we are very excited to welcome director Alexis Gambis on Wednesday 16th of November at 4.30 PM at the PRBB auditorium for the screening of the film "The Fly Room". Original version movie (English) with subtitles in Spanish. Admision is free and open to everybody in a first-come first-served basis. Please spread the word between your colleagues.

AdaptNET, the first thematic network to face the challenges of research on adaptation genomics

This is the first Spanish network of excellence on adaptation genomics, is coordinated by Professor Julio Rozas, from the University of Barcelona, and participated by Elena Bosch, Josefa González, and Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology. The network, funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, is made up of 24 laboratories from 11 research centers in the country and will drive the collaboration of the research teams in evolutionary genomics and will promote dissemination of scientific advances to all society.

Genome sequencing reveals ancient interbreeding between chimpanzees and bonobos, and creates new conservation opportunities

An international team of researchers led by Tomàs Marquès-Bonet reveals for the first time the existence of ancient gene flow between chimpanzees and bonobos, man’s closest living relatives. The study is based on the analysis of 75 complete genomes from the two species covering 10 African countries and has strong implications for chimpanzee conservation.

Esmorzar de Ciència al 7 Portes: "L'evolució humana, passat, present i futur"

El diumenge dia 6 de novembre se celebrarà el proper Esmorzar de Ciència amb un cartell de luxe: Eudald Carbonell i Tomàs Marquès. El restaurant obrirà les portes a les 9 del matí per començar l’esmorzar, a les 10 s’inicia el monòleg a càrrec de The Big Van Theory, i acte seguit comença la tertúlia a càrrec dels experts i el moderador. L’esmorzar de forquilla amb tertúlia té un preu de 25€.

A Short Jump From Single-Celled Ancestors to Animals

The first animals evolved from their single-celled ancestors around 800 million years ago, but new evidence suggests that this leap to multi-celled organisms may not have been quite as dramatic as scientists once assumed. In a Developmental Cell paper, IBE researchers demonstrate that the single-celled ancestor of animals likely already had some of the mechanisms that animal cells use today to develop into different tissue types.


Lizard unique to UAE at risk due to loss of habitat

The scientists looked at the morphology [structure and form] of geckos from the Hajar Mountains of the UAE and Oman that are classified as belonging to the Asaccus caudivolvulus species. A complex computer analysis of the data led the scientists to conclude that A caudivolvulus is made up of creatures from three species.

Hidden diversity of Acoelomorpha revealed through DNA barcoding

Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo and colleagues analyze the diversity of a group of animals that are crucial to understand the origin of bilaterian symmetry: the Xenacoelomorpha, a group of morphologically simple worms that are known to occupy a pivotal phylogenetic position between non-bilaterian and bilaterian animals.

Light shed on what European malaria was like, 50 years after its eradication

Work, led by Carles Lalueza-Fox, recovers DNA from two strains of malaria from old samples from the Ebro Delta in Spain. The results reveal the origins of P. vivax y P. falciparum, and help us comprehend the mutations which have become resistant to numerous drugs. 

Discovered a butterfly migration of more than 4000 km

Biologists of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology of Barcelona (CSIC-UPF) and Harvard University (USA) have been tracking the painted lady butterfly Vanessa cardui to study their migratory paths. It is confirmed that it is able to cross the Sahara desert and that it breeds in the African savannah. This study has been funded by the National Geographic Society and the European Union


Gene regulation, evolution and the exploitation of new habitats

Changes in the regulation of two genes explain how the Drosophila respiratory system evolved from a primitive to a more developed state. The paper by the groups of Xavier Franch-Marro at IBE and Jordi Casanova at IRB Barcelona and IBMB is published today in Development.


Probing the origin of the world’s first farmers

The first large-scale genome-wide analysis of ancient human remains from the Near East sheds light on the genetic identities and migrations of the world’s first farmers. The study, published in Nature, has been led by Harvard University and counts with the support of David Comas, principal investigator at the IBE (CSIC-UPF), among others.

New ancestor to humans discovered

Led by Jaume Bertranpetit, scientists at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology have shown that Out of Africa came in single wave. The pygmies of Andaman Islands have fragments of the DNA of this extinct hominid in their genome. The genetic data prove that humans of the Andaman Islands are smaller as a result of natural selection .

66 youngsters from around the world start the BIYSC programme in research centres around Catalonia

The Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC) is a singular programme run by the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation that seeks to bring together students with a passion for science and the best scientists in prestigious research centres in Catalonia.  IBE participates in the BIYSC through the project “Uncovering the hidden diversity of the oceans”, leaded by the Multicellgenome Lab.

New butterfly discovered in Europe for first time in 20 years

IBE scientist that led the study have named the new butterfly Spialia rosae because it nests and feeds from wild roses. The discovery has been possible thanks to the combination of cutting edge technology and  ecology fieldwork. News in Catalan.

Science and art come together in an exhibition on the mediaeval Book of Beasts

June saw the opening of the exhibition “Bestiary” by the painter Perico Pastor and scientist Xavier Bellés in the church of Sant Miquel in La Seu d’Urgell. “Bestiary” comprises 44 panels with images of some of the most representative animals of the Middle Ages as well as explanations of their symbolism.