by Matthew Cobb
Current Biology is a fortnightly scientific journal published by Elsevier, one of the main publishing companies that people have got very cross about because of their financial model, and the fact that its most recent research articles are kept behind an expensive paywall. However, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the magazine, Current Biology have published a series of reviews and ‘Primer’ articles about the history of life on Earth, and they are all Open Access, so everyone, anywhere in the world can read them.
This excellent initiative will provide many WEIT readers with the opportunity to update their knowledge, or to gain new understanding. The articles are written for an academic audience, but you can skip over the bits you don’t understand, or simply look at the figures showing, for example, the evolution of animals:
Here are the contents of the special issue – the links should take you straight to the abstract, and you can then choose to read the full text on line, or download a PDF of the article. If you know these fields, you’ll see that these articles have been written by some of the top people in the area.
I haven’t read them all yet (they were only published last night!), but those I have looked at seem excellent. They cover everything from the RNA world, through the origin of eukaryotes (organisms with a cell nucleus and mitochondria), the Cambrian explosion, the origin of terrestrial flora, right up to the evolutionary history of birds.
UPDATE: I’ve just learned that Elsevier’s Open Access generosity has limits – two weeks, in fact. These articles will all disappear behind a paywall in two weeks. Poor show, Elsevier! So, folks – download those PDFs ASAP! Don’t delay!
UPDATE UPDATE: The two week figure is incorrect. The articles will be open access for *four weeks* before disappearing behind the paywall. They will then be available again in a year’s time. Apologies for the confusion.
29 thoughts on “Excellent open access articles on the evolution of life on Earth – UPDATE 2”
Thanks for sharing! (Though I can get behind pay walls legitimately!) At the moment I am reading fiction featuring a scientist, namely “Us” by David Nicholls
for the RI ‘Fiction Lab’ book club run by Dr. Jenny Rohn of ‘Lab Lit’ fame –
Well, I know what I will be reading this weekend. Thank you!
Just one weekend!?
These are awesome, thanks for sharing! I’m going to start reading these right after a seminar I must attend.
Thank you very much for this up-to-date reviews! May I add an article I didn’t assimilate yet, which complete the evolutionary picture by integrating the viruses. The authors, A. Nasir and G. Caetano-Anollés, are using sequence data from protein 3D structure classification, namely fold families and superfamilies. The authors conclude that viruses “merit inclusion in the tree of life” and originate from ancien cellular organisms by reductive evolution. It is the first time I see an evolutionary tree including viruses! Free download at:
these up-to-date reviews (sigh)
Thanks for the great list, Dr. Cobb. I have these and your wonderful book “Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code” to look forward to.
This is great; much appreciated.
Thanks Matthew, these look really interesting. I’ve already read two of the papers during my lunch break. The fossils in the paper about the Cambrian explosion are beautiful. Can’t wait to read the rest!
Thanks for sharing Matthew, enjoying your contributions generally (though lack expertise to add anything of merit).
Yule came early this year! Thanks Matthew!
My virus checker is flagging these links as “Untrusted Connection”. ????
Cracking stuff. Maybe Elsevier aren’t so bad after all…..
Thanks for that share!
I look forward to being kept gainfully occupied for the next few days (weeks?)!
Oh nice stuff, thanks Matthew! I’ve some longer commutes coming up and this will make good reads.
Elsevier is trying to score some karma points with it’s audience, I guess.
These look interesting. Thanks.
Excellent, thank you.
Elsevier recently quoted me £86 for permission to reproduce the abstract to a paper in my not-for-profit blog. I declined their kid offer.
I still can’t post to your blog, but I’m loving what you post!
I am starting with Photosynthesis and Early Earth. Thanks.
Also, don’t forget to download the PowerPoint slides. These contain higher resolution photos than the ones within the PDF files.
Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions.
Thanks so much for posting the links to pdf files from Current Biology on the History of Life on Earth. The articles on the Neoproterozoic and Cambrian help immensely with lectures I am giving this week in my class in historical geology at Northwestern.
Thank you! I will download these either tomorrow or over the weekend.
Thanks for this resource.