Posts

April 01, 2015

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2:15 PM | Lindau Longread: Illuminated Storytelling
How Ancient Campfires Lit a Fire Under Human Evolution Extending the day into night by controlling light may have helped ignite human evolution but we are only beginning to understand how our use of light is impacting life on this planet. The history of humankind is also the history of controlling fire. Myths and folklore […]
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1:53 PM | Cetacean Heresies: How the Chromatic Truthometer Busts the Monochromatic Paradigm
Check any mainstream book on the whales, dolphins and porpoises of the world and you’ll see these creatures depicted in tedious monochrome; as eternally decked out in blacks and greys. It’s a stale,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:00 AM | Tubus tubulus
  Labs are usually ‘crawling’ with tubes – ranging from the larger, more common Tubus eppendorfis spp. microcentrifungus to the smaller Tubus pcr spp. flatlid and the closely related spp.roundlid (see Figure(d), above). The former has a remarkably varied diet and will sustain itself on many everyday lab solutions such as NaCl, buffers, BSA protein, and sometimes even DNA and RNA. The latter, […]
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3:00 AM | What Is Life? How Chemistry Becomes Biology
By Addy Pross Synopsis: Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrodinger posed a profound question: ‘What is life, and how did it emerge from non-life?’ This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists ever since. Living things are […]

March 31, 2015

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8:45 PM | The rapid rise of human language
Human language likely developed quite rapidly into a sophisticated system, a linguist contends. Instead of mumbles and grunts, people deployed syntax and structures resembling the ones we use today, this […]
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8:05 PM | How lifeforms know to be the right size
CINCINNATI – Shakespeare said “to be or not to be” is the question, and now scientists are asking how life forms grow to be the correct size with proportional body […]
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9:41 AM | Evolving a Whale-Shrimp
Our oceans were filled with amazing animals that tell us about the past and the way evolution works.

March 30, 2015

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5:48 PM | A Time for Transcription (Factors)
I’ve been postponing this post for a while, hoping to find the time to expand the analysis, but time seems to elude me at present, so I’ve decided to condense my thoughts and get it out anyway. In the last few months, my … Continue reading →
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3:19 PM | How Zoos Acquire Endangered Species
How do you transport two young orangutans to a zoo thousands of kilometers away from their native lands? Here’s the simple answer: FedEx. Here’s the less simple answer: It’s a lot of work. Meet Bob... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:09 PM | The Grand Texture of Planets
              In an idle moment, while staring at a set of solar system data, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to display a set of planetary surfaces... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:30 AM | Ted Cruz is not as smart as Galileo, whatever he claims
Global temperatures for the past 125 years. It's getting hot!The word in Washington lately is that Senator Ted Cruz–who just announced that he’s running for President–is supposed to be a very smart guy. Some of this comes from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, who said last year that Cruz was “clearly among the top students” at the prestigious Harvard Law School. Dershowitz is very liberal, while Cruz is very conservative, so one assumes that Dershowitz […]
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8:39 AM | Spatially varying selection shapes life history clines among populations of Drosophila melanogaster from sub-Saharan Africa
Fabian et al. (2015). Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Spatially varying selection shapes life history clines among populations of Drosophila melanogaster from sub-Saharan Africa I picked this paper on a whim as it looked like it dealt in genetics and ecology, but not in the phylogeographic sense that I am usually drawn to. I liked it a […]

March 29, 2015

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5:00 PM | Color Isn't Always About Sex, Study Finds
When it comes to birds, males—with their bright feathers, extra accessories, and impressive mating displays—tend to get all the attention. But for many birds, such as the Choco Toucan pictured above, brilliant plumage has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with survival.Read more...
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2:30 PM | Sunday Species Snapshot: Swift Parrot
The beautiful bird known as the swift parrot may be on the fast track to extinction. Species name: Swift parrot (Lathamus discolor) Description: A small bird, just 25 centimeters long, with bright... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

March 28, 2015

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3:06 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 27/03/2015
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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3:06 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 27/03/2015
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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1:21 AM | Dinosaur Whiskers?
Every day I’m home, I’m surrounded by cats. The clowder is rarely more than a few feet away …

March 27, 2015

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2:30 PM | Keeping Tiny Delta Smelt Alive in Captivity Is No Small Feat
The delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) may be all but extinct in the wild, but it turns out that hope is not quite lost for this controversial California fish. Although a recent survey turned up... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:00 PM | Ferns Get It On After 60 Million Years Apart
An unassuming little fern has left scientists scratching their heads at the feat of reproductive hijinks it apparently represents. The fern, xCystocarpium roskamianum(the prefix ‘x’... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:00 PM | Ferns Get It On After 60 Million Years Apart
An unassuming little fern has left scientists scratching their heads at the feat of reproductive hijinks it apparently represents. The fern, xCystocarpium roskamianum(the prefix ‘x’... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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9:45 AM | Evolution is – surprise! – Darwinian!
I sometime come across papers that I missed during their publication time and that shed a new light on my current research (or strengthen the already present light). Today it was Cartmill’s 2012 Evolutionary Anthropology – not open access, apologies… Cartmill raises an interesting question from an evolutionary point of view: “How long ago did the first [insert your favorite taxa here] live?”. This question is crucial for any macroevolutionary study (or/and for the […]

March 26, 2015

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4:11 PM | A defense of ENCODE?
Dan Graur has snarled at the authors of a paper defending ENCODE. How could I then resist? I read the offending paper, and I have to say something that will weaken my own reputation as a snarling attack dog myself: it does make a few good points. But it’s mostly using some valid criticisms to…
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2:30 PM | Hungry Polar Bears Could Soon Start Devastating Bird Populations
A hungry polar bear (Ursus maritimus) will eat just about anything. Oh sure, they prefer to dine on nice fatty seals (I mean, what Arctic creature wouldn’t?), but when push comes to shove they’ll eat... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:27 AM | A Fine First Finding of Darevskia
While in Romania back in 2011, I photographed the lizard you see here. It’s clearly a lacertid: a member of the Eurasian-African group that contains the familiar Lacerta sand lizards and green... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

March 25, 2015

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9:59 PM | Idaho to host another gigantic waste of money and space
There is delusion and there there is delusion that costs a heck of a lot of money. One Creationist museum is too many (in Kentucky) and it shows. The museum is short on visitors and has a floundering Ark project. Now, Idaho decides that it’s more conservative than Kentucky and builds another monument to antiscience.… Source: Doubtful News Related posts:It will be a short list of uninfluential scientists: Creationists plan Creation Science Hall of Fame Farking ark: Trying to […]
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2:00 PM | Shelf Life Episode 1: 33 Million Things
About Shelf Life Episode 1: 33 Million Things Can’t get to New York to visit the American Museum of Natural History? No problem! EH Science invites you to take a virtual trip behind the scenes. In this the first episode of the museum’s brand new original series, Shelf Life, you can walk in the shoes […] The post Shelf Life Episode 1: 33 Million Things appeared first on EH Science.

March 24, 2015

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7:26 PM | Favorite Examples of Evolution
When the cold bites, When the review stings, When the news is sad, I simply remember these evolving things, And then I don’t feel so bad!      — with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein Over on Twitter, the biology … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Prehistoric Stone Tools with Animal Residue
About 2.8 million years ago, early humans probably survived on a diet of plants. As the human brain expanded, however, it craved richer nourishment – namely animal fat and meat. Lacking claws and sharp teeth, early humans developed the skills and prehistoric stone tools necessary to hunt large animals and cut the fat and meat […] The post Prehistoric Stone Tools with Animal Residue appeared first on EH Science.
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1:52 PM | Ahoy! Thar Be a New Seadragon in the Briny Deep
As fabulous, fantastical gems of evolution go, seadragons are hard to beat. The weedy seadgragon: “Weedy seadragon-Phyllopteryx taeniolatus” by Sylke Rohrlach –... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:30 PM | Evidence of huge impact event found in Australia: What did it mean for life on earth?
Australian scientists announced they have discovered a twin asteroid impact crater in the Central Australia that may be the largest ever found. The question is, does it correspond to a major extinction event. Maybe, but it’s not clear yet as the age is questionable. World’s largest asteroid impacts found in central Australia | ANU. A… Source: Doubtful News Related posts:Asteroid Impacts More Frequent Than Previously Thought Odds of Apophis Apocalypse – We’re […]
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