Posts

January 27, 2015

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4:00 PM | Big-Toothed Fossil May Be Primitive New Human
The human history plot thickens with the discovery of a new archaic human from Taiwan that might have coexisted and interbred with our species.
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2:00 PM | Modern languages show no trace of our African origins
We can't assume that human migration affects language and genes the same way.
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6:44 AM | Ichthyosaur Origins Revealed
Few things pique a palaeontologist’s interest more than a good origins story. Finding a new species of an established group is cool and exciting, but it doesn’t compare to a fossil that reveals new information about the beginnings of a lineage. Unfortunately, the incompleteness of the fossil record means that these discoveries are not as common as we would like and the origins of many vertebrate groups remain obscured. One group that has, until now, remained in this category is... […]
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12:40 AM | Latest round of science education bills hits the state legislatures
See if your state is partaking in the silliness.

January 26, 2015

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10:03 PM | Virtual Dissection Method Could Reinvigorate Zoology
Last summer, researchers demonstrated that non-invasive imaging combined with a staining technique enables the fast comparison and study of earthworm species and other animals in unprecedented... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

January 25, 2015

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9:01 PM | Opposite Day: When the data in an ERV paper says the opposite of what the authors say
A paper was recently brought to my attention via a Creationist. It was the usual ‘HAHAHA! Oh you silly Creationist! This paper says the opposite of what you think it says!’, and I was going to write a blog post along that usual theme. Fazale Rana, ‘Vice President’ of ‘Research and Apologetics’ at Reasons to…
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5:01 PM | Death to Dollo’s Law!
Hint for science journalists: if the hook to get readers to pay attention to your story is to warn them to sit down because a 19th century “law” of evolution has been shown to be wrong, you’re going to irritate scientists, who will then write rude blog posts sneering at your writing. That’s the case…

January 24, 2015

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5:55 PM | The predictive brain (part two): is the idea too generic?
After explaining the main concepts and promises of the Predictive Brain (PB) idea in Part 1 (you may want to read also the comments), it’s now time to explore its boundaries. In this post, I will not drill down into…Read more ›
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5:55 PM | The predictive brain (part two): is the idea too generic?
After explaining the main concepts and promises of the Predictive Brain (PB) idea in Part 1 (you may want to read also the comments), it’s now time to explore its boundaries. In this post, I will not drill down into…Read more ›
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3:36 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 23/01/2015
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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3:36 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 23/01/2015
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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3:00 PM | Collapse of Soviet health system may have aided spread of tuberculosis
How world events turned an obscure East Asian bacterium into a global killer.

January 23, 2015

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9:38 PM | Fun Science FRIEDay – Darwin Says Survival of the… empathetic?!
Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology and founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley has been pushing an idea – Humans are built to be good, because it aids in human survival. This seems to immediately contradict the framework of evolution that has been popularized,  which champions individual survival and competition to […]
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5:42 PM | Early human ancestors used their hands like modern humans
New research suggests pre-Homo human ancestral species, such as Australopithecus africanus, used human-like hand postures much earlier than was previously thought. The distinctly human ability for forceful precision (e.g. when turning a key) and power “squeeze” gripping (e.g. when using a hammer) is linked to two key evolutionary transitions in hand use: a reduction in … Continue reading →
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5:34 PM | Fossil ankles indicate Earth’s earliest primates lived in trees
Earth’s earliest primates have taken a step up in the world, now that researchers have gotten a good look at their ankles. A new study has found that Purgatorius, a small mammal that lived on a diet of fruit and insects, was a tree dweller. Paleontologists made the discovery by analyzing 65-million-year-old ankle bones collected … Continue reading →
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5:25 PM | What Gives Chrysina Beetles their Metallic Appearance?
This morning, I stumbled across this fantastic photograph from Thomas Shahan (@ThomasShahan) that was produced for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  It shows the same Chrysina sp. beetle illuminated under different lighting conditions. […]
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4:27 PM | A Strange Tale Of Fish Eye Evolution
Fish vision just got more complex. Janderk, CC BY-SABy William Feeney, University of Cambridge read more
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3:00 PM | 1,215: The Record Number of Rhinos Poached in 2014
South Africa has finally finished compiling its report on the number of rhinos poached in the country last year and, as expected, the news is terrible. All-told, 1,215 rhinos were killed by poachers... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:00 PM | On the origin of carnivorous plants: the oldest fossil found in Baltic amber
The cover of this post probably shows the world’s most famous carnivorous plant (Figure 1). It´s name is Audrey II and it appeared in the […] Read more The post On the origin of carnivorous plants: the oldest fossil found in Baltic amber appeared first on Mapping Ignorance. Related posts:A tale about aquatic snails in the middle of the desert Smoke-derived chemicals promote seed germination At the crossroads of Botany and Archaeology
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4:00 AM | Oldest Primates Lived in Trees
A new study from the University of Florida suggests that humans’ earliest primate ancestor was a tree-dwelling creature. Named Purgatorius, scientists believe it looked like a cross between a squirrel and tree shrew, and weighed less than a deck of playing cards. This ancient animal was previously known only by its teeth. The shape of […] The post Oldest Primates Lived in Trees appeared first on EH Science.

January 22, 2015

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11:45 PM | miss-magnolia replied to your post “There’s so many old white men in my Evolution textbook,...
miss-magnolia replied to your post “There’s so many old white men in my Evolution textbook, but I thought…” Mary Anning! She didn’t do research per se, but she did find a lot of important English fossils. Oh yes!  Mary Anning was an 18th-19th century paleontologist - in the same way that people were archaeologists back then, they basically just collected cool stuff.  As a woman she was particularly restrained from participating in scientific […]
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7:00 PM | Human-Like Hands Came Before Actual Humans
Some of the earliest members of our family tree were able to do relatively sophisticated tasks with their hands.
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6:22 PM | Putting GMOs on a Tight Leash
Two papers appeared in the latest issue of Nature—one from Farren Isaacs’ group and the other from George Church and colleagues—that presented, developed, and demonstrated a strategy for limiting the spread of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in the event that they … Continue reading →
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4:37 PM | Venus Flytraps Risk Extinction in the Wild at the Hands of Poachers
Earlier this month four men were arrested for poaching on the Holly Shelter Game Land preserve in North Carolina. Their arrest made national headlines, and history, as they became the first people... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:38 PM | Mosquitos – fine-tuned by evolution to preferentially feed on humans
Would you look at that! The story of mosquitos, cheese and body odour has taken another leap into scientific respectability with a paper being published in the pinnacle of journals, Nature. “Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor” by McBride and colleagues was published towards the end of last year and […]
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12:20 AM | Winning vs. Not Losing
There’s an old ‘joke’. How fast do yo […]

January 21, 2015

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2:10 PM | Notes From The Frontier: Life’s Origins
I spent some of last week at a fascinating and lively symposium on the origins of life and the search for life in the universe, held at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:10 PM | Notes From The Frontier: Life’s Origins
I spent some of last week at a fascinating and lively symposium on the origins of life and the search for life in the universe, held at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:45 PM | Evolving A Second Job
Biology concepts – protein moonlighting, undulipodia, evolution, basal body, centriole, GAPDH, intraflagellar transportToday’s post is on a multitasking cell structure. This would make Alton Brown proud, since he hates tools that do only one thing. The University of Miami of Florida football team runs through fire extinguisher blasts when they enter the stadium – maybe Alton can find a second use for his.Alton Brown from Food Network hates a unitasker. He wants all his kitchen […]

Henderson, B. & Martin, A. (2014). Protein moonlighting: a new factor in biology and medicine, Biochemical Society Transactions, 42 (6) 1671-1678. DOI: 10.1042/BST20140273

Kobayashi, T. & Dynlacht, B. (2011). Regulating the transition from centriole to basal body, The Journal of Cell Biology, 193 (3) 435-444. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201101005

Debec, A., Sullivan, W. & Bettencourt-Dias, M. (2010). Centrioles: active players or passengers during mitosis?, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 67 (13) 2173-2194. DOI: 10.1007/s00018-010-0323-9

Boisvieux-Ulrich E & Sandoz D (1991). Determination of ciliary polarity precedes differentiation in the epithelial cells of quail oviduct., Biology of the cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization, 72 (1-2) 3-14. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1756309

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8:08 AM | Today marks NINE YEARS of Tetrapod Zoology
Yet again, it’s January 21st and, yet again, Tetrapod Zoology is another year old. As of today, Tet Zoo has been going for nine years. I’ve discovered that children (should you produce and raise... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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