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  • Beer's taste triggers dopamine release in brain

    04/20/2013 5:34:09 PM PDT · by Jyotishi · 55 replies
    DNA ^ | Tuesday, Apri 16, 2013 | ANI
    The taste of beer, without any effect from alcohol itself, can trigger dopamine release in the brain that is associated with drinking and other drugs of abuse, researchers have claimed. Using positron emission tomography (PET), the researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine tested 49 men with two scans, one in which they tasted beer, and the second in which they tasted Gatorade. The researchers were looking for evidence of increased levels of dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter that has long been associated with alcohol and other drugs of abuse. The scans showed significantly more dopamine activity following the taste of...
  • Lost and found, the first find of an early human artwork

    03/21/2013 2:31:27 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 28 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 03-21-2013 | Provided by Natural History Museum
    This reindeer antler from Neschers in France is engraved with a stylised horse. It was created by early humans and found between 1830 and 1848. A 14,000-year-old engraved reindeer antler is possibly the first piece of early human art ever found. The specimen was uncovered in the 1800s and has been in the vast collections of the Natural History Museum. Its scientific importance, and clues as to how it was made are only now being revealed, scientists report today. Natural History Museum scientists have pieced together the antler's history. It was found between 1830 and 1848 in Neschers, France, by...
  • Scientists discover genetic key to efficient crops

    01/27/2013 7:02:13 PM PST · by Sir Napsalot · 9 replies
    Cornell Univ Chronicles Online ^ | 1-23-2013 | Krishna Ramanujan
    With projections of 9.5 billion people by 2050, humankind faces the challenge of feeding modern diets to additional mouths while using the same amounts of water, fertilizer and arable land as today. Cornell researchers have taken a leap toward meeting those needs by discovering a gene that could lead to new varieties of staple crops with 50 percent higher yields. The gene, called Scarecrow, is the first discovered to control a special leaf structure, known as Kranz anatomy, which leads to more efficient photosynthesis. Plants photosynthesize using one of two methods: C3, a less efficient, ancient method found in most...
  • Should You Get a Goat?

    03/05/2013 11:57:33 AM PST · by nickcarraway · 58 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | Monday, March 4, 2013 | Jennie P. Grant
    "The prudent man does not make the goat his gardener," says an old Hungarian proverb. But, as I do not live my life according to old Hungarian proverbs, six years ago I added a goat paddock and shed to the rear of my garden and brought home two small dairy goats. The idea took hold of me rather suddenly while I was visiting an acquaintance in Nevada City. She kept goats, and I got to milk one and taste its fresh milk. It tasted ... good! Surprised? I was too. But I learned that goat milk from the store often...
  • Bunnies implicated in the demise of Neanderthals

    03/04/2013 11:15:00 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 55 replies
    new scientist ^ | 18:10 01 March 2013 by | Sara Reardon
    Now, John Fa of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Trinity, Jersey, says Neanderthals eventually bit the dust because they were unable to adapt their hunting to small animals like rabbits. Fa and his colleagues counted up the skeletons of animals found in three excavation sites in Spain and southern France. Up until 30,000 years ago, the remains of large animals such as deer were abundant in caves. But around that time, coinciding with the disappearance of Neanderthals, rabbit remains became more prevalent. The authors postulate that humans were more successful at switching to catching and eating rabbits. It's not...
  • Ancient Humans Brought Bottle Gourds To The Americas From Asia

    12/13/2005 11:12:17 AM PST · by blam · 38 replies · 902+ views
    Harvard University/Eureka Alert ^ | 12-13-2005 | Steve Brandt
    Contact: Steve Bradt steve_bradt@harvard.edu 617-496-8070 Harvard University Ancient humans brought bottle gourds to the Americas from AsiaPlants widely used as containers arrived, already domesticated, some 10,000 years ago CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 13, 2005 -- Thick-skinned bottle gourds widely used as containers by prehistoric peoples were likely brought to the Americas some 10,000 years ago by individuals who arrived from Asia, according to a new genetic comparison of modern bottle gourds with gourds found at archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere. The finding solves a longstanding archaeological enigma by explaining how a domesticated variant of a species native to Africa ended...
  • Genetic Marker Tells Squash Domestication Story

    01/10/2002 5:23:02 AM PST · by blam · 2 replies · 483+ views
    Eureka Alert ^ | 01-07-2002 | Oris Sanjur
    Contact: Oris Sanjur sanjuro@naos.si.edu 202-786-2094 x8824 Smithsonian Institution Genetic marker tells squash domestication story In the January 8 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), The Cucurbit Network and the University of Puerto Rico establish mitochondrial DNA analysis as a powerful tool for understanding relationships among flowering plants. A comparison of mtDNA from cultivated squash, pumpkins, gourds and their wild ancestors strongly supports hypotheses based on archeological and ethnobotanical evidence for six, independent domestication events in the New World. Even Oris Sanjur, who conducted the genetic analysis was "surprised by the resolution" ...
  • Domestication Of The Donkey May Have Taken A Long Time

    03/13/2008 6:36:00 PM PDT · by blam · 32 replies · 842+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 3-13-2008 | Washington University in St. Louis
    Domestication Of The Donkey May Have Taken A Long TimeAn international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought. (Credit: iStockphoto/Andrea Laurita) ScienceDaily (Mar. 13, 2008) — An international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought. Based on a study of 10 donkey...
  • Did Carolina Dogs Arrive With Ancient Americans?

    03/28/2006 11:00:20 AM PST · by RegulatorCountry · 46 replies · 793+ views
    National Geographic ^ | March 11, 2003 | Brian Handwerk
    Humans and dogs enjoy a prehistoric relationship, a longstanding bond with its origins in a time when dogs as we know them evolved from wild animals into our domesticated companions. Now, a canine living in a manner similar to that of dogs from those ancient days may have been discovered in isolated stretches of longleaf pines and cypress swamps in the American Southeast. The Carolina Dog, a familiar-looking animal long known in the rural South as the "yaller dog," may be more than the common mutt that immediately meets the eye. I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., Senior Ecologist at the University...
  • An Asian origin for a 10,000-year-old domesticated plant in the Americas

    12/17/2005 7:56:15 AM PST · by Lessismore · 15 replies · 653+ views
    PNAS ^ | 2005-12-13 | David L. Erickson , Bruce D. Smith , Andrew C. Clarke, Daniel H. Sandweiss, and Noreen Tuross
    New genetic and archaeological approaches have substantially improved our understanding of the transition to agriculture, a major turning point in human history that began 10,000-5,000 years ago with the independent domestication of plants and animals in eight world regions. In the Americas, however, understanding the initial domestication of New World species has long been complicated by the early presence of an African enigma, the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria). Indigenous to Africa, it reached East Asia by 9,000-8,000 before present (B.P.) and had a broad New World distribution by 8,000 B.P. Here we integrate genetic and archaeological approaches to address a...
  • Small Dogs Originated in the Middle East

    02/23/2010 5:26:03 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies · 411+ views
    Discovery News ^ | Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | Jennifer Viegas
    Small dogs the world over can all trace their ancestry back to the Middle East, where the first diminutive canines emerged more than 12,000 years ago. A new study, which appears in BMC Biology, focused on a single gene responsible for size in dogs. Researchers found that the version of the gene IGF1 that is a major determinant of small size in dogs probably originated as a result of domestication of the Middle Eastern gray wolf, which also happens to be smaller than many other wolves. In terms of which came first, big dogs or small dogs, the answer is...
  • Humans Took 1000 Years To Tame Wild Plants

    04/13/2004 4:39:44 PM PDT · by blam · 50 replies · 613+ views
    ABC.Net ^ | 4-13-2004 | Anna Salleh
    Humans took 1000 years to tame wild plants Anna Salleh ABC Science Online Tuesday, 13 April 2004 The Dead Sea Plain dig in Jordan. The base of a curved stone wall can be seen in front of the researcher (Image: P Edwards) Remnants of ancient barley, wheat, figs and pistachios nearly 10,000 years old are helping to solve the mystery about how and when nomadic hunter-gatherers became sedentary farmers. A team led by Australian archaeologist Dr Phillip Edwards of Melbourne's La Trobe University said its findings in the Middle East suggested humans went through a 1000-year phase of cultivating wild...
  • Dog genome sequence and analysis published in "Nature"

    12/08/2005 4:23:38 AM PST · by PatrickHenry · 25 replies · 652+ views
    EurekAlert (AAAS) ^ | 07 December 2005 | Staff
    Analysis unlocks genetic variation among dog breeds; evolutionary conservation with human reveals regulatory controls of key genes.An international research team led by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard announced today the completion of a high-quality genome sequence of the domestic dog, together with a catalog of 2.5 million specific genetic differences across several dog breeds. Published in the December 8 issue of Nature, the dog research sheds light on both the genetic similarities between dogs and humans and the genetic differences between dog breeds. Comparison of the dog and human DNA reveals key secrets about the regulation...
  • Only 40 Genes Separate Your Pet Dog From A Wolf

    11/21/2005 6:18:45 PM PST · by blam · 77 replies · 1,296+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 11-22-2005 | Roger Highfield
    Only 40 genes separate your pet dog from a wolf By Roger Highfield, Science Editor (Filed: 22/11/2005) The difference between an obedient, friendly dog and a big bad wolf could be down to as few as 40 genes, according to a study into tameness. The research also found that to adapt to a life on the farm or in the home takes many more changes in gene activity than that required to love humans. A Swedish team compared two groups of farm-raised silver foxes in Siberia, one where for 40 generations the foxes have been selected for their friendly nature,...
  • Dogs Decoded

    08/03/2011 6:56:46 AM PDT · by Immerito · 60 replies
    PBS ^ | November 9, 2010 | NOVA
    Dogs Decoded PBS Airdate: November 9, 2010 NARRATOR: We are inseparable. WOMAN 1 (Chocolate Lab Owner): We're best friends. DR. BRIAN HARE (Duke University): Anywhere you find humans you will almost certainly find dogs. NARRATOR: And they are smarter than we ever imagined. Astonishing new research is revealing that dogs are far more than merely tamed wild animals. PROFESSOR DANIEL MILLS (University of Lincoln, England): What makes our relationships so special is the dog's ability to be able to read our emotions so effectively. NARRATOR: Have they evolved a new kind of intelligence? DR. JULIANE KAMINSKI (Max Planck Institute, Germany):...
  • When People Fled Hyenas

    11/20/2002 6:43:45 PM PST · by VadeRetro · 52 replies · 1,373+ views
    ABC News ^ | By Lee Dye
    When People Fled Hyenas By Lee Dye Special to ABCNEWS.com Nov. 20 — Deep inside a cave in Siberia's Altai Mountains, Christy Turner and his Russian colleagues may have found an answer to a question that has hounded him for more than three decades. As a young anthropologist, Turner spent time in Alaska's Aleutian Islands in the 1970s, working at several archaeological sites and occasionally gazing westward toward Siberia. "I thought, 'That's the place that Native Americans came from,' " he says now from his laboratory at Arizona State University in Tempe. But why, he wondered then as he still...
  • Old dog, new tricks: Study IDs 9,400-year-old mutt

    01/19/2011 5:59:52 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 58 replies
    palmbeachpost ^ | Jan. 19, 2011 | CLARKE CANFIELD
    PORTLAND, Maine — Nearly 10,000 years ago, man's best friend provided protection and companionship — and an occasional meal. That's what researchers are saying after finding a bone fragment from what they are calling the earliest confirmed domesticated dog in the Americas. University of Maine graduate student Samuel Belknap III came across the fragment while analyzing a dried-out sample of human waste unearthed in southwest Texas in the 1970s. A carbon-dating test put the age of the bone at 9,400 years, and a DNA analysis confirmed it came from a dog — not a wolf, coyote or fox, Belknap said....
  • Kibble for Thought: Dog diversity prompts new evolution theory

    12/21/2004 8:45:42 AM PST · by PatrickHenry · 264 replies · 3,390+ views
    Science News ^ | 18 December 2004 | Christen Brownlee
    The wide range of variety in domesticated dogs — from the petite Chihuahua to the monstrous mastiff — has powered a new view of what drives evolution. Scientists have long known that the evolutionary changes that alter a species' appearance or create new species frequently occur in rapid bursts. One widely accepted theory holds that any evolutionary change results from a random switch of a single genetic unit within DNA. These single-point mutations occur in about 1 out of every 100 million DNA sites each generation. This frequency is too low to cause rapid evolutionary change, assert John W. Fondon...
  • Dogs descended from wolf pack on Yangtze river

    09/04/2009 2:58:00 AM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies · 1,533+ views
    Telegraph ^ | Sep 2, 2009 | Unknown
    Today's dogs are all descended from a pack of wolves tamed 16,000 years ago on the shores of the Yangtze river, according to new research. It was previously known that the birthplace of the dog was eastern Asia but historians were not able to be more precise than that. However, now researchers have made a number of new discoveries about the history of man's best friend - including that the dog appeared about 16,000 years ago south of the Yangtze river in China. It has also been discovered that even though the dog has a single geographical origin it descends...
  • Cats' Family Tree Rooted In Fertile Crescent, Study Confirms

    02/01/2008 2:55:53 PM PST · by blam · 27 replies · 130+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 2-1-2008 | University of California - Davis.
    Cats' Family Tree Rooted In Fertile Crescent, Study ConfirmsCats, with their penchant for hunting mice, rats and other rodents, became useful companions as people domesticated, grew and stored wild grains and grasses. Eventually, cats also became pets but were never fully domesticated. Even today, most domestic cats remain self-sufficient, if necessary, and continue to be efficient hunters, even when provided with food. (Credit: Michele Hogan) ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2008) — The Fertile Crescent of the Middle East has long been identified as a "cradle of civilization" for humans. In a new genetic study, researchers at the University of California, Davis,...