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  • Inside one man's quest to photograph the elusive 'Iliamna Lake monster'

    07/13/2020 10:38:21 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    Anchorage Daily News ^ | Updated: May 8, 2019 | Alex DeMarban
    Tim La Porte, owner of Iliamna Air Taxi, vividly remembers seeing it in July 1977 as he and passengers banked near the lake's surface. The group spotted something very fish-like for a few seconds, maybe 15 feet long based on the size of a nearby skiff. "It arched its back and hit the water, which was glassy calm, and this wake radiated out from the great big splash," he said. "We saw a great, big tail going sideways, back and forth, going down." "I don't believe it's a whale, and it didn't act like the seals we've seen for years,...
  • Care for cats? So did people along the Silk Road more than 1,000 years ago

    07/11/2020 4:18:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | July 9, 2020 | Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg
    The tomcat... did not have an easy life. "The cat suffered several broken bones during its lifetime," says Haruda. And yet, based on a very conservative estimate, the animal had most likely made it past its first year of life. For Haruda and her colleagues, this is a clear indication that people had taken care of this cat. During a research stay in Kazakhstan, the scientist examined the findings of an excavation in Dzhankent, an early medieval settlement in the south of the country which had been mainly populated by the Oghuz, a pastoralist Turkic tribe. There she discovered a...
  • Accidental discovery leads to Parkinson’s disease cure in mice

    06/29/2020 5:41:13 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 25 replies
    www.studyfinds.org ^ | June 26, 2020 | by Brianna Sleezer
    SAN DIEGO – Sometimes, scientific breakthroughs occur when researchers aren’t exactly looking for them. While attempting to better understand the function of a protein in connective tissue cells, UC San Diego School of Medicine scientists found a way to transform multiple types of cells into neurons. This discovery has led to the development of a treatment that eliminates symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in mice. The protein researchers were studying, called PTB, is known for its general role in activating or deactivating genes within a cell. In an attempt to better understand how PTB contributes to cell function, researchers silenced the...
  • Accidental discovery leads to Parkinson’s disease cure in mice

    07/09/2020 7:26:53 PM PDT · by Blood of Tyrants · 43 replies
    Study Finds ^ | 6/26/2020 | Brianna Sleezer
    SAN DIEGO – Sometimes, scientific breakthroughs occur when researchers aren’t exactly looking for them. While attempting to better understand the function of a protein in connective tissue cells, UC San Diego School of Medicine scientists found a way to transform multiple types of cells into neurons. This discovery has led to the development of a treatment that eliminates symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in mice. The protein researchers were studying, called PTB, is known for its general role in activating or deactivating genes within a cell. In an attempt to better understand how PTB contributes to cell function, researchers silenced the...
  • DNA Inherited From Neanderthals May Increase Risk of Covid-19

    07/06/2020 11:35:25 PM PDT · by RomanSoldier19 · 45 replies
    https://www.nytimes.com ^ | Updated July 6, 2020 | By Carl Zimmer
    A stretch of DNA linked to Covid-19 was passed down from Neanderthals 60,000 years ago, according to a new study. Scientists don’t yet know why this particular segment increases the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. But the new findings, which were posted online on Friday and have not yet been published in a scientific journal, show how some clues to modern health stem from ancient history. “This interbreeding effect that happened 60,000 years ago is still having an impact today,” said Joshua Akey, a geneticist at Princeton University who was not involved in the new study. This piece...
  • Theory of a founding father's (Alexander Hamilton)African ancestry

    07/23/2004 1:57:16 PM PDT · by Coleus · 112 replies · 10,413+ views
    The Record ^ | July 23, 2004 | LAWRENCE AARON
    Theory of a founding father's African ancestry Friday, July 23, 2004                                              By LAWRENCE AARONAS MUCH as I thought I knew about Alexander Hamilton, the first treasury secretary, nobody ever told me he was black. Yes. You heard it here first, folks.And you'll think about it from now on every time you take out a $10 bill.Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow is the latest one to explore the theory.I was totally blown away by that information when a friend casually mentioned Hamilton's link to two significant anniversaries - the 250th anniversary of Columbia University, originally Kings College where he was schooled, and...
  • Why chickens are twice as big today as they were 60 years ago

    01/08/2017 10:37:13 AM PST · by Trump20162020 · 115 replies
    MarketWatch ^ | January 7, 2017 | Evie Liu
    American families are getting smaller and yet chickens are getting larger. As we begin 2017, Americans can look back at 2016 as yet another year with record-high chicken consumption—an average of 89.6 pounds per person. That’s more than three times as much as our grandparents ate. Chickens we eat today are twice as big as they were 60 years ago. In 1955, the average weight of chickens sold on market was 3.07 pounds, while the number for the first half of 2016 was 6.18 pounds, according to National Chicken Council, a nonprofit trade organization based in Washington, D.C.
  • Dawn of the chicken revealed in Southeast Asia

    07/02/2020 9:57:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 60 replies
    Science: Vol. 368, Issue 6498, pp. 1411 ^ | June 26, 2020 | Andrew Lawler
    [Summary] Chickens outnumber all other species of birds by an order of magnitude and they are humanity's single largest source of animal protein. Yet for 2 centuries, biologists have struggled to explain how the chicken became the chicken. Now, the first extensive study of the bird's full genome concludes that people in northern Southeast Asia or southern China domesticated a colorful pheasant sometime after about 7500 B.C.E. People then carried the bird across Asia and on to every continent except Antarctica. The research team also found that the modern chicken's chief ancestor is a subspecies of red jungle fowl named...
  • Testing the DNA of cave art

    07/02/2020 10:40:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Bradshaw Foundation ^ | Friday, June 19, 2020 | Bridgette Watson (CBC News)
    The University of Victoria paleoanthropologist Genevieve von Petzinger explains that a DNA test, which would reveal genetic mutations due to evolution, could help pinpoint the time period a painting was made and may help determine if the art was actually the handiwork of humans or Neanderthals — who lived about 130,000 to 40,000 years ago. "It would just be so fascinating to see the identity. The million dollar question is, did Neanderthals paint?" There is already some indication, according to von Petzinger, that this extinct species was, in fact, artistic. Von Petzinger said that a few years ago, some of...
  • Biology in art: Genetic detectives ID microbes suspected of slowly ruining humanity's treasures

    07/02/2020 9:57:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | June 18, 2020 | editors
    A new study of the microbial settlers on old paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art charts a potential path for preserving, restoring, and confirming the geographic origin of some of humanity's greatest treasures. Genetics scientists with the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), collaborating with the Leonardo da Vinci DNA Project and supported by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, say identifying and managing communities of microbes on art may offer museums and collectors a new way to stem the deterioration of priceless possessions, and to unmask counterfeits in the $60 billion a year art market... The genetic detectives caution that additional...
  • Olives First Domesticated 7,000 Years Ago in Israel, Study Says

    07/01/2020 10:23:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Haaretz ^ | March 11, 2020 | Ariel David
    Villagers in what is today Israel were the first to cultivate olive trees, an international study that pooled data from countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea has concluded. This start of olive domestication apparently began in the Galilee around 7,000 to 6,500 years ago, the team estimates. Olives and especially olive oil were staples of ancient economies around the Mediterranean Basin: The oil was used for cooking, lighting as well as medicinal and ritual purposes. But so far there has been little agreement among researchers as to where and when people first domesticated the plant. Dating estimates have ranged from more...
  • New Evidence Supports Modern Greeks Having DNA of Ancient Mycenaeans

    06/28/2020 3:18:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    GreekReporter.com ^ | June 22, 2020 | Stavros Anastasiou
    New emerging DNA evidence suggests that living Greeks are indeed descendants of the ancient Mycenaeans, who ruled mainland Greece and the Aegean Sea from 1,600 BC to 1,200 BC. The proof comes from a study in which scientists analyzed the genes from the teeth of 19 people across various archaeological sites within mainland Greece and Mycenae. A total of 1.2 million letters of genetic code were compared to those of 334 people across the world. Genetic information was also compiled from a group of thirty modern Greek individuals in order to compare it to the ancient genomes. This allowed researchers...
  • First evidence that ancient humans ate snakes and lizards is unearthed in Israel

    06/28/2020 12:17:56 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    Live Science ^ | June 25, 2020 | Mindy Weisberger
    Human communities in the Levant at this time were known as Natufian. They were primarily hunters and foragers and are considered the first non-nomadic society; the semi-sedentary habits of Natufian culture were likely a precursor to humans settling down and becoming farmers. At the el-Wad Terrace settlement, the site was densely layered with animal remains, of which "a high percentage" belonged to lizards and snakes, the researchers reported in a new study, published online June 10 in the journal Scientific Reports. The quantity of squamate bones at the site was astonishing; that alone hinted at human consumption as a possible...
  • Sledge dogs are closely related to 9,500-year-old 'ancient dog'

    06/28/2020 7:27:36 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | June 25, 2020 | University Of Copenhagen the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    'We have extracted DNA from a 9,500-year-old dog from the Siberian island of Zhokhov, which the dog is named after. Based on that DNA we have sequenced the oldest complete dog genome to date, and the results show an extremely early diversification of dogs into types of sledge dogs', says one of the two first authors of the study, PhD student Mikkel Sinding, the Globe Institute. Until now, it has been the common belief that the 9,500-year-old Siberian dog, Zhokhov, was a kind of ancient dog - one of the earliest domesticated dogs and a version of the common origin...
  • The Lowly Sweet Potato May Unlock America's Past

    03/24/2008 2:24:47 PM PDT · by blam · 24 replies · 921+ views
    The Times Online ^ | 3-24-2008 | Norman Hammond
    From The TimesNorman Hammond, Archaeology Correspondent March 24, 2008 The lowly sweet potato may unlock America’s past How the root vegetable found it's way across the Pacific One of the enduring mysteries of world history is whether the Americas had any contact with the Old World before Columbus, apart from the brief Viking settlement in Newfoundland. Many aspects of higher civilisation in the New World, from the invention of pottery to the building of pyramids, have been ascribed to European, Asian or African voyagers, but none has stood up to scrutiny. The one convincing piece of evidence for pre-Hispanic contact...
  • Darwin's Dilemma Of 1859 Gets A Solution, Say Paleobiologists [Science]

    01/11/2009 6:46:55 PM PST · by Coyoteman · 26 replies · 4,873+ views
    Scientific Blogging ^ | January 10, 2009 | News Staff
    A solution to the puzzle which came to be known as ‘Darwin’s Dilemma’ has been uncovered by scientists at the University of Oxford in a paper published in the Journal of the Geological Society. ‘To the question of why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these…periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer’, Charles Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life in 1859, summarizing what came to be known as ‘Darwin’s Dilemma’ – the lack of...
  • 'Wonderchicken' fossil from the age of dinosaurs reveals origin of modern birds

    03/18/2020 11:20:07 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 27 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | March 18, 2020 | by University of Cambridge
    Artist's reconstruction of the world's oldest modern bird, Asteriornis maastrichtensis, in its original environment. 66.7 million years ago parts of Belgium were covered by a shallow sea, and conditions were similar to modern tropical beaches like The Bahamas. Asteriornis lived at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs, a time when mosasaurs (giant marine reptiles) swam in the oceans, and Tyrannosaurus rex lived on land. Asteriornis had fairly long legs and may have prowled the tropical shoreline. Credit: Phillip Krzeminski ==================================================================== The oldest fossil of a modern bird yet found, dating from the age of dinosaurs, has been identified by...
  • A Common Parasite Reveals Its Strongest Asset: Stealth

    06/19/2006 10:32:01 PM PDT · by ConservativeMind · 26 replies · 1,077+ views
    The New York Times ^ | June 20, 2006 | Carl Zimmer
    On paper, Toxoplasma gondii looks as if it ought to be the most famous parasite on earth. This single-celled pathogen infects over half the world's population, including an estimated 50 million Americans. Each of Toxoplasma's victims carries thousands of the parasites, many residing in the brain. As if that were not enough of an accomplishment, Toxoplasma is equally adept at infecting all other warm-blooded animals, as disparate as chickens and kangaroos. Scientists are now discovering some of the secrets of Toxoplasma's success. Researchers in Sweden report that the parasite fans out through the body by manipulating mobile cells that are...
  • USC Scientists Uncover Secrets Of Feather Formation

    10/31/2002 6:51:38 AM PST · by forsnax5 · 220 replies · 597+ views
    University Of Southern California / ScienceDaily.com ^ | 10/31/2002 | Cheng-Ming Chuong, et al
    Los Angeles, Oct. 30, 2002 - Scientists from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California have, for the first time, shown experimentally the steps in the origin and development of feathers, using the techniques of molecular biology. Their findings will have implications for the study of the morphogenesis of various epithelial organs-from hairs to lung tissue to mammary glands-and is already shedding light on the controversy over the evolution of dinosaur scales into avian feathers.
  • Horizontal and vertical: The evolution of evolution

    02/01/2010 4:24:31 AM PST · by decimon · 41 replies · 592+ views
    New Scientist ^ | Jan 26, 2010 | Mark Buchanan
    JUST suppose that Darwin's ideas were only a part of the story of evolution. Suppose that a process he never wrote about, and never even imagined, has been controlling the evolution of life throughout most of the Earth's history. It may sound preposterous, but this is exactly what microbiologist Carl Woese and physicist Nigel Goldenfeld, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believe. Darwin's explanation of evolution, they argue, even in its sophisticated modern form, applies only to a recent phase of life on Earth. At the root of this idea is overwhelming recent evidence for horizontal gene transfer...