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New Genomes Bring Mammoths One Step Closer to Resurrection

April 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Malcolm Ritter | News | Comments

Scientists are getting their best look yet at the DNA code for the woolly mammoth, thanks to work that could be a step toward bringing back the extinct beast. Researchers deciphered the complete DNA code, or genomes, of two mammoths. The new genomes are far more refined than a previous one announced in 2008.

Fossilized Teeth Reveal Evolution of Stem Cells

April 23, 2015 3:00 pm | by UC San Francisco | News | Comments

All currently existing rodent species have ever-growing front teeth, but only some species have...

Gender Difference Seen in Stegosauruses

April 23, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Bristol | News | Comments

A new study has found that tall-plated Stegosaurus and the wide-plated Stegosaurus...

Ancient Clam Beaches Weren't as Natural as Thought

April 22, 2015 3:00 pm | by Simon Fraser Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered that Northwest Coast Indigenous people didn’t make their living just...

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Uranium Sheds Light on Ancient Bacterial Activity

April 21, 2015 3:00 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

The oceans and other water bodies contain billions of tons of dissolved uranium. Over the planet’s history, some of this uranium was transformed into an insoluble form, causing it to precipitate and accumulate in sediments. New research shows that the isotopic composition of uranium provides a unique window into microbial activity billions of years into the past.

Fossilized Dinosaur Eggs Unearthed In China

April 21, 2015 2:56 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

A clutch of fossilized dinosaur eggs has been unearthed by road crews excavating in a city in southern China, according to a news service. Forty-three eggs were excavated by scientists, 19 of which remain intact.

Earliest Humans May Have Gripped Like Us

April 21, 2015 7:00 am | by Yale Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists are coming to grips with the superior grasping ability of humans and other primates throughout history. In a new study, a research team found that even the oldest known human ancestors may have had precision grip capabilities comparable to modern humans.

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You've Never Heard of Another ‘Father of Evolution’

April 21, 2015 7:00 am | by King’s College London | News | Comments

The horticulturist who came up with the concept of evolution by natural selection 27 years before Charles Darwin did should be more widely acknowledged for his contribution, a new paper argues. Patrick Matthew deserves to be considered alongside Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace as one of the three originators of the idea of large-scale evolution by natural selection.

Oldest Fossil is Key to Solving Controversy

April 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Univ. of Western Australia | News | Comments

New analysis of world-famous 3.46-billion-year-old rocks by researchers is set to finally resolve a long-running evolutionary controversy. The new research shows that structures once thought to be Earth's oldest microfossils do not compare with younger fossil candidates but have, instead, the character of peculiarly shaped minerals.

Amazonian Tribe Has Unprecedented Bacteria Diversity

April 20, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

The study raises tantalizing questions about the microbial diversity of our ancestors, and whether today's Western diets and lifestyles strip us of some bugs we might want back.  

Victorian Baby Teeth Shed Light on Modern Kids' Future

April 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Bradford | News | Comments

A team analyzed teeth of children and adults from two 19th century cemeteries, one in Ireland with victims of the 1845-52 famine and one in England that held people who fled the deprivation. The composition of teeth that were forming in the womb, and during a child’s early years, not only provided insight into the health of the mother, it even showed differences between those infants who died and those who survived beyond early childhood.

Complex Cognition Shaped Stone Age Axe

April 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by Emory Health Sciences | News | Comments

The ability to make a Lower Paleolithic hand axe depends on complex cognitive control by the prefrontal cortex, including the "central executive" function of working memory, a new study finds. This knocks another chip off theories that Stone Age hand axes are simple tools that don't involve higher-order executive function of the brain.

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Comprehensive Study Reveals Citrus' Past

April 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Molecular Biology and Evolution | News | Comments

Citrus fruits are among the most important commercially cultivated fruit trees in the world, yet little is known of the origin of the citrus species and the history of its domestication. Now, researchers have performed the largest and most detailed genomic analysis on 30 species of Citrus— representing 34 citrus genotypes— and used chloroplast genomic data to reconstruct its evolutionary history.

Neanderthals Damaged the Dead: Ceremony or Cannibalism?

April 15, 2015 7:00 am | by SINC, Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas | News | Comments

Neanderthals from the French region of Poitou-Charentes cut, beat and fractured the bones of their recently deceased companions, as revealed by the fossil remains of two adults and a child found at the Marillac site. These manipulations have been observed at other Neanderthal sites, but scientists still do not know whether they did this for cannibalism or ceremony.

Ancient Remedy May Prevent, Reverse Heart Problem

April 14, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Chicago Medicine | News | Comments

A natural compound derived from the bark of the magnolia tree, can protect a mouse's heart from hypertrophy, a thickening of cardiac muscle often caused by chronic high blood pressure that can lead to heart failure.

Meteorites Shed Light on Earth's Layers

April 14, 2015 7:00 am | by The Australian National Univ. | News | Comments

A new analysis of the chemical make-up of meteorites has helped scientists work out when the Earth formed its layers. The research by an international team of scientists confirmed the Earth's first crust had formed around 4.5 billion years ago.

Richard III May Have Hidden Scoliosis Until Death

April 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Leicester | News | Comments

No mention of King Richard III's distinctive physique survives from during his lifetime, perhaps out of respect to a reigning monarch, or perhaps because he hid it so well. In a new study, researchers argue that, as with all monarchs, Richard’s body image in life was carefully controlled and he probably kept any signs of his scoliosis hidden outside of the royal household– up until his death.

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Scientists, Zookeeper, Kid Dig Up Dino

April 9, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists from Southern Methodist Univ. have helped a Dallas zookeeper and his five-year-old son excavate a dinosaur fossil they found behind a grocery store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

‘Fingerprint’ Sheds Light on Moon’s Explosive Past

April 9, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

Within the first 150 million years after our solar system formed, a giant body struck and merged with Earth, blasting a cloud of debris into space. This cloud eventually formed the moon. Or so we thought, the expectation has long been that the moon should carry the isotopic "fingerprint" of the foreign body. But, new research shows its fingerprint is very close to Earth’s.

Northern Neolithic Europeans Didn't Embrace Farming

April 8, 2015 3:00 pm | by New York Univ. | News | Comments

Northern Europeans in the Neolithic period initially rejected the practice of farming, which was otherwise spreading throughout the continent, a team of researchers has found. Their study offers a new wrinkle in the history of a major economic revolution that moved civilizations away from foraging and hunting as a means for survival.

Radiocarbon Dating Sheds Light on Sea's Past

April 8, 2015 7:00 am | by ANSTO | News | Comments

When carbonate samples from One Tree Reef in southern Great Barrier Reef arrived at ANSTO for radiocarbon dating, a researcher was confident they could accurately determine the age of the marine material. He did not anticipate that the samples would provide surprising evidence that a small fall in sea level significantly slows down the growth of the reef.

Mummies Show How TB Gripped 18th Century Europe

April 7, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Warwick | News | Comments

A new study details how samples taken from naturally mummified bodies found in an 18th century crypt in the Dominican church of Vac in Hungary have yielded 14 tuberculosis (TB) genomes, suggesting that mixed infections were common when TB was at peak prevalence in Europe.

UV Light Reveals Ancient Seashell Colors

April 2, 2015 7:00 am | by PLOS | News | Comments

Nearly 30 ancient seashell species coloration patterns were revealed using UV light. Unlike their modern relatives, the 4.8-6.6 million-year-old fossil cone shells often appear white and without a pattern when viewed in regular light. By placing these fossils under UV light, the organic matter remaining in the shells fluoresces, revealing the original coloration patterns of the once living animals.

Worm Lizards Traveled the World by Sea

April 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Bristol | News | Comments

Tiny, burrowing reptiles known as worm lizards became widespread long after the breakup of the continents, leading scientists to conclude that they must have dispersed by rafting across oceans soon after the extinction of the dinosaurs, rather than by continental drift as previously thought.

Medieval Remedy Kills MRSA

March 31, 2015 8:21 am | by The Univ. of Nottingham | News | Comments

A one thousand year old Anglo-Saxon remedy for eye infections that originates from a manuscript in the British Library has been found to kill the modern-day superbug MRSA in an unusual research collaboration.                  

Stalagmites Link 2,200 Years of Cyclones, Floods, El Niño

March 31, 2015 7:00 am | by Cornell College | News | Comments

Stalagmites, which crystallize from water dropping onto the floors of caves millimeter by millimeter over thousands of years, leave behind a record of climate change encased in stone. Newly published research applied a novel technique to stalagmites from the Australian tropics to create a 2,200-year-long record of flood events that might also help predict future climate change.

Earliest Humans Had Diverse Bodies

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

One of the theories of evolution is that our genus, Homo, evolved from small-bodied early humans to become the taller, heavier and longer-legged Homo erectus that was able to migrate beyond Africa and colonize Eurasia. New research suggests our genus has come in different shapes and sizes since its origins over two million years ago, and adds weight to the idea that humans began to colonize Eurasia while still small and light.

Pre-Dino Predator Found

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Toronto | News | Comments

What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters have in common? They are all surviving relatives of a newly identified species called Yawunik kootenayi, a marine creature with two pairs of eyes and prominent grasping appendages that lived as much as 508 million years ago— more than 250 million years before the first dinosaur.

Research Tackles Ancestry of Mysterious Feral Chickens

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Michigan State Univ. | News | Comments

How did the chicken cross the sea? No, that’s not a joke. A team has studied the mysterious ancestry of the feral chicken population that has overrun the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Their results may aid efforts to curtail the damage of invasive species in the future, and help improve the biosecurity of domestic chicken breeds.

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