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Posts Tagged ‘evolution’

A generation of idiots

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Prehistoric bugs from 230 million years ago found in amber


August 27, 2012

Scientists find oldest occurrence of arthropods preserved in amber 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photomicrographs are of the two new species of ancient gall mites in 230-million-year-old amber droplets from northeastern Italy, taken at 1000x magnification. The gall mites were named (left) Triasacarus fedelei and (right) Ampezzoa triassica. Credit: University of Göttingen/A. Schmidt

(Phys.org)—An international team of scientists has discovered the oldest record of arthropods—invertebrate animals that include insects, arachnids, and crustaceans—preserved in amber. The specimens, one fly and two mites found in millimeter-scale droplets of amber from northeastern Italy, are about 100 million years older than any other amber arthropod ever collected. The group’s findings, which are published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pave the way for a better evolutionary understanding of the most diverse group of organisms in the world.

Amber is an extremely valuable tool for paleontologists because it preserves specimens with microscopic fidelity, allowing uniquely accurate estimates of the amount of evolutionary change over millions of years,” said corresponding author David Grimaldi, a curator in the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology and a world authority on amber and fossil arthropods.

Globules of fossilized resin are typically called amber. Amber ranges in age from the Carboniferous (about 340 million years ago) to about 40,000 years ago, and has been produced by myriad plants, from tree ferns to flowering trees, but predominantly by conifers. Even though arthropods are more than 400 million years old, until now, the oldest record of the animals in amber dates to about 130 million years. The newly discovered arthropods break that mold with an age of 230 million years. They are the first arthropods to be found in amber from the Triassic Period.

Read more: http://phys.org/news/2012-08-prehistoric-bugs-million-years.html

Early Human Ancestor, Australopithecus Sediba, Fossils Discovered in Rock


July 13, 2012

ScienceDaily — Scientists from the Wits Institute for Human Evolution based at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg have just announced the discovery of a large rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor. The skeleton is believed to be the remains of ‘Karabo’, the type skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, discovered at the Malapa Site in the Cradle of Humankind in 2009.

This is the tooth of a hominid embedded in a rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor. The skeleton is believed to be the remains of “Karabo”, the type skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, discovered at the Malapa Site in the Cradle of Humankind in 2009. (Credit: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)
 

Professor Lee Berger, a Reader in Palaeoanthropology and the Public Understanding of Science at the Wits Institute for Human Evolution, will make the announcement at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in Shanghai, China on 13 July 2012.

“We have discovered parts of a jaw and critical aspects of the body including what appear to be a complete femur (thigh bone), ribs, vertebrae and other important limb elements, some never before seen in such completeness in the human fossil record,” says Berger. “This discovery will almost certainly make Karabo the most complete early human ancestor skeleton ever discovered. We are obviously quite excited as it appears that we now have some of the most critical and complete remains of the skeleton, albeit encased in solid rock. It’s a big day for us as a team and for our field as a whole.”

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712162744.htm

Giving Ancient Life Another Chance to Evolve: Scientists Place 500-Million-Year-Old Gene in Modern Organism

July 12, 2012 1 comment

July 12, 2012

Paleo-experimental evolution. (Credit: Image courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology)
 
Using a process called paleo-experimental evolution, Georgia Tech researchers have resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene from bacteria and inserted it into modern-day Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. This bacterium has now been growing for more than 1,000 generations, giving the scientists a front row seat to observe evolution in action.

“This is as close as we can get to rewinding and replaying the molecular tape of life,” said scientist Betül Kaçar, a NASA astrobiology postdoctoral fellow in Georgia Tech’s NASA Center for Ribosomal Origins and Evolution. “The ability to observe an ancient gene in a modern organism as it evolves within a modern cell allows us to see whether the evolutionary trajectory once taken will repeat itself or whether a life will adapt following a different path.”

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711100726.htm

If you believe in liberty, the U.S. government now considers you a terror suspect

July 10, 2012 1 comment

July 10, 2012

(NaturalNews) In this season of Independence, it’s important – and sad – to note how far we’ve come from our nation’s founding, where brave, insightful men laid everything on the line just a couple of centuries ago in an all-or-nothing effort to birth the greatest, most successful, free country in the history of the earth.

Today, holding dear such values as freedom and liberty will get you put on a terrorist list. Welcome to America 2012.

A new study funded by the Department of Homeland Security, using your tax dollars, describes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.

The study, titled, “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008,” was produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland – a group seeded with $12 million in start-up funding via DHS.

To give the authors their due, there was equal and appropriate mention in the Executive Summary about left-wing extremism as well, which they said “was concentrated in the 1970s and ethno-national/separatist terrorism was concentrated in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036421_liberty_terror_suspect_government.html#ixzz20CyAYsiG

In a Cosmology Breakthrough, Astronomers Measure a Filament of Dark Matter


By Rebecca Boyle 07.05.2012

Invisible, cold dark matter plays a major role in the evolution of galaxies, according to modern cosmological theory. The most advanced simulations of cosmic evolution show stringy tendrils of mass — dark matter — connecting giant clusters of galaxies via a vast cosmic web. Now for the first time, astronomers have been able to detect one of these filaments, sussing out its location by watching it warp light.

Nevada Issues a Driver’s License to Google’s Self-Driving Car


By Paul Adams  05.08.2012 at http://www.popsci.com/

The applicant had to drive flawlessly on highways, through neighborhoods, and on the Strip, while Department of Motor Vehicles officials rode along sternly monitoring its skill. When it passed the test, it became the first autonomous vehicle officially licensed to drive on the nation’s roads with no human intervention.