Origin and evolution of life

  • Bone Crystal’s Treasure
    Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science recently discovered a new source of well-preserved ancient DNA in fossil bones. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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  • Fossils in 3-D
    UCLA paleobiologist J. William Schopf and colleagues have produced 3-D images of ancient fossils - 650 million to 850 million years old - preserved in rocks, an achievement that has never been done before.
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  • Chimps and Humans on Similar Clock Time
    Scientists have found genetic evidence that seems to support a controversial hypothesis that humans and chimpanzees may be more closely related to each other than chimps are to the other two species of great apes. They also found that humans evolved at a slower rate
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  • Bigger is Only Better in the Cold
    Biologists have long believed that bigger is better when it comes to body size, since many lineages of animals, from horses to dinosaurs, have evolved into larger species over time.
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  • Bee-ing Social
    One of the puzzling questions in the evolution of bees is how some species developed social behaviors. Arizona State University Life Sciences associate professor Gro Amdam thinks part of the answer can be traced back to bee reproductive traits.
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  • Evolution of Movement Design is Deterministic
    A single unifying physics theory can essentially describe how animals of every ilk, from flying insects to fish, get around, researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and Pennsylvania State University have found. The team reports that all animals bear the same stamp of
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  • Slow Growth Dinos
    Palaeontologists from the University of Bonn report on an intriguing diagnosis in the 16 December issue of the journal Science. A dinosaur which they have examined was apparently able to vary the speed of its growth according the conditions obtaining in its environment.
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  • Yeah We’re Movin on Up…
    The most comprehensive analysis ever performed of the genetic relationships among all the major groups of snakes, lizards, and other scaly reptiles has resulted in a radical reorganization of the family tree of these animals, requiring new names for many of the tree's new branches.
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  • Jurassic Godzilla
    Researchers have discovered evidence of an ancient sea creature that would have made Tyrannosaurus rex think twice before stepping into the ocean.
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  • The Primordial Womb
    Arizona State University geochemist Lynda Williams and her colleagues have discovered that certain clay minerals under conditions at the bottom of the ocean may have acted as incubators for the first organic molecules on Earth.
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  • King Kong… Almost
    A gigantic ape, measuring about 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds, co-existed alongside humans, a geochronologist at McMaster University has discovered.
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  • Engineering Aliens
    What would you call an alien if you encountered it on the street tomorrow? What if that alien didn't come from another world but rather was created in a laboratory right here on Earth and functioned differently from other Earth life?
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  • The Bee Matrix
    Bees have a much more sophisticated visual system than previously thought, according to a new UCL (University College London) study in which bees were able to solve complicated colour puzzles. The findings shed light on how brains resolve one of the most difficult challenges of
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  • One, Two, Threes not ABCs
    Monkeys have a semantic perception of numbers that is like humans' and which is independent of language, Duke University cognitive neuroscientists have discovered. They said their findings demonstrate that the neural mechanism underlying numerical perception is evolutionarily primitive. Jessica Cantlon and Elizabeth Brannon described
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  • One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure
    Genetic material derisively called "junk" DNA because it does not contain the instructions for protein-coding genes and appears to have little or no function is actually critically important to an organism's evolutionary survival, according to a study conducted by a biologist at UCSD.
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