Origin and evolution of life

  • Wright Bros. Tapped Dino Collective Unconscious
    The evolution of airplanes from the Wright Brothers' first biplanes to monoplanes was an inadvertent replay of the much earlier evolution of dinosaur flight, say two dino flight experts.
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  • Rewriting Evolution
    The recent discovery of a 90-million-year-old dinosaur in Patagonia demonstrates that dromaeosaurs, a group of carnivorous theropods that includes Velociraptor and is closely related to birds, originated much earlier than previously thought.
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  • Smart Ladies
    For the first time ever, scientists have observed and photographed wild gorillas using tools, in one instance employing a stick to test the depth of a pool before wading into it, according to a study by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other
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  • By Design
    Brother Guy Consolmagno, astronomer to the Vatican, discusses his views of the controversy over intelligent design, as well as the historical clashes between science and religion.
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  • The Human Chimp DNA Divide
    Comparisons of the human genome and the newly completed draft of the chimpanzee genome have unearthed major differences between the patterns of large duplicated segments of DNA in the two species.
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  • DNA Sunscreen
    Chemists at Ohio State University have gained new insight into how sunlight affects DNA. And what they found overturns ideas about genetic mutation that originated decades ago.
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  • Quadrupeds to Bipeds
    The embryos of a long-necked, herbivorous dinosaur are the earliest ever recorded for any terrestrial vertebrate and point to how primitive dinosaurs evolved into the largest animals ever to walk on earth.
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  • Tracking Back Animal Evolution
    Unusually preserved fossils discovered by Virginia Tech, Nanjing Institute researchers shed new light on how macroscopic, complex life evolved and lived 550 million years ago.
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  • Parrotting Zero
    During the course of human evolution, our ancestors eventually grasped the abstract concept of counting nothing, or 'zero'. Is this a unique component of human intelligence?
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  • Evolving Away from Extinction
    The fossilized skeleton of a small crocodile relative excavated last year at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona throws a wrench into theories of how and where the dinosaurs arose more than 210 million years ago at the end of the Triassic Period.
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  • Chickadee Intelligence
    The small songbirds, which are common throughout much of North America, use their signature calls in a wide variety of social interactions including warning of predators. And it turns out that those alarms are far more subtle and information-packed than scientists previously imagined.
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  • Brain Adaptation
    Monkeys that learn to use their brain signals to control a robotic arm are not just learning to manipulate an external device, Duke University Medical Center neurobiologists have found. Rather, their brain structures are adapting to treat the arm as if it were their own
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  • Seeing Forests in the Tree of Life
    Peter Ward, speaking at a NASA Director's Seminar, presented some ideas for changing the tree of life. This restructuring would not only embrace things like viruses, which are banished from the current tree, but would allow us to put into context some even odder
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  • Long-haired, Long-lost Cousins
    Conservation biologists have found Africa's first new species of monkey in over 20 years. The latest find is named the "Highland Mangabey" (Lophocebus kipunji), a long-haired forest primate first discovered on the flanks of the 10,000 ft (2961 m) volcano Mt. Rungwe and in the
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  • Life Without -or Before- Planets?
    The theory of panspermia proposes that life really gets around, jumping from planet to planet - or even from star to star. Assuming this is true, how do single-celled bacteria make the journey through the vacuum of space? Easy, they use chunks of rock as
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