Russian scientists revive an ice age flower A plant that was frozen in Siberian permafrost for about 30,000 years has been revived by a team of Russian scientists — and borne fruit, to boot. Using tissue from immature fruits buried in fossil squirrel burrows some 90 feet below the surface, researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences in Pushchino managed to coax the frozen remains of a Silene stenophylla specimen into full flower, producing delicate white blooms and then fruit. The findings, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describe what is a record for reviving presumably dead plant tissue — and may provide clues as to what makes some plants hardier and longer-lived than others. "I'm absolutely thrilled with the result," said Grant Zazula, a paleontologist with the Yukon government in Canada who reviewed the study for the journal. "I've always been excited for the potential of something like this being successful." email@example.com
Genes without templates Many genes are completely new inventions and not just modified copies of old genes March 25, 2013 It is easier to copy something than to develop something new - a principle that was long believed to also apply to the evolution of genes. When scientists decoded the first genes, they made a surprising discovery: similar variants of many genes are found even in very different organisms. Rafik Neme and Diethard Tautz from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology have now refuted this idea. The researchers also studied another way in which new genes can arise from existing genes: through a change in the reading frame. According to the findings of the Plön-based researchers, around 60 percent of genes originate from our unicellular ancestors from the early phase of evolution. New genes thus frequently arise from scratch in the course of evolution.
Strange phallus-shaped creature provides crucial missing link Jeudi, 14 Mars 2013 08:49 News Two individuals of Harrimania planktophilus, a modern enteropneust (harrimaniid) worm. Proboscis to the left. Christopher Cameron of the University of Montreal's Department of Biological Sciences and his colleagues have unearthed a major scientific discovery - a strange phallus-shaped creature they found in Canada's Burgess Shale fossil beds, located in Yoho National Park. Their study, to be published online in the journal Nature on March 13, 2013, confirms Spartobranchus tenuis is a member of the acorn worms group which are seldom-seen animals that thrive today in the fine sands and mud of shallow and deeper waters. Since their discovery in the 19th-century, some of the biggest questions in hemichordate evolution have focused on the group's origins and the relationship between its two main branches: the enteropneusts and the pterobranchs, including graptolites. Undescribed species of a modern enteropneust (ptychoderid) worm.
Peregrine Falcon The Peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This makes it the world's most widespread raptor and one of the most widely found bird species. In fact, the only land-based bird species found over a larger geographic area is not always naturally occurring but one widely introduced by humans, the Rock Pigeon, which in turn now supports many Peregrine populations as a prey species. While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles, or even insects. Description Taxonomy and systematics Subspecies Breeding ranges of the subspecies Adult of subspecies pealei or tundrius by its nest in Alaska F. p. macropus, Australia
Mouth-Birthing Frog to Be Resurrected? Photograph from ANT Photo Library/Science Source In this file photo, a tiny froglet can be seen in the mouth of its mother, the southern gastric-brooding frog Rheobatrachus silus. (Related: "Resurrecting the Extinct Frog with a Stomach for a Womb.") In this novel form of parental care, the female swallowed her fertilized eggs. Two species of gastric-brooding frogs made their homes in creeks in a relatively small area of tropical forest in Queensland, Australia: R. silus and the northern gastric-brooding frog, R.vitellinus. The species were discovered in 1973 and 1984, respectively, but by the mid-1980s they had both disappeared, possibly due to habitat degradation, pollution, and disease, including chytrid fungus. A few specimens of gastric-brooding frogs are preserved in Australian museums, leading scientists to ponder whether the animals could be reborn. Archer was speaking at Friday's TEDx Conference on DeExtinction at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Candidate species | Revive & Restore Criteria are emerging for determining which animal species are possible candidates for genetic rescue or genetic assistance. The animals pictured below may meet some or all of these criteria. All images are from Wikipedia and are in the public domain. Candidate Species for De-extinction: Cuban red macaw Ivory billed woodpecker Imperial woodpecker Heath hens Labrador duck Dodo Great Auk New Zealand giant moa Madagascar elephant bird Huia (New Zealand) O’o (Hawaii) Woolly mammoth Woolly rhinoceros Irish elk Easter Island palm Xerces blue butterfly Quagga (plains zebra) Auroch Pyrenean ibex (bucardo) Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) Steller’s sea cow Caribbean monk seal Candidate Species for Genetic Assistance: Hawaiian Crow Attwater’s Prairie Chicken Hawaiian honeycreeper Crested Ibis New Zealand Kakapo Black-footed ferret Amphibians Bats Golden Lion Tamarin Cheetah Northern White Rhino Hirola Javan rhinoceros Sumatran rhinoceros Yangtze giant softshell turtle Arabian Oryx Wombat Tasmanian devil Top of Page
How to Build an Artificial Womb The societal effects could be interesting. I could definitely see these being used a lot by women who want biological children, but either don't want pregnancy (because of work, maybe a few vanity cases as well) or would suffer too many health problems in a pregnancy. It could definitely be a godsend to folks who are all excited for their upcoming baby, but then find out that continuing the pregnancy or going to labor would kill the mother. And there are a lot of women and couples who want kids, but said woman is somewhat reluctant because a pregnancy would require a lot of personal sacrifice for her. I've thought about the abortion thing in terms of an artificial womb. HOWEVER, if abortion becomes illegal as a result of artificial wombs, there would be other side effects to deal with.
The Vulcan Project | Plots The following represent particular space/time snapshots of the Vulcan inventory. They are presented as a checkpoint for using our data and to provide quick views of the Vulcan inventory. Full resolution images can be acquired by clicking the images. The image above-left shows the location and magnitude of CO 2 emissions from major power producers under the Continuous Emissions Monitoring program of the Emissions Trading System. Units: Million tonnes of carbon/facility/year. The image above-right shows the location and magnitude of the industrial point sources of CO 2 emissions derived from the National Emissions Inventory. The image above-left shows the location and magnitude of the transport CO 2 emissions (onroad, nonroad, and airport). The image above shows the complete Vulcan CO 2 emissions (all sectors - those presented in the first four figures above) after it has been gridded to the common 10 km x 10 km Vulcan grid. Here are a couple of images for the state of Indiana.
Gyrfalcon The Gyrfalcon (/ˈdʒɜrfɔːlkən/ or /ˈdʒɜrfælkən/), also spelled gerfalcon—Falco rusticolus—is the largest of the falcon species. The Gyrfalcon breeds on Arctic coasts and the islands of North America, Europe, and Asia. It is mainly a resident there also, but some Gyrfalcons disperse more widely after the breeding season, or in winter. Individual vagrancy can take birds for long distances. The Gyrfalcon is dispersed throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, with populations in Northern America, Greenland, and Northern Europe. Its plumage varies with location, with birds being coloured from all-white to dark brown. The bird's common name comes from French gerfaucon; in medieval Latin it is gyrofalco. Description The black color seems to be sex-linked and to occur mostly in females; it proved difficult for breeders to get males darker than the dark side of slate grey. Systematics and evolution Ecology Breeding The Gyrfalcon almost invariably nests on cliff faces.
Math as Myth - Preview Issue: The Story of Nautilus Out of all of the infinite numbers in the world, there are precious few that are given their own letter from the all-too-finite Greek alphabet. The golden ratio, also known by the letter φ, or phi (usually pronounced “fie” in English), is one of those few. An irrational number that begins 1.618…, it describes an important kind of geometrical proportion—specifically, an elegant way to divide a line segment. Imagine we divide a segment (a) into a longer part (b) and a shorter part (c). If the ratio of a to b is the same as b to c, then that single ratio is golden. So, like fractals, the golden ratio unites different areas of mathematics together. Phi has also had an interesting role in aesthetics. For all of the appearances of the golden ratio, there many be even more erroneous sightings of it. Scientists in the early modern era proved not only the power of math but also of simplicity. But simple, beautiful mathematical explanations can make us greedy. In a way, this is frustrating.
DNA has a 521-year half-life M. Møhl Palaeogeneticist Morten Allentoft used the bones of extinct moa birds to calculate the half-life of DNA. Few researchers have given credence to claims that samples of dinosaur DNA have survived to the present day, but no one knew just how long it would take for genetic material to fall apart. After cell death, enzymes start to break down the bonds between the nucleotides that form the backbone of DNA, and micro-organisms speed the decay. Determining that rate has been difficult because it is rare to find large sets of DNA-containing fossils with which to make meaningful comparisons. But palaeogeneticists led by Morten Allentoft at the University of Copenhagen and Michael Bunce at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, examined 158 DNA-containing leg bones belonging to three species of extinct giant birds called moa. By comparing the specimens' ages and degrees of DNA degradation, the researchers calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years.