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The Loom

The Loom
Your hands are, roughly speaking, 360 million years old. Before then, they were fins, which your fishy ancestors used to swim through oceans and rivers. Once those fins sprouted digits, they could propel your salamander-like ancestors across dry land. Fast forward 300 million years, and your hands had become fine-tuned for manipulations: your lemur-like ancestors used them to grab leaves and open up fruits. Within the past few million years, your hominin ancestors had fairly human hands, which they used to fashion tools for digging up tubers, butchering carcasses, and laying the groundwork for our global dominance today. We know a fair amount about the transition from fins to hands thanks to the moderately mad obsession of paleontologists, who venture to inhospitable places around the Arctic where the best fossils from that period of our evolution are buried. A team of Spanish scientists has provided us with a glimpse of that story. Both fins and hands get their start in embryos.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/#.U0lnu9GI70M

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AP Biology Investigative Labs Supplement to the first printing: This Supplement to the First Printing of the lab manual includes updated URLs, corrections, clarifications, sample data tables for Investigation 7, and an updated version of the AP Biology Equations and Formulas appendix. The second printing of the Teacher Manual, available for download below, incorporates these changes. 7 Man-Made Substances that Laugh in the Face of Physics The universe is full of weird substances like liquid metal and whatever preservative keeps Larry King alive. But mankind isn't happy to accept the weirdness of nature when we can create our own abominations of science that, due to the miracle of technology, spit in nature's face and call it retarded. That's why we came up with...

Protective buttressing of the human fist and the evolution of hominin hands + Author Affiliations ↵* Author for correspondence (carrier@biology.utah.edu) Received June 6, 2012. Accepted September 24, 2012. Future The future is what will happen in the time period after the present. Its arrival is considered inevitable due to the existence of time and the laws of physics. Due to the apparent nature of reality and the unavoidability of the future, everything that currently exists and will exist can be categorized as either permanent, meaning that it will exist for the whole of the future, or temporary, meaning that it won't and thus will come to an end. The earliest split in modern humanity was 100,000 years ago What's interesting is that as a result of this split, populations within the Khoisan group should about as much genetic diversity as the rest of humanity does combined. And that's including every other genotype within Africa. Once you eliminate the African populations from the pool it gets even narrower, to the point that the genetic differences between Eurasians, Amerinds, and Australian aborigines are remarkably small comparatively. On a related note, I remember going through the different Y-chromosome haplogroups of the world and was fascinated to find that the population group closest to Western Eurasians (including Europeans, Near Easterners, and East Indians) with Haplogroup R were the Amerinds, among whom the closely related Haplogroup Q is very common.

MOLO - Proteins: From Sequence to Structure Overview By working their way through a series of models of polymers of increasing complexity, students can recognize forces responsible for protein's 3D shape. They compare folding of the same chain of amino acids in water and lipids, experiment with different sequences of amino acids and learn how charges, polar and non-polar amino acids affect the shape of a protein. Then students apply this knowledge to the case of Sickle Cell Anemia, in which a single point mutation causes the replacement of charged amino acid to a non-polar one, resulting in a misshaped protein.

Matrix mechanics Matrix mechanics is a formulation of quantum mechanics created by Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, and Pascual Jordan in 1925. Matrix mechanics was the first conceptually autonomous and logically consistent formulation of quantum mechanics. It extended the Bohr Model by describing how the quantum jumps occur. Rediscovering Life Notes and Commentaries Toward a Biology Worthy of Life Stephen L. Talbott Are Neanderthals Human? By Carl Zimmer Posted 09.20.12 NOVA scienceNOW In August 1856, in the German valley of Neander—Neanderthal in German—men cutting limestone for the Prussian construction industry stumbled upon some bones in a cave. Looking vaguely human, the bones—a piece of a skull, portions of limbs, and fragments of shoulder blades and ribs—eventually made their way to an anatomist in Bonn named Hermann Schaafhausen. Do Neanderthals belong within Homo sapiens? Paleoanthropologists cannot agree. Here, a skull cast of the La Chapelle-aux-Saints Neanderthal discovered in 1908.

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Scientific Ideas for the Garbage Dump - On Science Blogs Hello there! If you enjoy the content on On Science Blogs, consider subscribing for future posts via email or RSS feed. These scientific ideas will drive you crazy Much has been made of this year’s question at John Brockman’s Edge, generally described as an online salon.

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