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My picks from ScienceDaily

Tyrannosaurus Rex And Mastodon Protein Fragments Discovered, Sequenced:

Scientists have confirmed the existence of protein in soft tissue recovered from the fossil bones of a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) and a half-million-year-old mastodon. Their results may change the way people think about fossil preservation and present a new method for studying diseases in which identification of proteins is important, such as cancer.

Here’s a local angle to the same story.


Human-Chimp Differences Uncovered With Analysis Of Rhesus Monkey Genome:

An international consortium of researchers has published the genome sequence of the rhesus macaque monkey and aligned it with the chimpanzee and human genomes. Published April 13 in a special section of the journal Science, the analysis reveals that the three primate species share about 93 percent of their DNA, yet have some significant differences among their genes.

Tropical Forests — Earth’s Air Conditioner:

Planting and protecting trees–which trap and absorb carbon dioxide as they grow–can help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But a new study suggests that, as a way to fight global warming, the effectiveness of this strategy depends heavily on where these trees are planted. In particular, tropical forests are very efficient at keeping the Earth at a happy, healthy temperature.

Treasure Trove Of Fossils Found In Limestone Cave:

Remnants from a cave embedded in a limestone quarry southwest of Chicago have yielded a fossil trove that may influence the known history of north central Illinois some 310 million years ago.

Quantum Secrets Of Photosynthesis Revealed:

Through photosynthesis, green plants and cyanobacteria are able to transfer sunlight energy to molecular reaction centers for conversion into chemical energy with nearly 100-percent efficiency. Speed is the key – the transfer of the solar energy takes place almost instantaneously so little energy is wasted as heat. How photosynthesis achieves this near instantaneous energy transfer is a long-standing mystery that may have finally been solved.

Bacteria Control How Infectious They Become:

The results of a new study suggest that bacteria that cause diseases like bubonic plague and serious gastric illness can turn the genes that make them infectious on or off.

Chimps Have Been Found Using Caves For Shelter:

Chimpanzees in Senegal apparently have much in common with our earliest human ancestors. A month after Iowa State University Assistant Professor of Anthropology Jill Pruetz reported chimpanzees at her Fongoli research site are using spear-shaped tools to hunt, her new study indicates those same chimps are also seeking shelter in caves to get out of the extreme African heat. The National Geographic Society-funded research is the first to document regular chimpanzee cave use.