My picks from ScienceDaily

Thousands Of Humans Inhabited New World's Doorstep For 20,000 Years:

The human journey from Asia to the New World was interrupted by a 20,000 -year layover in Beringia, a once-habitable region that today lies submerged under the icy waters of the Bering Strait. Furthermore, the New World was colonized by approximately 1,000 to 5,000 people - a substantially higher number than the 100 or fewer individuals of previous estimates.

New Technique Makes Tissues Transparent:

If humans had see-through skin like a jellyfish, spotting disease like cancer would be a snap: Just look, and see a tumor form or grow.

New Duck-billed Dinosaur From Mexico Offers Insights Into Ancient Life On West America:

A new species of dinosaur unearthed in Mexico is giving scientists fresh insights into the ancient history of western North America, according to an international research team led by scientists from the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah.

'Junk DNA' Can Explain Origin And Complexity Of Vertebrates, Study Suggests:

Dartmouth College researchers and colleagues from the University of Bristol in the U.K. have traced the beginnings of complex life, i.e. vertebrates, to microRNA, sometimes referred to as 'junk DNA.' The researchers argue that the evolution of microRNAs, which regulate gene expression, are behind the origin of early vertebrates.

Unique Mating Photos Of Wild Gorillas Face To Face:

Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have released the first known photographs of gorillas performing face-to-face copulation in the wild. This is the first time that western gorillas have been observed and photographed mating in such a manner.

Some Cases Of Autism May Be Traced To The Immune System Of Mothers During Pregnancy:

New research from the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and Center for Children's Environmental Health has found that antibodies in the blood of mothers of children with autism bind to fetal brain cells, potentially interrupting healthy brain development. The study authors also found that the reaction was most common in mothers of children with the regressive form of autism, which occurs when a period of typical development is followed by loss of social and/or language skills. The findings raise the possibility that the transfer of maternal antibodies during pregnancy is a risk factor for autism and, at some point, that a prenatal test and treatment could prevent the disorder for some children.

Body Part By Body Part, Sumatran Tigers Are Being Sold Into Extinction:

Laws protecting the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger have failed to prevent tiger body parts being openly sold in Indonesia, according to a new TRAFFIC report. Tiger body parts, including canine teeth, claws, skin pieces, whiskers and bones, were on sale in 10 percent of the 326 retail outlets surveyed during 2006 in 28 cities and towns across Sumatra. Outlets included goldsmiths, souvenir and traditional Chinese medicine shops, and shops selling antique and precious stones.

Dramatic Declines In Wild Salmon Populations Linked To Exposure To Farmed Salmon:

Comparing the survival of wild salmonid populations in areas near salmon farms with unexposed populations reveals a large reduction in survival in the populations reared near salmon farms. Since the late 1970s, salmon aquaculture has grown into a global industry, producing over 1 million tons of salmon per year. However, this solution to globally declining fish stocks has come under increasing fire. In a new study Jennifer Ford and Ransom Myers provide the first evidence on a global scale illustrating systematic declines in wild salmon populations that come into contact with farmed salmon.

Bats Flew First, Developed Echolocation Later, Fossilized Missing Link Shows:

The discovery of a remarkably well-preserved fossil representing the most primitive bat species known to date demonstrates that the animals evolved the ability to fly before they could echolocate. The new species, named Onychonycteris finneyi, was unearthed in 2003 in southwestern Wyoming. Bats represent one of the largest and most diverse orders of mammals, accounting for one-fifth of all living mammal species. The well-preserved condition of the new fossil permitted the scientists to take an unprecedented look at the most primitive known member of the order Chiroptera.

New Warbler-like Bird Discovered In Nepal:

Nepalese scientists have recorded a new subspecies of bird at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR) of east Nepal. The bird was identified as Rufous-vented Prinia bringing Nepal's total bird list to 862 species. The warbler-like bird is known as Prinia burnesii to the scientific community. The new taxon from Nepal is referred to as Nepal Rufous-vented Prinia Prinia burnesii nipalensis.


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tags:, birds, Nepal Rufous-vented Prinia, Prinia burnesii nipalensis, ornithology, speciation, new species, Nepal A new subspecies of the Rufous-vented Prinia, Prinia burnesii, has been found in Nepal. This new bird is now known as the Nepal Rufous-vented Prinia, Prinia…
Bats; Signaling in the Rain Forest; Sumatran Tiger Body Parts; Humans in the New World 20,000 years ago. Bats are funny. Funny strange, not funny ha ha. There are two kinds of bats, microchiroptera and megachiroptera. The micros are smaller, the megas larger, by and large. and the micros have…
I guess it's only appropriate that the week of Darwin's birthday is seeing a bunch of new reports about evolutionary transitions. On Monday there was news about how ancient whales with teeth turned into whales with baleen--thanks to the discovery of a fossil of an ancient whale that appears to…
tags:, Tyrannosaurus rex, dinosaurs, birds, fossils Repeated analysis of proteins from a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex reveal new evidence of a link between dinosaurs and birds: Of the seven reconstructed protein sequences, three were closely related to chickens. Image:…