spkersten

436 Flips | 3 Magazines | 5 Likes | 3 Following | 697 Followers | @spkersten | Keep up with spkersten on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “spkersten”

A Genetic Map Hints At What Makes A Brain Human

Patterns of gene expression in human and mouse brains suggest that cells known as glial cells may have helped us evolve brains that can acquire language and solve complex problems.<p>Scientists have been dissecting human brains for centuries. But nobody can explain precisely what allows people to use …

The Brain

Humans can outlearn chimps thanks to more flexible brain genetics

Compared with most other animals, chimpanzees are incredibly intelligent: They work with tools, communicate with complex vocalizations, and are good …

Chimpanzees

Ancient human relative could walk on two feet, use tools swing in trees

Bone analysis of newly discovered <i>Homo naledi</i> reveals curved fingers for arboreal living but feet of modern humans, indicating unique combined ability among genus<p>An extinct human relative found in a dark, cramped cave in South Africa was adept at both swinging in the trees and walking on two feet, …

What is life?

Standfirst: <i></i>If we met new life – on this planet or the next – would we know it when we saw it? Matthew Francis investigates. Free tagging: …

First Ancient African Genome Reveals Vast Eurasian Migration

<i>Editor's Note (1/29/16): The researchers involved in the study described in this story have acknowledged that they made an error, which forced them</i> …

Anthropology

Neanderthals ‘kept our early ancestors out of Europe’

Ancient teeth found in China suggest Homo sapiens was outwitted by its rivals<p>The discovery of a hoard of ancient human teeth in a Chinese cave has forced scientists to reconsider our species’ relations with our closest evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals. The find, revealed in the science …

Evolution

This Man Failed A Paternity Test Due To His Vanished Twin’s DNA

How can a man who was never born father a son? When the ghost of his genes lives on in the DNA of his brother, genetics researchers have found.<p>A 34-year-old U.S. man is the first-ever reported case of a paternity test fooled by a human “chimera” — someone with extra genes absorbed from a nascent …

Genetics

Giant Dinosaurs Nested Like Enormous Turkeys

All dinosaurs start off life small. That’s as true for today’s birds as the titans of the Mesozoic, and it may have been a critical part of what allowed ancient dinosaurs to surpass mammals in size. In order to hatch and grow into such stupendous shapes, though, the little egg-bound dinosaurs had …

The Strangers in Your Brain

Biologists often say that the most dangerous thing a cell can do is divide. This is because, during the complex process of replication—the unspooling of DNA, the assembling of two genomes from the halves of one—there is always the chance that the cell will make a mistake. Mutations can cost an …

Biology

Why ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ Sound So Similar in So Many Languages

The story of a strange linguistic coincidence<p>Is there anything inherently “doggy” about the word “dog”? Obviously not—to the French, a dog is a <i>chien</i>, to Russians a <i>sobaka</i>, to Mandarin Chinese-speakers a <i>gǒu</i>. These words have nothing in common, and none seem any more connected to the canine essence …

This prehistoric animal was like a cross between a hedgehog and an anteater

Newly discovered animal shows that the evolution of early mammals was far more complex than previously believed<p>The discovery of a furry, prehistoric animal could shed new light on the way early mammals evolved, according to a study published today in the journal <i>Nature</i>. A fossilized skeleton of the …

Prehistoric rat-like mammal fossil is earliest showing fur, skin and organs

<i>Spinolestes xenarthrosus’s</i> 125m-year-old remains, found in Cuenca, Spain, with earlobe, lung, liver and furry pelt<i>,</i> is 60m years older any other mammal found with soft tissues preserved<p>A small rat-like mammal that lived and died in a swamp 125m years ago was so well preserved by the fossilisation …

Teeth from China Reveal an Early Human Trek out of Africa

Teeth from a cave in south China show that <i>Homo sapiens</i> reached China around 100,000 years ago—a time at which most researchers had assumed that our …

Humanity

Underground orchid is evolutionary enigma

<b>A RARE AND UNUSUAL ORCHID</b> that lives and blooms in complete darkness underground is providing new clues about plant evolution.<p>The critically …

Complex living brain simulation replicates sensory rat behaviour

Blue Brain Project supercomputer recreates part of rodent’s brain with 30,000 neurons connected by 40m synapses to show patterns of behaviour triggered, for example, when whiskers are touched<p>A piece of living brain has been reconstructed in a supercomputer in what amounts to one of the most …

The ‘Prehistoric Beaver’ That Helped Mammals Inherit Earth

Sixty six million years ago the world changed in an instant. A huge asteroid, some ten kilometers in diameter, smashed into what is now Mexico. It …

Earth - Why are we the only human species still alive?

Two million years ago in Africa, several species of human-like creatures roamed the landscape. Some looked surprisingly similar to each other, while others had distinct, defining features.<p>In September 2015, another species was added to the list. Hundreds of bones discovered in a South African cave …

Humanity

When Parasites Attack, Flies Diversify Their Babies’ Genes

Imagine an animal that reproduced by budding off genetically identical clones. This asexual creature doesn’t have to bother with finding or attracting mates: it is a self-contained factory for making more of itself. This sounds like a recipe for success, but asexual animals are far from successful. …

How the enamel that coats your teeth evolved

The hardest bit of your body is the enamel coating your teeth. But new analyses of fish fossils, as well as genetic analyses of a living fish …

paleontologydlda

Warming world has shrunk bee tongues

In the midst of a widespread decline in bees, particularly in the United States, a few bumblebees are finding a way to cope: shorter tongues. In just …

Ecology

Video: Bat’s tongue baffles researchers

Most nectar-feeding animals evolve special quirks (mainly of the tongue) that optimize their eating habits. But for the groove-tongued bat</i> …

Breakthroughs

Online dating for birds: Zebra finches prefer behavioral compatibility to looks

When it comes to finding a mate in the animal kingdom, females tend to gravitate toward males who appear strong and healthy. But a new study in zebra …

Birds

First almost fully-formed human brain grown in lab, researchers claim

An almost fully-formed human brain has been grown in a lab for the first time, claim scientists from Ohio State University. The team behind the feat hope the brain could transform our understanding of neurological disease.<p>Though not conscious the miniature brain, which resembles that of a …

Arizona’s virgin ant queens could shed light on the predictability of evolution

Before a warming world turned Arizona’s lower elevations into desert 10,000 years ago, they were carpeted in wildflowers and forests. Rising above it …

A Battle of the Sexes Is Waged in the Genes of Humans, Bulls and More

New DNA sequencing data reinforce the notion that the X and Y chromosomes, which determine biological sex in mammals, are locked in an evolutionary …

Genetics