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Jena's Roots In The Tree Of Life

Ernst Haeckel created the first phylogenetic ‘tree of life’ of organisms 150 years ago in Jena...

Australopithecus Afarensis: ‘Lucy’ Was A Tree Climber?

Evidence preserved in the internal skeletal structure of the famous Lucy fossil ( Australopithecus...

No Evidence For Age-based Mammography Cut-Off

There is no clear cut-off age to stop breast cancer screening, according to a new analysis which...

Neanderthals: Not So Dumb

Neanderthals modified their survival strategies even without external influences like environmental...

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Researchers analyzed strains of mold fermented in sourdough bread and were able to isolate natural compounds that can help keep bread fresh without changing its flavor, resulting in a tastier loaf.

Michael Ganzle, professor and Canada Research Chair in the University of Alberta Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science and fellow researchers say the natural compounds can replace preservatives added to store-bought bread which are safe to eat and extend shelf life, but alter the taste.


Researchers with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), one of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) labs, say that the United States can double its energy productivity by 2030 — and do so in ways that bolster the nation's economy.

Unveiling their recommendations at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.,  NREL Director Dan Arvizu and a blue-ribbon panel of 20 energy experts drove that message home, declaring that the United States and other members of the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy said that doubling energy productivity could create a million new jobs, while saving the average household $1,000 a year and reducing carbon-dioxide emissions by one-third.


The base pairs that hold together two pieces of RNA, the older cousin of DNA, are some of the most important molecular interactions in living cells. Many scientists believe that these base pairs were part of life from the very beginning and that RNA was one of the first polymers of life. But there is a problem. The RNA bases don't form base pairs in water unless they are connected to a polymer backbone, a trait that has baffled origin-of-life scientists for decades. If the bases don't pair before they are part of polymers, how would the bases have been selected out from the many molecules in the "prebiotic soup" so that RNA polymers could be formed?


Evidence from Siberian caves suggests that a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius could see permanently frozen ground thaw over a large area of Siberia, which would threaten to release carbon from soils and damage to natural and human environments.

A thaw in Siberia's permafrost (ground frozen throughout the year) could release over 1,000 giga-tons of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, potentially enhancing global warming.


Studies by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)  Agroecosystems Management Research Unit in Lincoln, Nebraska  are shedding some light on the microbes that dwell in cattle manure—what they are, where they thrive, where they struggle, and where they can end up.  

In one project, ARS microbiologist Lisa Durso used fecal samples from six beef cattle to identify a core set of bovine gastrointestinal bacterial groups common to both beef and dairy cattle. She also observed a number of bacteria in the beef cattle that had not been reported in dairy cows, and identified a diverse assortment of bacteria from the six individual animals, even though all six consumed the same diet and were the same breed, gender and age.


In "The Descent of Man" (1871), while contemplating how humans learned to speak, Charles Darwin speculated that language might have had its origins in singing, which "might have given rise to words expressive of various complex emotions."

Since then, numerous researchers have believed that that Darwin was on the right path and a new group says the balance of evidence now suggests that human language is a grafting of two communication forms found elsewhere in the animal kingdom: first, the elaborate songs of birds, and second, the more utilitarian, information-bearing types of expression seen in a diversity of other animals.