A 60-million-year-old relative of crocodiles named Cerrejonisuchus improcerus ("small crocodile from Cerrejon") was likely a food source for Titanoboa, the largest snake the world has ever known, says a new study published this week in the Journal Vertebrate Paleontology.
Researchers from Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and paleontologists from the Florida Museum of Natural History found fossils of the new species of ancient crocodile in the Cerrejon Formation in northern Colombia. The site, one of the world's largest open-pit coal mines, also yielded skeletons of the giant, boa constrictor-like Titanoboa, which measured up to 45 feet long. The study is the first report of a fossil crocodyliform from the same site.
By considering molecular-level events on a broader scale, researchers now have a clearer and more complicated picture of how one class of immune cells goes wrong when loaded with cholesterol. The findings reported in Cell Metabolism show that, when it comes to the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease, it's not about any one bad actor—it's about a network gone awry.
The new findings also highlight a pretty remarkable thing: researchers still aren't sure how cholesterol causes heart disease.
A theory-based, abstinence-only intervention appears to be associated with a lower rate of sexual involvement among African American sixth- and seventh-graders and can be combined with other strategies to help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
The 'primordial soup' theory--which posits that early life began in a soup of organic molecules before evolving out of the oceans millions of years later--is fatally flawed, according to researchers writing in BioEssays. Instead the authors claim it was the Earth's chemical energy, from hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, which kick-started early life.
In rejecting the soup theory the team turned to the Earth's chemistry to identify the energy source which could power the first primitive predecessors of living organisms: geochemical gradients across a honeycomb of microscopic natural caverns at hydrothermal vents. These
catalytic cells generated lipids, proteins and nucleotides giving rise to the first true cells.
Whether people will indulge or be prudent with their money is not necessarily based on personality type or education, but may be strongly influenced by advertising and other environmental cues, according to two studies recently presented at the Academy of Consumer Research Conference in Pittsburgh.
In their studies of about 500 participants, the researchers divided consumers into two mindsets. The "being" mindset was related to one's current state in life, while the "becoming" mindset reflected a desire to think of one's future goals. The researchers showed volunteers an advertisement that induces a "being" state of mind, using a simple slogan like, "Think of who you are right now."
Many public health advocates and scientific researchers have suggested that increasing the tax consumers pay when purchasing soda would be an effective way to help stem the growing rate of obesity in America. Most vocal among them in recent years has been Kelly Brownell
, Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.