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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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Recently, more than 100 cosmologists, particle physicists and observational astrophysicists at least agreed that dark matter is important. Of course, you are not getting invited to a colloquium on dark matter sponsored by the University of Chicago and the National Academy of Sciences unless you have something positive to say about how close we are to detecting it.  

So where do things stand?


Archaeologist William Mills found a treasure-trove of carved stone pipes in southern Ohio a century ago - buried almost 2,000 years earlier.

The Native American site became famous as Tremper Mound. Mills said the pipes had been carved from local stone and that has been accepted to this day. 

But a new analysis spanning nearly a decade tested the stone pipes and pipestone from quarries across the upper Midwest, and concluded that those who buried the pipes in Tremper Mound got most of their pipestone, and perhaps even the finished, carved pipes, from Illinois.


While the overall population of Greece benefits from government services and doesn't want those to change, the people who pay the most also evade the most, says a paper.  If their estimates are accurate, at a tax rate of 40 percent the 28 billion Euros in unreported taxable income could be responsible for up to one-third of Greece's deficit in 2009 or almost 50 percent of the deficit in 2008, according to bank data on household borrowing, which finds that highly paid, highly educated professionals are at the forefront of tax evasion in Greece: doctors, engineers, accountants and lawyers. 

Mandating equality is difficult. 


Synchrotron-based imaging techniques of a 50 million-year-old lizard skin have identified the presence of teeth which are invisible to visible light, demonstrating for the first time that this fossil animal was more than just a skin moult. 

Researchers used Synchrotron Rapid Screening X-ray Fluorescence at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource in California to map the chemical make up of a rare fossil lizard skin - powerful x-rays enabled the team to map the presence of phosphorus from teeth in this ancient reptile.


The process involved in the formation of sperm cells involves symmetry, the equal chance that a mammalian egg will be fertilized by "male" sperm, carrying a Y chromosome or a "female" sperm, carrying an X chromosome, and that symmetry means that roughly the same number of males and females are born, which is necessary for the long-term survival of a species.


A study in BMJ's Christmas issue, which spares no effort in its annual attempt to see who in science media rewrites press releases without even reading them, has determined why Rudolph, the famous extra reindeer of Santa we will not show here due to little desire to pay royalties, has a red nose.

Rudolph's nose is red because it is richly supplied with red blood cells which help to protect it from freezing and to regulate brain temperature. This superior "nasal microcirculation" is essential for pulling Santa Claus's sleigh under extreme temperatures, says the BMJ study.