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Neanderthals Win Toolmaking Olympics

Scientists have taken another step toward debunking the myth of the “stupid Neanderthals” who went extinct when competing with their supposedly advanced neighbors, the “modern humans.”  Science Daily is one of several news sites reporting a study on toolmaking by the two groups of humans, that concluded that “stone tool technologies developed by our species, […]

Use Your Cow Compass

Cattle and deer seem to align themselves to magnetic north.  German and Czech scientists, reporting in PNAS,1 used aerial observations to detect the tendency of grazing herds to line up in north-south directions.  The alignment was to magnetic north, not true north—indicating a sensitivity to earth’s magnetic field, as known to exist in migrating birds, […]

How Chromosomes Pack Without Exploding

When preparing to divide, a cell has to copy all its DNA accurately and pack it into chromosomes.  A professor at U Chicago told Science Daily this is “like compacting your entire wardrobe into a shoebox.”  The cell has another difficulty in this compaction process, though: DNA, being negatively charged, resists packing.     Eukaryotes […]

Flatlife Has More Genes Than It Needs

The genome of a placozoan (“flat animal”) shows more complexity than one would expect for a simple life form.  According to evolutionists, it shows that even a barely-differentiated animal presumably ancestral to complex animals had the genetic toolkit of its more-advanced descendents.     Trichoplax adhaerens is a slimy-looking thing that sticks to aquarium walls.  […]

Early Art Confounds Evolutionists

The artwork on the walls of Chauvet Cave in France is too good to have been made by early modern humans.  “Chauvet should be removed from assessments of early modern humans in Europe,” said UK archaeologist Robin Dennell.  “Including it leads to a gross distortion of their cognitive abilities.”  Other experts who dated the artwork […]

Human Skeletons Found in Sahara

They went looking for dinosaur bones, and found human skeletons instead.  That’s what is being reported by National Geographic and the Los Angeles Times.  A barren wasteland in the Sahara, covered with sand, has turned out to be a treasure trove of evidence of human occupation.  The area appears to have been a lakeside paradise […]

Membrane Switches Keep Your Brain Humming

Tunnels with rotating gates and rocker switches – this sounds like mechanical engineering.  It’s the machinery that helps power your brain, reported scientists from UCLA and the Pasteur Institute.     Their paper in Science described the structure of just one of many kinds of membrane channels.1  Cell membranes are lined with elaborate one-way gates.  […]

Does Cancer Illustrate Fitness?

Most people think of health and vitality when they hear the word “fitness.”  Why, then, does an article on Science Daily apply the word to one of the biggest scourges of mankind?  “Scientists from The Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton and the University of California discovered that the underlying process in tumor formation is […]

Cassini Survives Enceladus Geyser Plunge

The Cassini spacecraft has done it again – returned some of the most stunning outer planet images ever taken.  Zipping by at just 30 miles over the active surface of Enceladus, Cassini did a “skeet shoot” of high-res images achieving 7 meters per pixel in places – the highest resolution of any shot of a […]

Admissions of Ignorance in Evolutionary Theory

For a scientific idea some have proclaimed as a fact no longer in need of proof, and as well-established as gravity, Darwin’s theory of evolution still reveals surprising weaknesses when its defenders speak about the details.  Detecting these weaknesses requires tuning out the media hype, and tuning into scientific papers and pro-evolution journals where evolutionary […]

These Bugs Have the Right Stride

If there were an Olympic event for walking on water, the water strider would lead the pack.  Science Daily reported on work by European biologists that show the water bug has perfectly proportioned legs for being able to balance on the surface tension of water: “Long enough to provide maximum weight support but not long […]

Life in Space: Follow the Hot Water, not the Hot Air

Planetary scientists have their eyes and instruments on regions of hot water, but speculating too dogmatically about life in space could get you in hot water yourself.     Simon Klatterhorn (geologist, U of Idaho) is mesmerized by the possibility of life at Europa, Jupiter’s ice-crusted oceanic moon.  In an interview by Science Daily, he […]

New Camera Imitates Eyeball

Scientists at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University have succeeded in manufacturing stretchable optical electronic sensors on curved surfaces.  This will open up a whole new world of new imaging products – inventions that imitate the human eyeball.  The team said this about the eyeball in their paper in Nature:1  The human eye is […]

Adult Stem Cells Race Ahead; Embryonics Falter

Major advances are being made with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), stem cells reconstituted from adult tissues, while interest in embryonic stem cells (ES) seems to be drying up.     Both Nature and Science reported advances in iPS technology last week.  Nature reported that the number of factors needed to reconstitute pluripotent stem cells […]

Survival of the, Whatever

Two articles recently have cast doubt on whether the classic Darwinian phrase “survival of the fittest” fits what happens in nature.     Science Daily reported on work by researchers at University of Texas at Austin that suggests evolution’s products may not always be optimal.  The team speculated that mutations which help an animal in […]
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