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Bear Tooth DNA Yields New Date Record: 400,000 Years

According to a story posted on Yahoo News, Swedish scientists found intact DNA in a bear tooth claimed to be 400,000 years old.  The team leader remarked, “It is usually hard to find DNA that is older than 100,000 years, and work on fossilized DNA mostly focuses on material that is a few tens of […]

Darwinism Confirmed!  How?  Finch Beaks Got Smaller!

Randolph E. Schmid of Associated Press (see ABC News) seems hardly able to contain his excitement.  “Finches on the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develop the concept of evolution,” he wrote, “are now helping confirm it by evolving.”  This sounds like big news.  How, exactly, are they evolving?  “A medium sized species of […]

Ant Pedometer Discovered

Ants have dumbfounded scientists again.  It appears they count their steps when they walk, and keep track how far they have gone.  Reporting in Science,1 a trio of German and Swiss scientists tested desert ants by making some walk on specially-designed stilts and others walk on stumps of cut-off legs.  The first overshot their target, […]

Evolutionists Find Pegasus in the Gene Epic

When you conjure with genes, you never know what might appear.  Japanese scientists, publishing in PNAS,1 tried to find evolution in mammalian retroposons and found an unexpected relationship.  New Scientist explains: “You could call it a batty idea, but bats seem to be more closely related to horses than cows are.”     “Despite the […]

Science Reporters Spin Spider Web Data Into Evolutionary Program

A spider was found perfectly preserved in amber (fossil tree sap), complete with its web and prey.  It is identical to modern spiders.  Isn’t evolution amazing?     If you just experienced a software crash, there must be something wrong with your BIOS.  All the news media ran that program just fine.  A patch is […]

Rubisco “Highly Tuned” for Fixing Atmospheric Carbon

Rubisco sounds like a brand of cracker or something, but it’s actually an air cleaner your life depends on.  It’s an enzyme that fixes atmospheric carbon for use by photosynthetic microbes and plants.  In doing so, it sweeps the planet of excess carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas implicated in discussions of global warming – […]

How Can They Call This Duck a Missing Link?

The news media are abuzz with the phrase “Missing Link” again.  This time, it’s about a fossilized duck or loon found in Early Cretaceous strata in China, announced in Science.1  The article calls it a “nearly modern” bird with soft-tissue preservation, including webbed feet, wing feathers and downy feathers.  They said it “possesses advanced anatomical […]

More Darwinian Assumptions Shot Down

Here are two articles that appear to kick out some once-solid props from evolutionary theory.  Readers are encouraged to get the details from the original papers, listed in the footnotes. Environmental Impotence:  Many evolutionists have claimed that the environment produces strong selection effects.  Indeed, the fitness landscape itself evolves, carrying with it the constraints driving […]

Reach Out and Touch Some Robot

The news media were excited to report an advance in materials science last week that could pave the way for touchy-feely robots (see BBC News, News @ Nature, LiveScience and National Geographic News, for instance).  Two scientists produced a thin film with touch resolution comparable to that of a human finger, an order of magnitude […]

Foot Facts: Frogs and Flies Fulfill Feet Feats

How do frogs walk on wet leaves without slipping?  Eric Jaffe in Science News1 describes how they have dual-purpose footwear: a mucous film that holds on by wet adhesion, plus microscopic bumps that protrude above the wet layer to make dry contact.  Though a frog foot doesn’t appear as fancy as that of a gecko, […]

Domestic Housecat Trees Wild Bear

Donna Dickey has quite a watchcat.  This declawed tabby chased a roaming black bear up a tree and held it at bay for 15 minutes.  When the bear slid down to try to get away, Jack chased it, hissing and snarling, till the bear escaped up a second tree.  That’s when Donna called her cuddly […]

Beavers Achieve Environmental Reprieve

In what might be considered an unexpected convergence between geology and zoology, it has been found that beaver dams influence large tracts of land both above and below ground.  “Impact of beaver dams wider than thought” announced a headline on LiveScience summarizing studies by scientists in Rocky Mountain National Park.     The dams take […]

Hummingbirds: Small Wonders

Do you enjoy watching the world’s smallest birds, right from your backyard?  Susan Healy and T. Andrew Hurly provided interesting tidbits about them in a Quick Guide to Hummingbirds in Current Biology this week.1     There are 330 species of these small flyers noted for their aerobatics and iridescent colors.  Typically, they weigh a […]

Bioneers Update: International Conference Held on Animal-Inspired Design

Georgia Tech came out with a press release about progress at their Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID) that opened last year (see 10/29/2005).  At a two-day conference May 11-12, international representatives from 20 institutions shared their inspirations on how nature can “help them solve some of the most complex problems of the day,” just […]

Limbed Snakes Initiate Evolutionary Quandary

Researchers have discovered the fossil of a snake with a pelvis and functioning legs in Rio Negro, Argentina.  Sebastian Apesteguía (Argentine Museum of Natural Science) says Najash rionegrina is not the oldest snake discovered; marine snakes have been discovered in North America as well as Eastern Europe.  However, Najash rionegrina has been considered the earliest […]
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