Speeding Up Aussie Evolution

Speeding up Aussie evolution, according articles in Nature News 23 July 2018 and Conservation Biology, published online 13 June 2018, doi: 10.1111/cobi.13149. Ecologists are hoping the save the northern quoll from extinction by trying to “speed up evolution”.  The northern quoll is a small carnivorous marsupial, about the size of a squirrel, that lives in […]

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Eye Evolution Problem

Eye evolution problem reported in Current Biology published online 19 July 2018 doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.05.055. A large and diverse group of invertebrates, the cnidarians, including jellyfish, corals and sea anemones, vary a lot in their ability to detect light and see their surrounding environment.  Some have no eyes, some have eye spots and others have eyes […]

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Daily Bread Before Farming

Daily bread before farming, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 16 July 2018 and BBC News 17 July 2018, and PNAS 16 July 2018 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1801071115. A team of researchers from UK and Denmark have found charred remains in the fireplaces of an archaeological site known as Shubayqa 1, located in the […]

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Water on Mars … Again

Water on Mars … again, according to Nature News and Science (AAAS) News 25 July2018, multiple media sources, and Science 25 July 2018 doi: 10.1126/science.aar7268. Scientists analysing data from a space probe that sends ground penetrating radar to the surface of Mars have found “bright subsurface reflections” near the south pole of Mars.  The researchers […]

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Dinosaur Food Experiment

Dinosaur food experiment described in ScienceDaily and Palaeontology, doi: 10.1111/pala.12385. Dinosaur experts have long been intrigued by how giant sauropods were able to get enough food to provide energy and maintain their large bodies. One theory is that the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air were higher in Mesozoic eras and plants therefore […]

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Moth Tails Baffle Bats

Moth tails baffle bats, claim scientists in reports in Science (AAAS) News, Science Daily 4 July 2018 and Science Advances 4 July 2018 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar7428. Moth wings vary a lot in their shape. Some moths have rounded wings and others have elongated tails on their back wings.  As moths are preyed on by bats a […]

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Plant Parasite Evolved By Gene Loss

Plant parasite evolved by gene loss, according to reports in Eurekalert 11 July 2018 and Nature Communications 11 July 2018 doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04721-8. Scientists in China have studied the genome and pattern of gene expression in a parasitic plant named Cuscuta australis, otherwise known as Australian dodder or southern dodder, to find out how parasitic plants […]

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Lucy’s Child’ Climbed Trees

Lucy’s child’ climbed trees, according to articles in ScienceDaily and National Geographic 4 July 2018 and Cosmos 6 July 2018 and Science Advances 4 July 2018, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar7723. A team of scientists in the USA have studied a foot fossil found with a partial skeleton in Ethiopia in 2002. The skeleton has been identified as […]

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Snowshoe Hares Go Brown

Snowshoe hares go brown in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 21 June 2018 and Science, 22 June 2018, doi: 10.1126/science.aar5273. Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) that live in regions with snowy winters change the colour of their fur from brown to white at the beginning of winter, and back to brown during the summer.  The change […]

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Mosquitoes Inspire Injection Needles

Mosquitoes inspire injection needles, according to a report in ScienceDaily 25 June 2018 and Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2018.05.025 published online 18 May 2018. Scientists and engineers have studied the structure of the mosquito proboscis, and how the mosquito uses it, to find out how mosquitoes are able to bite […]

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