Some days ago, a friend on tumblr, knowing of my love for dinosaurs, sent me the link to this Ted talk by paleontologist Jack Horner: ‘Shape-shifting dinosaurs’. Horner proposes that a number of bones that paleontologists have classified as belonging to different species, belong in fact to the same dinosaur. He argues that the skull of some dinosaurs, like triceratops, changed with the the triceratops growing older, and the change was so remarkable that scientists, finding bones of young and older triceratops, thought they could not belong to the same species. Horner’s hypothesis is supported by some empirical evidence, in particular from the study of bones histology, but there are some that have doubts.
After watching that video, I found another one, in which Horner talked about his idea of building a dinosaur from a chicken. Basically, since birds are dinosaurs descendant, it’s possible, at least theoretically, through genetic engineering, to reactivate ancestral traits such as tail, teeth, hands, and create what Horner calls “chickenosaurus”. Cool, isn’t it?
"We like to feel independent and free of the brain systems that regulate the mating habits and regimens of animals, but the fact is that we’re not"
Love is in the air? Well, scientists debate the role of pheromones in sexual attraction, so maybe it is really…
What is more clear is that at least a dozen brain regions work together to make you feel love.
But romance is not just for the young, a new research shows that people over the age of 60 represent the fastest-growing demographic of online daters, and that older women don’t want to waste time:
Tom Whyntie, a researcher at Imperial College London, took data from one of the earliest collisions at the LHC and added simulated data that followed the path of a heart-shaped equation, then used the result as a Valentine’s card for his girlfriend. It worked, now they are married.
But, according to some fMRI studies, love is like an addictive drug that stimulate the same as opioids and cocaine, so, take it with moderation.
From Esa With Love: a romantic animation of heart shaped things as seen from space.
Malaria parasite goes bananas before sex, literally, it changes into a banana shape before sexual reproduction.
The male of Paratrechalea ornata, a south-American species of spider, uses "gift" wrapped in silk as a ”nuptial gift” to encourages the female to accept him as mate.
But talking about humans, did you know that falling in love makes you broody? Yes, especially if you are a man. When one fall in love shows greater activation of brain areas related to parental attachment when they see a baby compared to single people. Be careful.
Anyway guys, I must tell you:
"To date, there is no compelling evidence any online dating matching algorithm actually works.”
Ah, another thing:
Jennifer was an extremely talented undergraduate, majoring in mathematics and engineering. Her grades and test scores were nearly perfect; her professors saw a bright future for her as an engineering professor and encouraged her to pursue a doctorate. In graduate school, she continued to excel, accumulating high-quality publications, fellowships and awards. She landed a premier postdoctoral position and was headed for a first-tier professorship. But she never applied for a tenure-track academic job. As a 33-year-old postdoc, she could not imagine waiting to have children until after tenure at age 40, nor could she imagine how she would juggle caring for a young family with the omnipresent demands of an assistant professorship. The harried lives of the two tenured mothers in her department convinced her that such a path was not for her. Jennifer made the choice to have a family and teach mathematics part-time at a local community college.
Although it’s not hard to find evidence of women professors’ many successes in the academy, scenarios like Jennifer’s are all too common. […]
Long but worth reading.
15 Evolutionary Gems: A resource from Nature for those wishing to spread awareness of evidence for evolution by natural selection.
NGC 6752 contains a high number of “blue straggler” stars, some of which are visible in this image. These stars display characteristics of stars younger than their neighbors, despite models suggesting that most of the stars within globular clusters should have formed at approximately the same time. Their origin is therefore something of a mystery. Studies of NGC 6752 may shed light on this situation. It appears that a very high number — up to 38 percent — of the stars within its core region are binary systems. Collisions between stars in this turbulent area could produce the blue stragglers that are so prevalent. (via NASA)
Expressing the genome in bacterial cells.
Bacteria are prokaryotes—single-celled organisms that lack a nucleus. Because no nuclear membrane separates a bacterium’s genome from ribosomes and other cellular contents, protein synthesis can start before an mRNA transcript is complete. Bacterial genes do not have introns (noncoding regions of DNA). Thus editing mRNA transcripts, which involves removing introns prior to protein synthesis, is not needed. (via Gateway to U.S. DOE Biological and Environmental Research Image Galleries)