Below is an article about mobile elements in the genome. It explains how mobile elements (jumping genes) can remodel the genome. These are triggered via environmental stressers etc. The article is  quite technical, but nevertheless worth looking at as I have come to understand that this is one fast and dramatic way of  changing a…


New species of flying pterosaur: Bones from nearly 50 ancient flying reptiles discovered

After Big Bang

Scientists discovered the bones of nearly 50 winged reptiles from a new species, Caiuajara dobruskii, that lived during the Cretaceous in southern Brazil.

This is a reconstruction of three ontogenetic (growth) stages of the new pterosaur Caiuajara dobruskii. Credit: Maurilio Oliveira/Museu Nacional-UFRJ; CC-BY This is a reconstruction of three ontogenetic (growth) stages of the new pterosaur Caiuajara dobruskii.
Credit: Maurilio Oliveira/Museu Nacional-UFRJ; CC-BY

The authors discovered the bones in a pterosaur bone bed in rocks from the Cretaceous period. They belonged to individuals ranging from young to adult, with wing spans ranging from 0.65-2.35m, allowing scientists to analyze how the bones fit into their clade, but also how the species developed as it matured. After the initial analysis, scientists determined that the bones represent a new pterosaur, Caiuajara dobruskii, which is the southernmost known occurrence of this particular clade.

Several features of the Caiuajara dobruskii head differ from all other members of this clade, including the presence of a bony expansion projecting inside the large opening in the skull…

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Pygmy phenotype developed many times, adaptive to rainforest

After Big Bang

The small body size associated with the pygmy phenotype is probably a selective adaptation for rainforest hunter-gatherers, according to an international team of researchers. But all African pygmy phenotypes do not have the same genetic underpinning, suggesting a more recent adaptation than previously thought.

A Batwa woman and her child in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda. Credit: George Perry A Batwa woman and her child in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda.
Credit: George Perry

“I’m interested in how rainforest hunter-gatherers have adapted to their very challenging environments,” said George H. Perry, assistant professor of anthropology and biology, Penn State. “Tropical rainforests are difficult for humans to live in. It is extremely hot and humid with limited food, especially when fruit is not in season.”

A phenotype is the outward expression of genetic makeup and while two individuals with the same phenotype may look alike, their genes may differ substantially. The pygmy phenotype exists in many parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Philippines and potentially…

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Lagunita and Tamchén, Two Newly Discovered Mayan Sites


2.maya-cities-laguinitaTwo large Maya sites in the Yucatana have been (re) discovered by Ivan Šprajc from the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The sites in the northern part of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve which is are in the southeast part of Campeche, close to the towns of Xpujil and Zoh Laguna.

I used the phrase rediscoveries because one of the sites was visited by Eric Von Euw in the 1970’s He documented the extraordinary façade which I pictured below. He described it as an earth monster with its open and drew it out. His drawings are at the Peabody Museum. The exact location was lost, but Von Euw called it Lagunita. Up until a few weeks ago, it remained a lost site, in spite of several attempts at relocating it. Šprajc found Lagunita.

Lagunita-Eart-Monster-Doorway Lagunita, zoomorphic portal, right side, looking southeast. Image: ZRC SAZU


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Neanderthals ‘overlapped’ with modern humans for up to 5,400 years

After Big Bang

Neanderthals and modern humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years, according to a new article. For the first time, scientists have constructed a robust timeline showing when the last Neanderthals died out.

Skull of Homo neanderthalensis  Credit: © Creativemarc Skull of Homo neanderthalensis
Credit: © Creativemarc

Significantly, the research paper says there is strong evidence to suggest that Neanderthals disappeared at different times across Europe rather than being rapidly replaced by modern humans.

A team, led by Professor Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford, obtained new radiocarbon dates for around 200 samples of bone, charcoal and shell from 40 key European archaeological sites. The sites, ranging from Russia in the east to Spain in the west, were either linked with the Neanderthal tool-making industry, known as Mousterian, or were ‘transitional’ sites containing stone tools associated with either early modern humans or Neanderthals.

The chronology was pieced together during a six-year research…

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Regenerating limbs in lizards: Epigenetic drivers of evolution

How lizards regenerate their tails: Researchers discover genetic 'recipe' August 2014,Source: Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Summary: By understanding the secret of how lizards regenerate their tails, researchers may be able to develop ways to stimulate the regeneration of limbs in humans. Now, a team of researchers is one step closer…

Peppered Moths revisited: The epigenetic caterpillar & the story of the Blind Cave Fish

Below is an excerpt (Chapter Ten) from the ebook entitled: 'The Darwin Delusion: But Old Mr. Darwin wasn't to Blame'. This sample chapter should also give you a flavour of the next project, which is well under way: the new paperback book by the title 'Evolution: A Third Way?' (part one is being professionally edited…

Because Homo Floresiensis had Down Syndrome, doesn’t mean that Hobbits didn’t exist -Humans in the Making?

Homo floresiensis According to the Australian Museum, Homo Floresiensis (the species of very small humans often referred to as hobbits) "...archaeological evidence suggests H. floresiensis lived at Liang Bua from at least 95,000 to 13,000 years ago. These dates make it the latest-surviving human apart from our species H. sapiens". - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Homo-floresiensis#sthash.nCcL6FH5.dpuf…

Last chance to download for FREE ‘the Darwin Delusion: But Old Mr. Darwin wasn’t to Blame’

FREE Book - only one day left. Get Yours TODAY! Available from Amazon (Kindle), just a matter seconds to download for absolutely nothing with FREE kindle app if you don't own a Kindle  otherwise it is much less than a Cappuccino Grande & a lot less frothy and contains everything you ever wanted to know…

Natural Genetic Engineering vs GMOs

The following is an extract from a recent article the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) explained the distinction between natural genetic engineering and very un-natural genetic engineering (GMOs). As always, the theme throughout most of my posts relate to evolution and the revolution in evolution, AKA: Professor James A, Shapiro's proposal of natural genetic…