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  • Neanderthal Controversy | BEYONDbones
    on a sub species level rather than being classified as two different species According to this interpretation the ability to interbreed with modern humans might have also spelled doom for the Neanderthals But if the two species interbred why don t we see the typical Neanderthal look today As time went by and interbreeding between our ancestors and Neanderthalers continued the thinking goes that the Neanderthalers genetic contribution to each new generation became ever smaller Eventually this percentage became so small that all people began to look like humans rather than a Neanderthal individual Scientists refer to this scenario as genetic swamping If this is what happened it would be possible for the two species to have interbred over many generations while also explaining why the influence of Neanderthaler genes can t be seen by the naked eye A child burial uncovered in Portugal is seen as evidence that admixture between the two groups must have been significant at least in such cul de sacs as the Iberian Peninsula providing more support for this position Others disagree and suggest that we use the nomenclature Homo neanderthalensis Here the term neanderthalensis is in the second position of the nomenclature referring to the species This is a scientist s way to say that the difference between humans and Neanderthalers is at the much more significant species level This has an important implication according to these proponents Neanderthal populations and Homo sapiens populations could not have produced fertile offspring Of the two positions just outlined most scientists prefer the second one and refer to DNA analysis for support DNA analysis of Neanderthal bones has been undertaken for a while A comparison of Neanderthal DNA against modern human DNA suggests that there are enough genetic differences to warrant labeling them as a separate species

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/03/neanderthal-controversy-2/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Monkey Memo | BEYONDbones
    intelligent communicators in the animal world although Flipper may have something to say about this as well Here is where it gets even more interesting observations of primates in general and apes in particular have shown that these animals are capable not only of communicating with each other but that some also possess what is called Machiavellian intelligence photo credit jimbowen0306 In plain English not only do some primates communicate with each other they also know how to deceive one another Better still not only do they lie to each other the individuals being lied to know it Conversely chimps also express kindness and care for less fortunate members of the troop Aside from making observations scientists are now also resorting to advanced MRI techniques to probe the communication abilities of non human primates further In a recent article scientists published their findings that macaque monkeys had the ability to recognize the vocalizations that were made by fellow macaques Moreover they also seem to be able to identify who among them made these sounds This leads to an interesting paragraph in the news report note the statement made in the last sentence photo credit macinate The discovery of a voice area in the monkey brain also opens a window into human verbal communication and brain function Many people doubt that there is much to be learned from other animals about human verbal communication and language Contrasting this these findings provide direct parallels between how the brains of humans and non human animals process communication signals This study strongly argues that voice areas were evolutionarily conserved in primates challenging the notion that higher level verbal communication can only be achieved by the human brain While this should not make us fear of being overtaken by our primate cousins any time soon

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/04/monkey-memo/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Science Doesn’t Sleep (4.30.08) | BEYONDbones
    find Pro athletes already seem superhuman what happens if they start being genetically engineered SciGuy has an interesting take on whether genetics are the steroids of the future Did you catch the Messenger this month If not the Sydney Observatory has a great photo post about the changing brightness of Mars Hurry up Jr your bald eagle stew is getting cold The best way to save an endangered species might

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/04/science-doesnt-sleep-43008/ (2016-02-12)
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  • PHOTO From You: Insect Identification | BEYONDbones
    us by Troy Bell a volunteer at our Woodlands Xploration Station Thanks Troy for this incredible photo of a Green Lynx Spider Peucitia viridans Lynx spiders can be distinguished from others by their hexagonal eye arrangement long tapering abdomen and spiny legs The Green Lynx Spider is the largest found in North America and can be found in the southern U S Mexico and Central America These spiders do not make a web they preserve their silk for their precious egg case which they guard ferociously They are considered to be sit and wait predators but some have been observed stalking their prey much like a cat This species has been recognized as a beneficial predator due to it s affinity for agricultural pests such as the Bollworm Moth They also unfortunately have a taste for beneficial insects like honeybees These spiders will rarely bite humans and their venom is harmless What a beautiful spider thanks again for sharing your photo with us Troy 1 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged bees Cockrell Butterfly Center entomology moth photo spiders Woodlands Xploration Station by Erin M Bookmark the permalink About Erin M As an entomologist at the Cockrell Butterfly Center Erin designs creates and maintains exhibits for the Entomology Hall raises and cares for live insects and insect relatives and educates the public about the wonderful world of bugs View all posts by Erin M 4 thoughts on PHOTO From You Insect Identification Allison on April 29 2008 at 2 18 pm said Great idea I m excited to see what crazy creatures folks will find in their backyards jay man on September 17 2010 at 7 31 am said hi i m from the south west UK i have been trying to id this spider

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/04/219/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Science Doesn’t Sleep (4.29.08) | BEYONDbones
    what went down since you logged off Flava Flav might be smarter than you think A new study shows that people who can keep a beat score higher in intelligence tests Of course none of us are all that smart Do you suffer from biobigotry Not something I d like to find in my freezer Scientists in New Zealand are thawing the corpse of a 1 089 pound 26 foot giant squid the largest ever caught to learn more about how it lived Meet your great great great great great great great great Geneticists have linked a 300 year old aboriginal man found in a glacier to 17 living people Via Slashdot You look so much like your mother The world s first cloned horse has given birth to a healthy foal Do people actually learn anything at museums USA Today has an interesting feature on science museums efforts to increase science literacy Via Science Buzz By the way what s the last thing you learned at a museum Do share 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged biobigotry biology clone genetics giant squid horse intelligence literacy Science by Erin B Bookmark the permalink About Erin

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/04/science-doesnt-sleep-42908/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Leonardo: Parachute of the Past | BEYONDbones
    Teppa a Swiss daredevil just recently became the first person to successfully reach the ground using Leonardo s unique pyramid shaped design for the chute Vietti Teppa only major change to Leonardo s design was to leave out the wooden frame because he was concerned about the added weight If you have not yet made it to Leonardo da Vinci Man Inventor Genius currently on view at the museum come on by and check out the parachute for yourself along with dozens more of Leonardo s radical innovations As far as we know nobody has taken to the seas in a full sized version of Leo s warship that attacks other vessels with a giant scythe so if you get busy you can build that one and make the news yourself Be like Noah with a vengence 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged da vinci Leonardo da Vinci Oliver Vietti Teppa by Paul Bookmark the permalink About Paul Paul Bernhard has been actively involved with the Museum s Wiess Energy Hall for fifteen years but he still doesn t know how to assess the influence of the Boycott effect on drilling mud flow or even

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/04/leonardo-parachute-of-the-past/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Science Doesn’t Sleep (4.28.08) | BEYONDbones
    life size rock hewn church live up to the hype The Chronicle has coverage of the festival s last day Did you hear Lucy is staying in Houston a little while longer I said I M AWESOME But self esteem this high isn t necessarily a good thing Operator put me through to the rainforest I hear insects are using plants like telephones Well it does speak in code And it turns out my computer might be spying on me There s been a bit of a kerfuffle over CERN s Large Hadron Collider like whether it will create a black hole that will swallow the Earth The Bad Astronomer did a great post debunking this theory and he s just posted a video tour of the Collider that shows just how big it really is 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged Anthropology bug CERN code computer Houston iFest insect Lucy telephone by Erin B Bookmark the permalink About Erin B Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS In a past life she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS View all posts by Erin B One thought on Science

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/04/science-doesnt-sleep-42808/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Sky Walking: Astronaut Style | BEYONDbones
    Destiny s hull installing the mechanical and electrical foundation for the Station s robot arm Canadarm II We were interrupted by an exuberant call from German astronaut Gerhard Thiele in Mission Control the robot spacecraft Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Shoemaker NEAR Shoemaker had just landed on asteroid 433 Eros the first time a machine from Earth had touched down on one of these mountain sized remnants of the ancient solar system Falling around Earth beneath the black sky and blazing sun I tried to imagine what it might be like to walk Eros alien surface held so lightly by its tenuous gravity that an easy leap would toss me aloft for hours But a hundred million miles away NEAR Shoemaker was there alive and transmitting How long until an astronaut explorer might follow Near Earth asteroids like Eros should be our next destination beyond the Moon Their ancient rocks and resources will be key to our efforts to understand and tap the wealth of the solar system Just as important astronauts and their robot probes will gather the knowledge we need to keep Eros rogue cousins from someday threatening our civilization with a catastrophic impact We now have the capability to intercept these objects and halt a cosmic force that has often changed the course of evolution on Earth To survive as a species we must do so Only by Sky Walking can we ensure that we humans don t go the way of the dinosaurs More details here and here Jones is a Distinguished Graduate of the U S Air Force Academy He has engineered intelligence gathering systems for the CIA and helped develop advanced mission concepts to explore the solar system prior to joining NASA s astronaut corps He writes frequently about space exploration and aviation history in

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2008/04/sky-walking-astronaut-style/ (2016-02-12)
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