Genome from Southern Africa Sheds Light on Human Origins
What can DNA from the skeleton of a man who lived 2,330 years ago in the southernmost tip of Africa tell us about ourselves as humans? A great deal when his DNA profile is one of the earliest diverged – oldest in genetic terms – found to-date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.
The man’s mitochondrial DNA was sequenced to provide clues to early modern human prehistory and evolution. Mitochondrial DNA provided the first evidence that we all come from Africa, and helps us map a figurative genetic tree, all branches deriving from a common “Mitochondrial Eve.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/genome-southern-africa-sheds-light-human-origins
Tooth in Bone Shows Predators Tangled Across Land, Sea
About 210 million years ago, when the supercontinent of Pangea was starting to break up and dog-sized dinosaurs were hiding from nearly everything, entirely different kinds of reptiles called phytosaurs and rauisuchids were at the top of the food chain.
It was widely believed the two top predators didn’t interact much as the former was king of the water, and the latter ruled the land. But those ideas are changing, thanks largely to the contents of a single bone.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/tooth-bone-shows-predators-tangled-across-land-sea
Today in Lab History: September 29, 1901- Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi, born Sept. 29, 1901, was an Italian-American physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1938 as one of the chief architects of the nuclear age. He was the last of the double-threat physicists: a genius at creating both esoteric theories and elegant experiments.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-enrico-fermi
Haiti’s culture minister says a shipwreck off the country’s north coast probably isn’t a lost flagship of Christopher Columbus as a U.S. explorer has claimed.
An analysis by experts from UNESCO is expected within days. But Culture Minister Monique Rocourt tells The Associated Press it appears unlikely that the ship is the Santa Maria.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/wreck-haiti-isnt-columbus-ship
Our Water’s Older than Our Sun
Water was crucial to the rise of life on Earth and is also important to evaluating the possibility of life on other planets. Identifying the original source of Earth’s water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments come into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. New work from a team, including the Carnegie Institution’s Conel Alexander, has found that much of our Solar System’s water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. Their work is published in Science.
Water is found throughout our Solar System. Not just on Earth, but on icy comets and moons, and in the shadowed basins of Mercury. Water has been found included in mineral samples from meteorites, the Moon and Mars.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/our-waters-older-our-sun
Stone Age Tools Weren’t African Invention
A new discovery of thousands of Stone Age tools has provided a major insight into human innovation 325,000 years ago and how early technological developments spread across the world, according to research published in the journal Science.
Researchers from Royal Holloway, Univ. of London, together with an international team from across the U.S. and Europe, have found evidence which challenges the belief that a type of technology known as Levallois – where the flakes and blades of stones were used to make useful products such as hunting weapons – was invented in Africa and then spread to other continents as the human population expanded.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/stone-age-tools-werent-african-invention
Fossil Alters Evolutionary Timeline by 60 M Years
A Virginia Tech geobiologist with collaborators from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found evidence in the fossil record that complex multicellularity appeared in living things about 600 million years ago – nearly 60 million years before skeletal animals appeared during a huge growth spurt of new life on Earth known as the Cambrian Explosion.
The discovery published online in the journal Nature contradicts several longstanding interpretations of multicellular fossils from at least 600 million years ago.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/fossil-alters-evolutionary-timeline-60-m-years
Today in Lab History: September 24, 1898- Charlotte Moore Sitterly
Charlotte Moore Sitterly, born Sept. 24, 1898, was an American astrophysicist who organized, analyzed and published definitive books on the solar spectrum and spectral line multiplets. From 1945 to age 90, she conducted this work at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards and the Naval Research Laboratory. She detected that technetium, an unstable element — previously known only as a result of laboratory experiments with nuclear reactions — exists in nature.,br />
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-charlotte-moore-sitterly
Today in Lab History: September 22, 1851- Telegraph Used by Railroad
On Sept. 22, 1851, the first time train dispatching by telegraph in the U.S. took place when Superintendent Charles Minot of the Erie Railroad telegraphed 14 miles to Goshen, N.Y., to delay a train so that his train would not have to wait. Within weeks, all Erie trains were controlled by the telegraphed orders of a train dispatcher. Until that time the timetable was the sole authority for moving trains on the line.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-telegraph-used-railroad
Today in Lab History: September 19, 1915- Elizabeth Stern Shankman
Elizabeth Stern Shankman was a Canadian-born American, born Sept. 19, 1915, who was one of the first pathologists to work on the progression of a cell from normality to cancerous. Her breakthrough studies of cervical cancers changed the disease from fatal to one of the most easily diagnosed and treatable. Her studies showed that a normal cell advanced through 250 distinct stages before becoming cancerous and thus is the most easily diagnosed of all cancers.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-elizabeth-stern-shankman
Researchers Look at the Origins of Plate Tectonics
The mystery of what kick-started the motion of our earth’s massive tectonic plates across its surface has been explained by researchers at the Univ. of Sydney.
"Earth is the only planet in our solar system where the process of plate tectonics occurs," said Prof. Patrice Rey, from the Univ. of Sydney’s School of Geosciences. "The geological record suggests that until three billion years ago the earth’s crust was immobile so what sparked this unique phenomenon has fascinated geoscientists for decades. We suggest it was triggered by the spreading of early continents then eventually became a self-sustaining process."
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/researchers-look-origins-plate-tectonics
Europeans Descended from Three Groups
New studies of ancient DNA are shifting scientists’ ideas of how groups of people migrated across the globe and interacted with one another thousands of years ago. By comparing nine ancient genomes to those of modern humans, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have shown that previously unrecognized groups contributed to the genetic mix now present in most modern-day Europeans.
“There are at least three major, highly differentiated populations that have contributed substantial amounts of ancestry to almost everybody that has European ancestry today,” says David Reich, an HHMI investigator at Harvard Medical School. Those include hunter-gatherers from Western Europe, the early farmers who brought agriculture to Europe from the Near East and a newly identified group of ancient north Eurasians who arrived in Europe sometime after the introduction of agriculture. That means there were major movements of people into Europe later than previously thought. The team, led by Reich and Johannes Krause at the Univ. of Tübingen in Germany, reported their findings in today’s issue of the journal Nature.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/europeans-descended-three-groups
Chopin Had TB, Maybe Lung Disease
The preserved heart of composer Frederic Chopin contains signs of tuberculosis and possibly some other lung disease, medical experts said today. The findings seem to corroborate Chopin’s 1849 death certificate, which said the Polish-born musician died at the age of 39 in Paris from TB.
He rests in Paris, but in keeping with a Romanticism-era practice his heart was brought to Warsaw, where he grew up, and is kept as a national relic inside a pillar at The Holy Cross Church. Held in two cases and a sealed crystal glass jar, it was inspected in April by forensic and genetic experts to check the state of the preservation.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/chopin-had-tb-maybe-lung-disease
Meteorite Doomed Dinos, Altered Forests
The meteorite impact that spelled doom for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago decimated the evergreens among the flowering plants to a much greater extent than their deciduous peers, according to a study led by Univ. of Arizona researchers. The results are published in the journal PLOS Biology.
Applying biomechanical formulas to a treasure trove of thousands of fossilized leaves of angiosperms — flowering plants excluding conifers — the team was able to reconstruct the ecology of a diverse plant community thriving during a 2.2 million-year period spanning the cataclysmic impact event, believed to have wiped out more than half of plant species living at the time.
The researchers found evidence that, after the event, fast-growing, deciduous angiosperms had replaced their slow-growing, evergreen peers to a large extent. Living examples of evergreen angiosperms, such as holly and ivy, tend to prefer shade, don’t grow very fast and sport dark-colored leaves.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/meteorite-doomed-dinos-altered-forests
Feds Explore Shipwrecks Near San Francisco
Federal researchers are exploring several underwater sites where ships sank while navigating in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush.
Over the past week, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used a remote-controlled underwater vehicle, equipped with sonar and video cameras, to examine and record the historic shipwrecks.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/feds-explore-shipwrecks-near-san-francisco