Scientists have long debated what causes glacial/interglacial cycles, which have occurred most recently at intervals of about 100,000 years. A new study reported in the March 24 issue of Nature finds that these glacial cycles are paced by variations in the tilt of Earth's axis, and that glaciations end when Earth's tilt is large ... EurekAlert!
In a startling discovery, geneticists at Purdue University say they have found plants that possess a corrected version of a defective gene inherited from both their parents, as if some handy backup copy with the right version had been made in the grandparents' generation or earlier.
The finding implies that some organisms may contain a cryptic backup copy of their genome that bypasses the usual mechanisms of heredity. If confirmed, it would represent an unprecedented exception to the laws of inheritance discovered by Gregor Mendel in the 19th century ... New York Times
For the first time, a group of scientists has accomplished the daunting task of evaluating the status of all of the ecosystems on Earth, and the outlook is troubling.Commissioned by the United Nations in 2001, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment program will issue its primary report on March 30 during press conferences in Washington and other cities around the world ... EurekAlert!
A local construction worker made a startling discovery while digging a new road in Selah earlier this month: bones. Gary Fife says he has been in the construction business for 30 years, and this is the first time he has found anything this large."I've been hoping to dig up a treasure chest one of these days," he said. "But I haven't got that lucky yet."Fife was going to lunch on the first day of the project when his crew spotted the bones ... MSNBC
University of California at Berkeley researchers have determined that two species of octopuses can run away from danger.
Apparently in an attempt to evade predators, the coconut octopus of Indonesia, or octopus marginatus, and the Australian octopus aculeatus can scuttle across the sea floor on two legs ... CNET News.com
If paleontologists were writing a TV show, it would be CSI: Dinosaurs, driven by the startling discovery of blood vessels inside the fossilized leg of a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex.
Researchers say the discovery, reported Friday, may herald a new era in dinosaur studies. "Shades of Jurassic Park," says paleontologist Nate Murphy of the Judith River Dinosaur Institute in Malta, Mont. "We are going way beyond the bone" ... USATODAY.com