400,000 Year Old Hominid Genome Sequenced

 

Another hominin genome, another spanner in the works for hominid evolutionary scholars.

Thanks to the continuing rapid development and improvement of sequencing technologies a team of researchers have been able to sequence the mitochondrial genome from the femur of a 400,000 year old hominid in a cave in Spain called Sima de los Huesos, eerily translated to Pit of Bones. The site is well known for it’s ancient archeological finds.

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Mice Inherit Fear Through Epigenetics

It is well known that DNA is the construction manual of life, DNA sequences lead to amino acids which are built into proteins which build the cells and enzymes needed for an organism to grow. Changing even one letter of DNA can have profound effects on an organism, sickle cell disorder being a good example in humans.

But what if more than just structure could be passed on to your offspring through your DNA? Controversial new research suggests that learned behaviours such as fears may be able to be inherited via a mechanism called epigenetics, a form of DNA modification that doesn’t affect the code but instead adds a methyl molecule to certain DNA sites that can affect how often the DNA is transcribed and translated into proteins.

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Sciencism 2013/05/20

This week in Sciencism; Embroyonic stem cells created from host skin cells, 97% consensus on antropogenic climate change, Kepler malfunction may end it’s mission, the Moon impact detected, agriculture more than 5000 years old in china, therapod dinosaurs share the parenting responsibility and billion year old water discovered. Plus the science quiz and last week in the past.

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Sciencism 2013/04/28

This week on Sciencism; 60 years since the double helix DNA special feature. Science news; space junk threat, bird navigation – iron balls, cure your lazy eye with tetris, diesel from E.Coli and validating relativity again. Last week in the past, science or fiction and the science quiz.

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Sciencism 2013/04/21

This week in Sciencism, new Earth-like planets discovered, new surgical patch inspired by a parasitic worm, when do babies become conscious, first artificial kidney transplant in rats, fruit flies sleep like humans and how might we tell if we are living in a computer simulation?

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The principal of homeopathy demonstrated.

Many of you may be familiar with homeopathy, the idea that greatly diluted potions can help cure disease, our little demonstration points out how ridiculous this is.

You would have to drink almost 4 earths worth of water to get one molecule of active ingredient.

You would have to drink almost 4 earths worth of water to get one molecule of active ingredient.

No mechanism known to all of science could possibly lead to this kind of dilution causing any effect to the body, in fact tap water is more likely to have molecules of the active ingredient by contamination then homeopathic remedies.

Sciencism 2013/04/14

This week in Sciencism, Humans closest ape-like ancestors may have returned to the trees, alternate theories for the evolution of complex features, world’s oldest dinosaur embryo discovered, the microbiome and child nutrition and power from fat-bergs. Our Science Issue is the lack of feathers in the latest Jurassic Park, we also play Science or Fiction, the science quiz and Dan presents Last Week in the Past.

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