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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb , 2009 7:19 am 
bioalchemist
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Yes, that's very cool stuff Lali. They call it evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology). Very cutting edge - these are questions we didn't even know to ask, never mind answer, before the advent of genomics and a few other technological advances. Developmental biology is a bit messy for my tastes so this is a field I'm content to sit back and spectate on, but we'll be seeing more of this in years to come. The paradigm is sliding around on multiple fronts in biology right now. It's very exciting. :popcorn:

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug , 2009 1:22 pm 
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Looks like Dinosaur Adventure Land is no more:
http://www.pnj.com/article/20090731/NEW ... 31016/1006

Quote:
A ruling this week says the nine properties that make up Dinosaur Adventure Land, and two bank accounts associated with the park will be used to satisfy $430,400 in restitution owed to the federal government.

Kent Hovind, who founded the park and his ministry, Creation Science Evangelism, is serving 10 years in federal prison as a result of a tax-fraud conviction for failing to pay more than $470,000 in employee taxes in a long-running dispute with the Internal Revenue Service.

Kent Hovind was found guilty in November 2006 on 58 counts, including failure to pay employee taxes and making threats against investigators.

The East Peoria, Ill. native sparred with the IRS for 17 years before his conviction. He claimed no income or property since he was employed by God and said that his ministers were not subject to payroll taxes.


I guess tax fraud and death threads are fine and dandy; it's disbelieving science that really counts.


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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug , 2009 1:59 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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No doubt the government framed him.


Did you guys see this article?

Life May Have Begun in Lakes, Not Oceans

Quote:
Evidence for life on Earth stretches back billions of years, with simple single-celled organisms like bacteria dominating the record. When multi-celled animal life appeared on the planet after 3 billion years of single cell organisms, animals diversified rapidly.

Conventional wisdom has it that animal evolution began in the ocean, with animal life adapting much later in Earth history to terrestrial environments.

Now a UC Riverside-led team of researchers studying ancient rock samples in South China has found that the first animal fossils in the paleontological record are preserved in ancient lake deposits, not marine sediments as commonly assumed.

"We know that life in the oceans is very different from life in lakes, and, at least in the modern world, the oceans are far more stable and consistent environments compared to lakes which tend to be short-lived features relative to, say, rates of evolution," said Martin Kennedy, a professor of geology in the Department of Earth Sciences who participated in the research. "Thus it is surprising that the first evidence of animals we find is associated with lakes, a far more variable environment than the ocean."

The study, published in the July 27-31 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, raises questions such as what aspects of the Earth's environment changed to enable animal evolution.

In their research, the authors focused on South China's Doushantuo Formation, one of the oldest fossil beds that houses highly preserved fossils dated to about 600 million years ago. These beds have no adult fossils. Instead, many of the fossils appear as bundles of cells interpreted to be animal embryos.

"Our first unusual finding in this region was the abundance of a clay mineral called smectite," said lead author Tom Bristow, who worked in Kennedy's lab. "In rocks of this age, smectite is normally transformed into other types of clay. The smectite in these South China rocks, however, underwent no such transformation and have a special chemistry that, for the smectite to form, requires specific conditions in the water – conditions commonly found in salty, alkaline lakes."

The researchers' work involved collecting hundreds of rock samples from several localities in South China, carrying out mineralogical analysis using X-ray diffraction, and collecting and analyzing other types of geochemical data.

"All our analyses show that the rocks' minerals and geochemistry are not compatible with deposition in seawater," Bristow said. "Moreover, we found smectite in only some locations in South China, and not uniformly as one would expect for marine deposits. This was an important indicator that the rocks hosting the fossils were not marine in origin. Taken together, several lines of evidence indicated to us that these early animals lived in a lake environment."

Bristow noted that the new research gives scientists a glimpse into where some of the early animals lived and what the environmental conditions were like for them – important information for addressing the broader questions of how and why animals appeared when they did.

"It is most unexpected that these first fossils do not come from marine sediments," Kennedy said. "It is possible, too, that similarly aged or older organisms also existed in marine environments and we have not found them. But at the very least our work shows that the range of early animal habitats was far more expansive than presently assumed and raises the exciting possibility that animal evolution first occurred in lakes and is tied to some environmental aspect unique to lake environments. Furthermore, because lakes are of limited size and not connected to each other, there may have been significant parallel evolution of organisms. Now we must wait and see if similar fossils are found in marine sediments."

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug , 2009 3:11 pm 
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What it looks like they're claiming is that some of the oldest known animal fossils appear to have formed in lakes. That isn't quite the same thing as saying that animal life began in lakes, and definitely isn't the same thing as saying that all life began in lakes. I'd rate as interesting, but not revolutionary.


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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug , 2009 3:23 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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The article did say that this finding was surprising, as the standard thought has been that life began in a more stable marine environment. I don't think anyone is claiming now that all life began in lakes, but it really is unexpected to find these earliest fossils in lake deposits rather than marine deposits. As the article says, though, the marine examples could exist, and we just haven't found them yet.

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug , 2009 3:40 pm 
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LalaithUrwen wrote:
the standard thought has been that life began in a more stable marine environment.


But their study doesn't address how life began. The strongest claim they could make is that the first animal lived in a lake rather than in the ocean; it still would have ultimately descended from some earlier marine organism. And despite their hedges, I think they're making quite a leap suggesting we should go from "these are (some of) the oldest animal fossils known" to "these are the first animals".

I think the most interesting aspect is the suggestion that anything at all was living outside the ocean at that point.


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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug , 2009 3:43 pm 
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I know some people who are pond scum, so it is possible that life started at lakes.

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug , 2009 7:44 pm 

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LalaithUrwen wrote:
The article did say that this finding was surprising, as the standard thought has been that life began in a more stable marine environment. I don't think anyone is claiming now that all life began in lakes, but it really is unexpected to find these earliest fossils in lake deposits rather than marine deposits. As the article says, though, the marine examples could exist, and we just haven't found them yet.


They may be some of the earliest animals, but life (in the form of single prokaryotic cells) had been around for some three billion years before that. It is interesting in light of the evolution of animals, but these are not the earliest fossils of life in general by a long shot.

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Aug , 2009 6:44 am 
Als u het leven te ernstig neemt, mist u de betekenis.
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Looks like evolution is whittling away at creation scientists. Pity the process is a long one.

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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jan , 2010 3:23 pm 
Als u het leven te ernstig neemt, mist u de betekenis.
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Oh my. I couldn't make this up if I wanted to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Steve

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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jan , 2010 4:21 pm 
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That is falling down hilarious. :LMAO: :LMAO:

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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jan , 2010 9:05 pm 
Takoyaki is love
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I love this Steve-o-meter project.
Ara I just love your humor (pond scum :rofl: )

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PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan , 2010 3:10 am 
Hasta la victoria, siempre
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Absolutely fantastic, and bloody reassuring into the bargain. :D

*~Pips~*

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PostPosted: Mon 11 Jan , 2010 7:06 pm 
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Hooray for project Steve! :D

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Jan , 2010 3:27 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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I thought this was really cool!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/201 ... halfanimal

Quote:
Surprising Sea Slug Is Half-plant, Half-animal


A green sea slug appears to be part animal, part plant. It's the first critter discovered to produce the plant pigment chlorophyll.

The sneaky slugs seem to have stolen the genes that enable this skill from algae that they've eaten. With their contraband genes, the slugs can carry out photosynthesis - the process plants use to convert sunlight into energy.

"They can make their energy-containing molecules without having to eat anything," said Sidney Pierce, a biologist at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Pierce has been studying the unique creatures, officially called Elysia chlorotica, for about 20 years. He presented his most recent findings Jan. 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in Seattle. The finding was first reported by Science News.

"This is the first time that multicellar animals have been able to produce chlorophyll," Pierce told LiveScience.

The sea slugs live in salt marshes in New England and Canada. In addition to burglarizing the genes needed to make the green pigment chlorophyll, the slugs also steal tiny cell parts called chloroplasts, which they use to conduct photosynthesis. The chloroplasts use the chlorophyl to convert sunlight into energy, just as plants do, eliminating the need to eat food to gain energy.

"We collect them and we keep them in aquaria for months," Pierce said. "As long as we shine a light on them for 12 hours a day, they can survive [without food]."

The researchers used a radioactive tracer to be sure that the slugs are actually producing the chlorophyll themselves, as opposed to just stealing the ready-made pigment from algae. In fact, the slugs incorporate the genetic material so well, they pass it on to further generations of slugs.

The babies of thieving slugs retain the ability to produce their own chlorophyll, though they can't carry out photosynthesis until they've eaten enough algae to steal the necessary chloroplasts, which they can't yet produce on their own.

The slugs accomplishment is quite a feat, and scientists aren't yet sure how the animals actually appropriate the genes they need.

"It certainly is possible that DNA from one species can get into another species, as these slugs have clearly shown," Pierce said. "But the mechanisms are still unknown."

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Jan , 2010 3:15 pm 
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DNA theft! What a concept!

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jan , 2010 2:31 pm 
Kill the headlights and put it in neutral
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That is amazing. :Q


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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jan , 2010 1:30 am 
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I forgot to post that that slug is the coolest thing that's ever happened ever.


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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jan , 2010 1:46 am 
Best friends forever
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iawy :D

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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jan , 2010 3:40 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Isn't that cool? :D That's why I had to share it with you guys.

And now you can see video:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... enes-.html

Or just look at this pretty picture:


Attachments:
Elysia chlorotica.jpg
Elysia chlorotica.jpg [ 9.64 KiB | Viewed 4844 times ]

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