Archive for the ‘biology’ Category

new Voynich manuscript theory: It’s written in Nahuatl

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Nah, this isn’t any Carlos Castaneda junk…

It’s an actual botanist recognizing the plant illustrations as similar to species found in central Mexico.

I like it!

However, Alain Touwaide makes a statement that makes even more sense: “I believe that it doesn’t prove anything. If it’s a forgery, someone could very well have had the idea of creating the forgery on the basis of New World flora. At the most, it shows a possible source of the forgery.”

African genes tracked back

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

This is more like it. I need to come back to this article when I’m not simultaneously getting ready for work.

African genes traced back to Africa.

and John Hawks’ comments on article.

TB followed humans out of Africa

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

TB followed humans out of Africa.

Neolithic snail shells show wetter western Mediterranean

Monday, February 4th, 2013

When the agricultural revolution swept into Europe, the area around the western Mediterranean was a lot more humid than it is today. The chemistry of snail shells from Mediterranean caves dating from 2,500 to 9,000 years ago are proving this.

quantum biology

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Anyone feel daring enough to make a fool of himself, to venture a guess that anything we recognize as psychic phenomenon (by that, I mean the things which aren’t total bullshit to begin with) and the soul might come out of the research in quantum biology? The New Age quacks will be all over this, building elaborate systems out of these fragments of information that will rival any role playing game. However, simple universal mechanism isn’t going to work for explaining every biological system much longer.

And honestly, I look forward to the weird mess that results.

a student connects radiation spike in rings of Japanese cedar trees to 774 AD event in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Friday, June 29th, 2012

A biochemistry student connects a report radiation spike in rings of Japanese cedar trees that he heard about on a Nature podcast to 774 AD event in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, just by rooting around Google. It seems to be a historical stellar event, with record of a “red crucifix” appearing in the sky.

That’s some beautiful, interdisciplinary amateur work. Kudos, Jonathon Allen.


Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Last week, I read Stott’s Darwin’s Ghosts. Seeing this piece by the artist Morgan Herrin this morning makes me think of the destroyed grottos Bernard Palissy made for Cathere de’Medici.

all domesticated cattle descend from a single stock 10,500 years ago

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

All cattle are descended from as few as 80 animals that were domesticated from wild ox in the Near East some 10,500 years ago, according to a new genetic study.

baboons kidnap & raise feral dogs

Friday, March 23rd, 2012
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The theory of wolves approaching human then getting lured into domestication with the opportunity for free food seems quaint, doesn’t it? There seems something in the psyche of monkeys and apes that is wired to adopt other animals into their communities for protection.

Red Deer Cave people

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Human Remains from the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition of Southwest China Suggest a Complex Evolutionary History for East Asians.

Mysterious Chinese Fossils May Be New Human Species.

‘Red Deer Cave people’ may be new species of human.

I’d seen mention of the Red Deer people for a few years now. After the Denisovans turned up, I failed to remember them, although I eagerly anticipated some interesting fossils that had already been discovered in China being re-examined in this new context. The new paper states that no genetic material has been recovered from these bones. All that is know so far is that these bones have archaic features that are unusual for that time and region. They might be Denisovans, have Denisovan admixture, or have a different lineage altogether.

The most remarkable part is that these bones are between 14,300 and 11,500 years old, which is really damned recent.