Gasp, Gasp, Pant, Pant, Pant Phew, a little short of breath. Apparently, threatening to hold your breath until you get submissions really works! At least some of you didn’t want me to suffer the ill effects of oxygen deprivation (looks sternly at those who didn’t contribute).
I received an interesting mix of submissions and will start with the Cultural Anthropology. I’ve pulled some quotes, that I find interesting, from each post but don’t let that stop you from clicking over and reading the entire post as there is much more of interest to be found.
Can some one send me a copy of this article? Here is the abstract – which is very interesting:
Only one partial skeleton that includes both forelimb and hindlimb elements has been reported for Australopithecus afarensis. The diminutive size of this specimen (A.L. 288-1 [“Lucy”]) has hampered our understanding of the paleobiology of this species absent the potential impact of allometry. Here we describe a large-bodied (i.e., well within the range of living Homo) specimen that, at 3.58 Ma, also substantially antedates A.L. 288–1. It provides fundamental evidence of limb proportions, thoracic form, and locomotor heritage in Australopithecus afarensis. Together, these characteristics further establish that bipedality in Australopithecus was highly evolved and that thoracic form differed substantially from that of either extant African ape.
I have the article now. Thanks!
Just a frinedly reminder that I will be hosting the Four Stone Hearth on Wednesday. Send your submissions – or nominate others!
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This is really interesting! From Science Daily:
The team’s first challenge was to dissect away, at the very start of neural development, the part of the mouse brain which develops into the hypothalamus, and then cut tiny slices of this region for use in microarray analysis, a technology that reveals multiple gene activity. By analyzing all the roughly 20,000 genes in the mouse genome, the team identified 1200 as strongly activated in developing hypothalamus and characterized the cells within the hypothalamus in which they were activated. The team then characterized the expression of the most interesting 350 genes in detail using another gene called Shh, for sonic hedgehog, as a landmark to identify the precise region of the hypothalamus in which these genes were turned on. This involved processing close to 20,000 tissue sections — painstakingly sliced at one-fiftieth of a millimeter thickness and then individually examined.
“We were able to use this data to find genes whose expression matched every individual hypothalamic nucleus and essentially assemble a jigsaw puzzle of gene expression patterns that completely covered the developing hypothalamus,” Blackshaw says. “Now that we have a complete set of molecular landmarks, along with an extensive molecular parts list, we can begin to learn how all these parts fit together to create this essential and highly complex brain region.
I would say the paper is available here but the link to the paper on that page is broken…or something…