Monday, December 28, 2009


Scientist Video Awards

I really prefer the institutional video awards...

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Microscopic imagery set to electronic music

"Sitting over the microscope, whilst listening to music the idea popped up to combine
microscopic imagery with electronic music. The Scientist will certainly see more than
a carpenter, but both might enjoy the beauty. Concerning the used music, it is
Venetian Snares (oh another biological toppic) "Szamar madar", a masterpiece (in my ear) in blending classical music with electronic break core music. " Dirk Pacholsky


Friday, December 18, 2009


Sexual Selection and the Origin of Species

"Darwin referred to the origin of species as "that mystery of mysteries", and despite decades of study, evolutionary biologists still cannot agree on the underlying processes that have produced the great diversity of life around us. Most contentious of all has been the question of whether speciation can occur within a population (sympatrically). On page [...] van Doorn et al. suggest that mating preferences can halt the movement of genes within a population. Their work gives credibility to the concept of sympatric speciation, which has long been the ugly duckling of evolutionary biology, and suggests that both local adaptation and sexual selection may play a far more important role in speciation than previously thought". Full commentary @ Science Magazine.

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Ardipithecus ramidus

Science Magazine's Breakthrough of the Year:

"Fifteen years after its discovery, Ardipithecus ramidus, the oldest known skeleton of a putative human ancestor, was finally unveiled in 11 papers in print and online in October. The discoverers of the 4.4-million-year-old fossil proposed that she was a new kind of hominin, the family that includes humans and our ancestors but not the ancestors of other living apes. They say that Ardi's unusual anatomy was unlike that of living apes or later hominins, such as Lucy. Instead, Ardi reveals the ancient anatomical changes that laid the foundation for upright walking. Not all paleoanthropologists are convinced that Ar. ramidus was our ancestor or even a hominin. But no one disputes the importance of the new evidence." Full Text @ Science Magazine.

Make sure to see the video introduction to the year's top science story.

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