Biology news

dinosaur alaska

William Thompson provided the link, ... I'm not sure if the journalist that did this post was raising a query, with tongue in cheek, or if the author really thought it possible dinosaurs flourished in polar conditions. Whatever, once again we see that consensus doesn't conform with facts.

a woolly tale

At ... a baby woolly rhinoceros, 34,000 years old, has been dated to a specific period that witnessed an unknown catastrophic event, possibly two events between 40 and 30,000 years old (and directly succeeded by the Late Glacial Maximum). At this same date C14 methodology hits a brick wall - and cannot be used later than 40,000 years ago.


Exodus is going to feature in one of our talks at the speaker meeting in Watford this weekend so it might be worth while if you get a handle on it before the talk is uploaded on to our web site. The following links were provided by SIS member Adam Stuart. At ... an excellent rebuff to critics of the Exodus event by A Millard - or at least support for a movement of people out of Egypt by a group of Asiatics steeped in Egyptian culture.

Charon's red pole

At ... surfaces vary in colour when something about them changes, due to composition and make-up (geology) and other differences (liquid and solid etc). The northern polar region of Charon, one of Pluto's companions, are much redder than the rest of it - but what is causing this?


  At ... it has been found that European domesticated pigs have far more genetic links to the wild European boar population than previously thought. Previously, scientists have treated the domesticated pig as if it was an isolated genome - once domesticated it did not mix with wild pigs. Now, it has been discovered there has been continuous gene flow in order to modify, over and over again.

Do you like walnuts

Do you like walnuts? They were a valuable trade commodity in the past, spreading out along the Silk Road, from  Persia to China in the east, and to Europe in the west - see

shark fins in a shallow lagoon

At ... University of Southampton researchers have found the behaviour of fruit flies can be altered by an electric field. The wings of the insects are disturbed by static electricity which appear to cause neuro-chemical changes in their brains (if that is the right term).

David Reich

David Reich, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, pops up again in an article in Current World Archaeology 72 (Aug, 2015) (see He is involved in archaeo-genetics and the application of that is called 'next generation sequencing' of DNA. He is able to extract virtually complete genome sequences of nuclear DNA from bone that has small amounts of DNA preserved. The nuclear genome is the most interesting and informative part of the human genetic story as it dwarfs mitochondrial DNA in terms of size.

nutrients and life

At ... news of an interesting theory that evolution of life was driven by Plate Tectonics. One could substitute the latter for catastrophims and reach a similar conclusion.

Velociraptor update

At ... there is a post with the title, 'Feathered Velociraptor - untangling the Spin' and refers to the Nature journal 'Scientific Reports' on a feathered dinosaur with similarities to the Velociraptor of 'Jurassic Park' movie fame. The fossil was found in dinosaur beds in China (see post a couple of days ago) but in the link above the author claims it was found by a farmer (who wouldn't give his name).