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A team of German researchers who previously implanted the Neanderthals genes into mice and frog eggs is going to grow a miniature Neanderthal brain to understand how the cognitive abilities of people developed.
The work is headed by Professor Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who previously deciphered the Neanderthal genome. Experts will grow brain organs from human stem cells using the edited genes of our ancestors. Laboratory mini-brains will develop to the size of lentils and will not have consciousness, but will copy the basic structure of the developed brain.
Comparing the genetically modified brains of the Neanderthal man with the human, scientists will be able to identify key differences in the functioning of nerve cells. Experts will be able to better understand the ability of Neanderthals to plan, communicate and use the language. According to the researchers, the work will eventually allow us to learn more about what exactly our closest relatives were different from people.
Scientists of the Australian National University presented the first three-dimensional model of the “singing” cloud. The molecular cloud of the Fly (Musca) is hundreds of light years from Earth, near the constellation of the Southern Cross.
It is known that stars are formed from large molecular clouds of gas and dust. The processes responsible for the formation of stars are also responsible for the appearance of clouds. The problem of studying such clouds was that even with the most modern telescopes, astronomers can see only two-dimensional projections in the sky.
Astrophysicists have studied the vibrations produced by the fly cloud and its filamentary structures. According to them, the cloud as if “sings”, and its vibrations can be translated into a real sound. Based on this data, scientists created a 3D model of the Fly, establishing its shape and dimensions. Experts were able to measure the parameters of the cloud, which previously could not fix any telescope.
Now the process of forming stars in the cloud is not active, and millions of years will pass before something changes. Astrophysicists are going to use the cloud model as a laboratory prototype, which can be used to study the early stages of star formation.
Photo: Ivan Eder / NASA
In the forest of Minnesota (USA) was found the body of a newborn “double-headed deer”, which was not really two twins merged. According to scientists, the female deer was able to report these Siamese twins the entire gestation period and give birth independently, which is a unique case. All other examples of such anomalies of fetal development were previously observed only in the maternal womb.
The young of the white-tailed deer were discovered two years ago in the forest of southeastern Minnesota. The bodies were sent to the Department of Natural Resources of Minnesota for further study. Autopsy, MRI and computed tomography revealed that the deer had one body for two, but the spine was divided in the thoracic region into two parts, forming two separate necks and heads. The anatomy of the young showed that they, unfortunately, were not viable from the very beginning. Nevertheless, they were found in a natural state and with a licked coat, which indicates that the mother tried to care for them after childbirth.
Ecologists from the University of Georgia (USA) call the discovery extremely rare, as among dozens of millions of deer born annually in the United States, there is a possibility of a lot of anomalies that scientists do not even know about.
Photo: University of Georgia
The remains of a military horse that died 2000 years ago as a result of the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius, were discovered during the excavation of the city of Pompeii. Archaeologists used the tunnels, which they dug black diggers.
For all the time of excavation of the ancient city, very few animal remains have been discovered, although excavations have been carried out for more than 200 years. The researchers used a laser scan to study a network of illegal tunnels dug by black diggers who were trying to find valuable artifacts. Archaeologists say that a distinct imprint of the animal’s ear was found on the ground, which confirms that it was just a horse.
Experts have managed to recreate the plaster cast of the animal’s body with the help of technology, which they have long used in archeology. In the ground and frozen lava find numerous remains – emptiness, filled with bones, because over the centuries the flesh is decaying. Scientists have come up with filling up these voids with gypsum to get a reliable cast of the body. In the same way, the cast of the found horse was made.
Archaeologists call the find one of the most unusual discoveries during the entire excavation. It is assumed that the horse belonged to a nobleman and was used in military parades.