Just for the heck of it, I thought I'd list some of the advances in research noted in the

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Just for the heck of it, I thought I'd list some of the advances in research noted in the end-of-year issue of _Discover_ magazine. I KNOW it's not a research journal, so don't inform me of that fact incessantly. The articles are newsworthy, so that's why they're in the mag. #1 fun: "If I Only Had Eight Hearts" summarizes Daniel Choy's musings on the possibility that _Barosaurus_ would lose blood flow to the brain if he reared on his hind legs, as illustrated at the American Museum of Natural History. Great pic! Ted, you've got to see this one. Choy said _Barosaurus_ needed eight hearts. Dinosaur specialists are skeptical. #2: "The Killing Machine". 20-foot velociraptor named _Utahraptor_. Just like in the upcoming movie _Jurassic Park_. #3: "The Blood of the Dinos". Evidence for dinosaur warm-bloodedness. #4: "As the Old World Turns": Oldest _Homo_ at 2.4 million years, and older _Homo erectus_ fossils from Georgia (old Russian republic) and China. Still being debated (the Chinese skulls were somewhat crushed). #5: "Blueprint for a Universe". Summary of Cosmic Background Explorer findings. #6: "Gay Genes": Comparison of identical twins. 'Nuff said. You decide. #7: "Darwin's Atlas": Linking of plate tectonics and evolution. Loved it! Why? Creationists don't like either one! #8: "Exodus by Numbers": Theory on how the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. It's got pictures. And no rebuttal. Who let this one slip by? #9-12: "A Platypus in Patagonia" "Little Bird, Big Find" New first bird? "In the Beginning was the Tooth" Conodont source speculated. "All the Way with RNA" Self-catalytic RNA as the source of life itself. Take that, Kalki. #13: "G-men Capture _T. Rex_" On the appropriation of a superb _T. Rex_ skeleton from a collector by the National Guard and FBI. Oliver Stone is working on a screenplay. #14: "The Genome Finds Its Henry Ford": On Daniel Cohen and human genome mapping 28% of the genome (crudely). Haven't read it yet. #15-16: "In the Belly of the Yeast": Yeast genetics. "Gene of the Year": p53 can be a friend, or cause cancer. And a hilarious piece entitled "Retching for Greatness", speculating on the adaptive significance of losing your lunch. Worth the cover price. Discussing nausea sensations: "... the brain snaps into action, frantically apologizing for anything we've done wrong in life, promising that if we can just get through this one evening alive we'll never, never, never mix margaritas and Mallo Cups again, and calculating with Pythagorean preciseness the shortest distance between whatever patch of floor we happen to be lying on at the moment and every bathroom in the house." C'ya'll later, Jim Acker jgacker@neptune.gsfc.nasa.gov


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