Data Snacks

Feathered Flying Dino

A fossil found in China gives scientists more information about flying dinosaurs, and the evolutionary transition from feathered dinosaurs to birds. It’s a 4-winged flying dino with a 25 foot wingspan, and foot-long tail feathers. It cruised the forests of China roughly 125 million years ago.

http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/07/17/feathery-fossil-gives-flying-dinosaurs-a-size-boost/

Climate Modeling Might Just Work

Australian researchers have found that recent weather trends line up well with the climate model predictions, giving credibility to climate change model predictions.

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2310.html

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The invasiveness of certain cancers might be in your genes

Researchers have found a gene associated with the invasiveness of lung cancer. Some cancers are quick to spread out of the lungs and into the rest of the body, and some are not. Salk Institute researchers may have found a genetic basis for these differences that could help to better understand how and why cancer spreads.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140717124523.htm

Lost Legos 

A shipment of nautical-themed legos that fell into the ocean in 1997 might gives clues to how ocean waters move about, as the pieces continue to wash ashore today.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28367198

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Spider Web Evolution

New research is painting a picture of the evolutionary family tree of spiders. Though web-spinning seems quite ingenious, it appears likely that web-spinning evolved long ago in the evolution of spiders, and some groups abandoned it for other ways of catching prey.

http://www.nature.com/news/spider-gene-study-reveals-tangled-evolution-1.15578

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Camouflage Problems

The snowshoe is well known for turning white in the winter in order to blend in with the snow. But what if shorter or more erratic winters occur? A white bunny doesn't blend in well with bare ground. An individual bunny can't change the timing of its coat change, but with natural selection, the population could adapt over time to different climate conditions. But will they be able to adapt fast enough... 

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140717-snowshoe-hares-climate-change-environment-animals-science/ 

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