Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Science: December 2009


SALINA, Kan. - For more than 100 years, mainstream science has embraced the basic tenets of Darwin's view that characteristics that increase an organism's ability to survive and reproduce will be passed from generation to generation. Scientists later demonstrated that stable, significant traits are indeed inherited in the DNA carried in parental genes on chromosomes and randomly distributed to offspring.

Characteristics that affect an organism's ability to adapt and survive in times of environmental change have been thought to arise by chance through random mutations in an organism's DNA.

However, this view could not explain how such mutations, which arise only rarely, help organisms of every size and variety adapt quickly enough through time. Nor could it explain how diseases that lead to a dramatic loss of survival -- such as diabetes, heart disease, autism, and schizophrenia -- persist in populations. Indeed, genes that directly contribute to these conditions have been difficult to find.

SALINA, Kan. - A newly discovered dinosaur that lived approximately 215 million years ago (Triassic Period) in the region of New Mexico in the United States is providing a team of paleontologists new information on early dinosaur evolution.

Reported in the December 11 issue of Science, an analysis of Tawa hallae, a meat-eating theropod dinosaur between two-and-four meters long, reveals that the early history of theropods was characterized by waves of migration from South America, not just localized or regional species diversification.

Originally excavated in 2006 at Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico, two nearly complete skeletons and several other partial specimens of Tawa hallae provided the scientists with the samples they needed to complete a full anatomical analysis and model its evolutionary history.

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is Science: November 2009. The next archive is Science: January 2010.

If you want to browse other topics, you can also check our Table of Contents. The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.


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This is an archive page containing all of the stories posted to Kansas Free Press in one particular topic in a particular month. These stories were published in the Science: December 2009 section.

The previous archive is Science: November 2009. The next archive is Science: January 2010.

The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.

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