Carnivalia, and an open thread

A reminder: the Darwin Fish Contest closes early next week, and there are lots of good entries right now, so competition will be fierce. Send your entries in soon!

Don’t let these excellent carnivals distract you too much from expressing yourself artistically…or maybe something here will inspire you.

Of course this is also an open thread—talk about anything.


  1. quork says

    Brilliance in science journalism – not

    Researchers decode T Rex genetic material
    By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer

    WASHINGTON – Researchers have decoded genetic material from a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex, an unprecedented step once thought impossible.

    And now, researchers led by John M. Asara of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston have been able to analyze proteins from that bone.
    What Asara’s team found was collagen, a type of fibrous connective tissue that is a major component of bone.

    Collagen is genetic material?

  2. llewelly says

    Re the T-Rex collagen: Try the Nat geo article, which Afarensis blogged about. I have not yet seen any non-AP article that refers to it as genetic material. I imagine the fact that the protein was sequenced, and showed similarities to chicken collagen, which the researchers interpreted as due to common evolutionary heritage, caused the AP ‘science writer’ to leap to the conclusion it was genetic.

  3. June says

    All my life I have been corrected by my betters that “fossils are not bones but stones”.

    Are we now saying that my betters really did not know better? Why can’t scientists be more — how shall I put it — more scientific? Sigh.

  4. says

    Most of the science items here are related to animals, so I feel obligated to put plants in the spotlight. This paper is the first report ever of a plant resistance gene interacting directly in planta with a viral pathogen’s elicitor protein. Good stuff. My personal detailed comments on it can be found here. No blogwhoring intended, just wanted to make everyone aware that the plant world does not stand still.

    Nice report on the T-Rex collagen sequencing though. If more paleontologists dare to cut their precious bones open, maybe they’ll find more, and it will one day be enough for some serious comparisons. Also cool stuff.

  5. Brian says

    Hey PZ,

    I noticed that at the end of the list of Darwin Fish there are two idiotic “ads by Google” that appear on my browser linked to creationist websites.

  6. Rey Fox says

    Bug report: The T-Rex article keeps crashing my IE at work if I try to scroll down past the title. It crashed the home page when it was at the top, but now that the other article is up there, it will load.

  7. says

    PZ, send me an e-mail if you’re interested in physiotherapy if you have back and neck pain (which I guess at from seeing you in a video). It worked for me and I don’t want to get lost among the 2000 messages in your inbox.

  8. quork says

    Most of the science items here are related to animals, so I feel obligated to put plants in the spotlight.

    Hey why not, plants are people too.

  9. tourettist says

    Here’s something under the heading of religion in the classroom.

    A race in Illinois School District 214, which includes several suburbs northwest of Chicago, is raising funds unheard of for a school board election, a few eyebrows, and the specter of religion in the classroom. Out of three challengers, two have styled themselves “pro-family,” “tax-relief” candidates. They’ve received the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly and a lot of money from outside the district.

    The two deny any wish to put creationism in the classroom. However, their religious agenda surfaces in the issue being made of a defeated attempt last year to ban certain books from the classroom – one the incumbents helped stave off. The allegedly “pornographic” books, predictably, included classics such as Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (whose talent is sorely missed), The Awakening by Kate Chopin, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. The ban also would have included Freakonomics and the hot stamen/pistil action of The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan. (Horrors!)

    Luckily, the real fund-raising powerhouse in the high-achieving, balanced-budget district has proven to be the incumbents, who’ve amassed $40,000.00 so far.

    I don’t think we’re looking at the next Dover here, not anytime soon, but for those of us who monitor and oppose this sort of thing, it’s one more drop in the bucket. If the link works, you can read more in the Chicago Sun-Times.