Colobops noviportensis' skull reconstruction phases (Image courtesy Yale University)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes the identification of a diapsid, part of a large group of vertebrates, dating back to the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago discovered in today’s Connecticut, USA. The team of researchers who studied the fossil remains and called it Colobops noviportensis concluded that it had a very powerful bite, even comparing it with today’s reptiles, showing an early evolution of the anatomical feeding apparatus.

Neanderthal Molar from Belgium (Image courtesy I. Crevecoeur. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research that helps the reconstruction of the final phase of Neanderthals’ history. A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, sequenced the genome of 5 individuals of that species who lived between 39,000 and 47,000 years ago. These individuals are more closely related to those who interbred with modern humans than to an older individual from the Altai mountains whose DNA was sequenced some time ago.


An article published in the journal “Cell” describes a genetic research that focuses on the interbreeding between Homo Sapiens and Denisovans, a species of hominins known only thanks to a few bones that were preserved in conditions good enough to extract their DNA. A team of scientists at the University of Washington in Seattle compared the DNA of the Denisovans available with those of many modern humans from various different populations, concluding that there were at least two cases of interbreeding between the two species.

Felaheen by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

The novel “Felaheen” by Jon Courtenay Grimwood was published for the first time in 2003. It’s the third novel in the Arabesk trilogy and is the sequel to “Effendi”.

Ashraf (Raf) al-Mansur is in a complex situation after having renounced important positions in El Iskandryia (Alexandria of Egypt), in the Ottoman Empire. As if this weren’t enough, an attempt is made to kill the Emir of Tunis, who is officially Raf’s father even if he never met him.

The head of the Emir’s security asks Raf to help her find out attempted assassination’s perpetrator but he doesn’t believe that he’s really his father and doesn’t want to get involved. However, he ends up being attracted to the events in Tunis but investigates them his own way and that forces him to deal with himself by exploring his identity’s various faces.

William Gibson in 2007

William Ford Gibson was born on March 17, 1948 in Conway, South Carolina, USA. In 1984 he published “Neuromancer”, which won the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards, launched his career for good and had considerable influence in the field. The novel also incorporates some themes already existing in science fiction but because of the way in which he develops them marked in particular the cyberpunk movement.

With his very visual style, William Gibson marked a period in the history of science fiction with an influence that went even beyond that genre. His descriptions of Western society, which in various ways proved to be apt in certain negative developments, made him important regardless of genre labels, inspiring subsequent productions in various media.