April 2015

Mammoth skeleton

An international team of scientists has sequenced the almost complete DNA of two Siberian woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) in a study published in the journal “Current Biology”. This research will help getting more information on the biological history of the mammoths and the conditions that led to the extinction of that species. It could also make it possible to recreate the mammoths in an unprecedented bioengineering operation.

Google announced the Patent Purchase Promotion, an experimental initiative to fight the phenomenon of patent trolling, the use of patents for the sole purpose of restricting competition and to obtain money through lawsuits or through agreements following threats of such actions. In this case, Google asked holders of American patents willing to sell them to submit their requests with the price. That’s meant to prevent them from ending up in the hands of patent trolls.

The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown

The novel “The Kings of Eternity” by Eric Brown was published for the first time in 2011.

In 1999 the writer Daniel Langham lives in Kallithea, on a Greek island, as a recluse. The meeting with Caroline Platt changes things but for him the problem goes far beyond the sentimental issue. Some old secrets he’s hiding must remain concealed to avoid endangering himself and other people.

In 1935 the writer Jonathon Langham and his colleague Edward Vaughan are urgently called by their friend Jasper Carnegie. Something strange is going on in the English countryside and when they go to investigate they discover something that will change their lives in an unpredictable way.

European Grey Wolf

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the Royal Society B” describes a search that turns upside down the cliché about wolves (photo ©Katerina Hlavata) are aggressive while dogs are tolerant. Friederike Range, Caroline Ritter and Zsófia Virányi of the Messerli Research Institute of the University in Vienna, Austria, conducted tests on mongrel dogs and wolves raising them in the same conditions. The conclusion is that dogs have a steeper hierarchy and are less tolerant than wolves to their conspecifics.

Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes by Tom Crosshill

The short story “Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes” by Tom Crosshill was published for the first time in 2012.

Rico is worried about his mother, who is elderly and has some mental problem. Whenever she says goodbye to someone, she’s convinced that she’ll never see them again. Some time earlier, Rico’s father had his min uploaded to a virtual environment, where he now lives, even if the procedure doesn’t seem free from flaws. Will Rico convince his mother to do the same thing?