Biology

The artificial heart produced by Carmat (Photo courtesy Carmat. All rights reserved)

A new type of artificial heart has been approved for human tests in France, Belgium, Poland, Slovenia and Saudi Arabia. The goal is to apply for a business license in the European Union and seek an American partner to extend the offer in the USA. The peculiarity of this artificial heart is that it was built using the space technology developed to build satellites.

A skull found in the site known as Sima de los Huesos

A team of scientists led by Dr. Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has almost completely sequenced the mitochondrial DNA taken from a femur of a hominid who lived about 400,000 years ago. It’s the oldest hominid DNA sequenced so far and gave unexpected results, revealing a genetic connection with the Denisova, a population of hominids still poorly known.

In 2005 the remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex were found in Montana and so far the discovery was certainly interesting but not extraordinary. But when Mary Schweitzer, a paleontologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences announced that she had found not only bones but also soft tissue, many remained skeptical. Today, this exceptional discovery has an explanation.

Frederick Sanger

Yesterday Frederick Sanger died. He was a British biochemist described by many as one of a fathers of genetics and one of the greatest scientists in the world and not only of his generation. Born in 1918, he received two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry: one in 1958 and one in 1980.

Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus skeleton

A website has been activated to cover the discovery of a baby dinosaur, specifically a Parasaurolophus lived about 75.5 million years ago. This specimen that probably was less than a year old was found in 2009 in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah and now has its own virtual museum on the Internet.