September 2020

Molar of the Neanderthal man cataloged as Spy 94a

An article published in the journal “Science” reports the results of the sequencing of the Y chromosome, the one that determines the male sex among humans, of three Neanderthals and two Denisovans. A team of researchers led by Martin Petr and Janet Kelso of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology performed high-quality sequencing using a very advanced approach to obtain the genetic sequences of the Y chromosomes of a total of 5 hominins. This made it possible to compare them with each other and with those of modern humans to obtain new information on the relationships among the various species. An interesting conclusion is that the Neanderthal Y chromosome was received from Homo sapiens with whom they must have interbred much earlier than we thought, no less than 100,000 years ago and possibly even 370,000 years ago.

Elegy for Angels and Dogs by Walter Jon Williams (Italian edition)

The novel “Elegy for Angels and Dogs” by Walter Jon Williams was published for the first time in 1990.

A group of noble people and rich industrialists, all immortal, are the Party Set, a group taking part to a tour across the solar system to have parties in which panoramas that include planets and moons are the background to entertainment that also includes new drugs. Ordinary people can only watch those parties from afar to be updated on what immortals are up to.

Even in an apparently idyllic situation within a group of people who are supposed to represent the peak of humanity, crimes are committed. In that situation, a murder can have unpredictable repercussions.

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus skeleton

An article published in the journal “Cretaceous Research” reports the discovery of hundreds of teeth of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus in the ancient Kem Kem river system, along the border between today’s Morocco and Algeria. A team of researchers collected about 1,200 fossil teeth in an ancient river bed in today’s Morocco, and analysis revealed that nearly half of them were of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. Their conclusion is that it’s evidence that about 100 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period, this dinosaur was well adapted to aquatic life, a confirmation of the thesis supported by a growing number of paleontologists.

Beast of Fang Rock by Andy Frankham-Allen

The novel “Beast of Fang Rock” by Andy Frankham-Allen was published for the first time in 2015.

The island of Fang Rock has been the center of legends for many years due to alleged sightings of a monstrous creature and the mysterious deaths of a group of people in the lighthouse in 1902. In 1955, the lighthouse was closed, but after being renovated is ready to be put back into service. A group of students arrived on the island to celebrate the event, but are faced with a ghost and a shooting star.

Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart suspects alien activity behind the strange sightings reported on Fang Rock Island and intends to investigate. Anne Travers receives a letter left to the family’s law firm from Archibald Goff, an ancestor of hers who visited Fang Rock nearly a century and a half earlier, yet the letter is addressed to Anne, mentioned by name.

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut (Italian edition)

The novel “The Sirens of Titan” by Kurt Vonnegut was published for the first time in 1959.

Winston Niles Rumfoord was traveling in space when he was sucked into a chrono-synclastic infundibulum, a kind of space-time distortion. The consequence is that Rumfoord and his dog Kazak, who was traveling with him, periodically materialize in various places. During a time when he materialized on Earth, Rumfoord talks to Malachi Constant, the richest man in the USA, and tells him a series of events destined to take place in the future.

Unk is a Martian soldier, a broken from an officer rank whose memory has been erased. The treatment is not complete and Unk still has some fragments of his past. Together with his fellow soldiers, he’s preparing for the launch of the entire Martian fleet with the aim of invading the Earth.