Tarsiers are indigenous to the islands of Southeast Asia, but visitors to the zoo should also be familiar with these charming monkeys with their conspicuously big eyes. A meeting with them in the monkey house is practically a visit with our own relatives, a new study now shows.
For decades, we remained in the dark regarding the evolutionary origin of the tarsiers, but now a new scientific study has brought light into this dark corner of our knowledge; the tarsiers, or Ghost Monkeys, are indisputably much more closely related to humans and other higher primates than previously imagined. The research group of Dr. Jürgen Schmitz in the Institute of Experimental Pathology at the University of Münster in Germany, funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG), has finally resolved the controversial question of the phylogenetic decent and evolutionary history of this branch of higher primates. The results of their scientific analyses have just been published online in the journal "Nature Scientific Reports".The tarsiers were long thought to represent the very first branching on the evolutionary tree of primates, and thus more distantly related to humans and other higher primates. But this view was already shaken in 2001, when Dr. Jürgen Schmitz and his colleagues identified 50-million-year-old so called ‘Jumping genes’ in the current genomes of tarsiers. “These jumping genes are contemporary, quasi fossilized genomic witnesses of tarsiers much closer relationship to humans than to other prosimians,” explained Schmitz. Unfortunately, over the next twelve years, others’ analyses of tarsier DNA sequences could not definitively confirm their placement on this branch of the evolutionary tree of primates – until now.
Dr. Christina Heimken | idw
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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