Scientists studying the earliest mammals have been stumped for centuries about the function of two pelvic bones found in the fossil record that most mammals dont have today. A study published in this weeks issue of the journal Science suggests those bones were involved in locomotion and helped the animals become more mobile, a find that could help researchers pinpoint a key moment in the evolution of mammals.
Biologists at Ohio University and Buffalo State College studied modern-day relations to the earliest mammals — opossums, one of the few types of animals alive today that still has the bones in question, called epipubic bones.
In opossums and a few other marsupials, the epipubic bones are attached to the pelvis and jut into muscles of the stomach. "Kind of like you had two pencils in your belly wall coming from your pelvis up to either side of your navel and they can move up and down," explained Steve Reilly, associate professor of biological sciences at Ohio University and lead author of the study.
Steve Reilly | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
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