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Comment: Great... (Score 1) 915

by marjancek (#43163105) Attached to: New Pope Selected

...yet another old right-wing homo-phobic Pope that will have to retire in less than 10 years.

Though I'm actually surprised they've chosen him considering the suspicions on his involvement in the forced disappearances during the last dictatorship in Argentina.

Science

+ - Genome of ancient Denisovans may Clarify Human Evolution->

Submitted by
DevotedSkeptic
DevotedSkeptic writes "Our ancestors didn't walk alone: Neanderthals and other ancient peoples shared Earth with them tens of thousands of years ago.

Now, using new technology, scientists have sequenced with high precision the genome of one of those close but little-known relatives: an extinct people known as the Denisovans, who lived in and around modern-day Siberia.

The Denisovan genome, reported online Thursday in the journal Science, was derived from tiny quantities of shredded DNA extracted from a finger bone found in a Russian cave in 2008, as well as a tooth found later.

What is striking, scientists said, is that it is every bit as detailed as a sequence generated with a fresh blood or saliva sample from someone alive today.

Analysis of the genome and comparisons with ours and the Neanderthals' will offer insights into the history of Homo sapiens — who we mated with, where and when — as well as the unique genetic changes that make modern humans who they are, scientists said.

The new genome gives scientists a sense of just how much of our genomes we owe to our extinct relatives. About 3% to 5% of the DNA in people native to Papua New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines and other islands nearby came from Denisovans, the study found, confirming reports based on a draft version of the Denisovan genome. The authors of the study didn't find any significant contribution of Denisovans to the DNA of people from mainland Eurasia, however.

The new gene-sequencing techniques also allowed scientists to more precisely calculate how much of modern humans' DNA came not from Denisovans but Neanderthals. They found, to their puzzlement, that Native Americans and people in East Asia have more Neanderthal DNA than do people whose ancestors are from Europe, where most Neanderthals lived."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:All This From 1 Degree C (Score 5, Insightful) 605

by marjancek (#40903993) Attached to: NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming

How did people think we could dump that much energy into any system and it would not make a difference?

Well, that's weird: people commenting without having an idea about the issue.
We dumping energy into the system?

We are not giving [so much] energy into the system; we are just pouring green-house gases into the atmosphere, which in turn stop the planet from loosing energy at the rate it has dissipated it before. That's called green-house effect, because it acts as the glasses in a green house, preventing the heat from leaving the system, and increasing the average temperature.

It is not about human turning their air conditioners on and heating the atmosphere; it's about burning gas/coal/petrol to generate energy for those air conditioners (and cars, airplanes, industry, etc.) and increasing the level of green-house gases.

Comment: Complex issue: TFR, Life expectancy and Pooverty, (Score 1) 461

by marjancek (#36810574) Attached to: Earth's Population To Hit 7 Billion This Year

The population growth is a really worrying issue I think we failed to nail in the last decades.
With a world average of 2.58 children per woman it doesn't sound too bad, but add to it the increase of life expectancy and it's then no surprise that we are still growing so fast.

We need to bring family planning to the poorest countries which hold the greatest birth rates as soon as possible. That will solve two problems with one shot: reduce population growth and poverty. Since giving them the opportunity to achieve economic stability before having children, and having less children to feed would give those families a lot more possibilities.

Second step would be education, to give them the chance of economic growth.

Comment: Re:We already have the tech (Score 2) 156

by marjancek (#35790288) Attached to: Scientists Aim To Improve Photosynthesis

Don't call it birth control; it's better called 'family planning'.

A family is less poor not only if wisely chooses its number of children, but also the moment in time when they have it.

In countries with high birth rates (children per woman) couples get their first child so early that usually they don't finish school, before getting any working experience that would grant them a safe monthly income, nor any time at those job positions to save some money while they could have.

That's why I prefer the term Family Planning, it makes more sense.

Comment: Desertification (Score 1) 156

by marjancek (#35790254) Attached to: Scientists Aim To Improve Photosynthesis

Wouldn't this contribute to the already important problem of desertification?
If plans in the same area will be able to produce more bio-mass per squared meter, then the soil will be deprived of nitrogen and other nutrients faster, accelerating the process of desertification.

You can of course tell me that fertilising those lands will solve the problem, but fertilisers have their own problems on the long run, specially inorganic ones.

It does sound interesting for hydroponic cultivation and, why not, space farming.

We can predict everything, except the future.

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