(a) stuck in the mud (b) overshadowed (c) imprisoned (d) shoved
Difficult Word: -
(a) solvent (b) sugar (c) liquid-conducting heartwood (d)
speak in tongues
- Nature Left: Parrots
can shape sound with their tongues.
Ever wondered what makes parrots so good
at mimicking human speech? It turns out that the feathered
impressionists use their tongues to create vowel-like sounds, just as we
do. Until now, many researchers
thought that birds produced and modified their song in the avian
equivalent of the larynx, the syrinx, and that the tongue played no role
at all. But parrots are known to bob their fleshy tongues back and forth
when they talk, so Gabriel Beckers from Leiden University in the
Netherlands and colleagues decided to see whether these movements
contribute to the birds' great talent for mimicry. Their results are
published in Current Biology1. The
discovery "suggests that parrot communication may be more complex
than we thought", says Beckers.
for ET - Nature Left:
SETI telescope collects data to
enable research in the areas of astronomy, planetary studies, space and
atmospheric sciences. Rumours
of contact with aliens have been exaggerated (again). Philip Ball asks
whether the search for extraterrestrials does anything but fuel
paranoia. On 2 September,
Christopher Rose and Gregory Wright pointed out in Nature that,
bit for bit, it is far more energy-efficient to send messages to other
worlds as nanoscribed parcels than as encoded electromagnetic signals1.
Yet that week also saw excited accounts in the press that claimed the
SETI@home project had just reported its "most interesting
signal" so far, coming from between Pisces and Aries at a frequency
of 1420 megahertz. The project is the arm of the Search for
Extraterrestrial Intelligence in which volunteers use their home
computers to sift through radioastronomy data for signs of intelligent
discovered the Americas?
- Nature Left:
colonization theories hold that the first wave of humans to migrate to
the Americas came from Siberia.
The first colonizers of the Americas
came from Australia, according to archaeologists who have analysed
skulls from 12,000-year-old skeletons found in California. The finding
contradicts the traditional view that the first immigrants were the
ancestors of modern Native Americans.
The skulls, taken from skeletal remains found in the desert of the Baja
California peninsula in Mexico, are long and narrow. "This is
completely different to the Native Americans' rounder skull shape,"
explains lead researcher Silvia Gonzalez from the Liverpool John Moores
University, UK. They have managed to radiocarbon date 4 of the 27
skeletons. So far, the oldest, belonging to an individual called Peņon
Woman III, is 12,700 years old. "These seafaring travellers would
have followed a corridor around the Pacific coast from Australia, along
the coast of Japan, to Baja.
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