Mystery of the missing mass, transgender clownfish, mouse genome project, stem cell surprises, good gossip? and more in this week’s News to Note.
Some of our mass is missing. Or not.
Transgender clownfish, transgender people—what’s the difference?
Making mice more useful with the Mouse Genome Project
Induced pluripotent stem cells: is the glass half-full or half-empty?
And Don’t Miss . . .
- Failure to follow-up on arsenic-loving bacteria from Mono Lake is generating controversy. About six months ago, NASA astrobiologists reported that bacteria cultured with arsenic but without phosphorus incorporated the arsenic into their DNA. Neither they nor any other researchers have repeated the experiments. The complaints provide a lesson on how real science works. Scientific observations should be testable and repeatable. While some possible flaws in the original experimental design have been pointed out, the hottest criticism concerns the failure to try to replicate the results.
- A 3.3 foot shrimp-like anomolocaridid fossil has been found near Morocco in an Ordovician rock layer. Previously found anomolocaridids were in the underlying Cambrian layer, commonly considered 501–542 million years old. (See Doubt on Complex Species Evolving Slowly.) The Cambrian explosion refers to the dramatic increase in fossils compared to the many Pre-Cambrian layers where fossils are sparse. These Ordovician rocks are commonly dated at 472–488 million years. Relying on untrustworthy dating methods to provide time enough for organisms to evolve, evolutionists see the pattern of expected evolution in the geologic column “because evolutionary theory has been crafted to include and reflect the order of first appearance actually observed in the fossil record.”1 We believe that the organisms in the geologic column reflect mass extinctions related to the catastrophic Flood as it quickly buried various groups of organisms.
- A gamma-ray burst from an exploding star “near the edge of the observable Universe may be the most distant single object yet spied by a telescope.” Believing that looking faraway in space is the same as looking back in time, astronomers believe the explosion happened 13.14 billion years ago. And because they believe they are looking so far back in time, they hypothesize that the star could have been a Population lll star. Population lll stars, which have never been observed, should have formed soon after the big bang and consisted of only hydrogen and helium. Such an ancient star, the theory goes, would then have to last long enough to explode, a lot of activity within the time frame demanded by the distance-implies-time paradigm. Read more about gamma-ray bursters at From the Depths of Space and the distant starlight problem at Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old? and Distant Starlight—The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention.
Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us. If you didn’t catch last week’s News to Note, why not take a look at it now? See you next week!