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Latest Blair Hedges Stories

Renaissance Artwork Shows History Of Wormholes
2012-11-21 10:36:50

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online European Renaissance printers probably knew they were recording history for future generations, but what they didn´t realize is that they were also recording events related to biological history. Blair Hedges, a professor of biology at Penn State University, has discovered ℠wormholes´ that pock-marked European printed art from that time period were formed by two different types of beetles, which had separate, clearly...

Newly Discovered Skink Species Already Close To Extinction
2012-05-01 04:35:49

Jason Farmer for RedOrbit.com In a recent scientific publication, 24 new species of lizards known as skinks, all found on the Caribbean islands, have been discovered and named. Each year, in dozens of scientific publications, approximately 130 new species of reptiles from all over the world are added to the global count. But, since the nineteenth century not more than 20 reptile species have been added at one time in any single publication. The research team responsible for the new...

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2011-01-26 12:31:02

Amphibian experts have long wrangled over the origins of the Greenhouse frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris) and the Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis). The two species of invasive frog which are hopping their way through Florida probably got to the state by hitching a ride on floating debris from Cuba, according to a study published on Wednesday, reports AFP. The two species are widespread across the Caribbean, but were first spotted in the Florida Keys -- the island chain that...

2010-09-21 11:04:36

The scientists who put an innovative tree of life online last year now have made that same resource available -- free -- for smartphones. The new "TimeTree" application lets anyone with an Apple iPhone harness a vast Internet storehouse of data about the diversity of life, from bacteria to humans. The intuitive interface is designed to answer a simple question, quickly and authoritatively: how long ago did species A and species B share a common ancestor? "Our new iPhone app can be fun for...

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2010-03-31 08:36:48

"Blindsnakes are not very pretty, are rarely noticed, and are often mistaken for earthworms," admits Blair Hedges, professor of biology at Penn State University. "Nonetheless, they tell a very interesting evolutionary story." Hedges and Nicolas Vidal, of the Mus©um National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, are co-leaders of the team that discovered that blindsnakes are one of the few groups of organisms that inhabited Madagascar when it broke from India about 100 million years ago and are...

2009-06-10 13:22:43

Two U.S. universities have created a Web site that offers easy access to the latest knowledge about the origin of species on Earth. Developed by biologists at Penn State University and Arizona State University, the Web site for the first time offers access to information that previously was difficult to find or inaccessible. Free access to the information is part of the new Timetree of Life initiative developed by Penn State Professor Blair Hedges and Arizona State Professor Sudhir Kumar. The...

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2008-08-03 10:20:00

The world's smallest species of snake, with adults averaging just under four inches in length, has been identified on the Caribbean island of Barbados. The species -- which is as thin as a spaghetti noodle and small enough to rest comfortably on a U.S. quarter --was discovered by Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Penn State. Hedges and his colleagues also are the discoverers of the world's smallest frog and lizard species, which too were found on Caribbean islands. The most recent...

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2006-06-21 16:28:44

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Antique book collectors might want to read up on genetic mutations before determining the age of an undated find. A Penn State biology professor with a passion for old prints and maps says he has found a new way to date centuries-old books by using a technique similar to what scientists use to study mutations. The so-called "print clock" technique incorporates some complicated statistical formulas. But professor Blair Hedges says much of his analysis on 16th and 17th...