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Juvenile sea turtles aren’t slackers; Neanderthal jewelry; mice brain offers insight into ills of human mind

Juvenile sea turtles are not just coasting along

Sea turtles 6 to 18 months old are active swimmers that work hard to find favorable ocean habitats, according to a new study in Current Biology.

Scientists know little about the so-called lost years that young turtles spend at sea before returning to coastal areas to forage and reproduce.

Juvenile sea turtles were thought to passively drift with ocean currents. Researchers discovered otherwise after using satellite telemetry to track 44 young turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.

Neanderthal jewelry: the eagle talon line

Neanderthals may have used the talons of white-tailed eagles to make jewelry 130,000 years ago, long before the appearance of modern humans in Europe, according to a new study published in PLOS One.

At an archaeological site in Croatia, researchers discovered the talons with notches and abrasions suggesting they had been made into necklaces or bracelets. Eagle talons may have had symbolic value to Neanderthals, the researchers said.

Mice brain offers insight into ills of human mind

When injected with bits of human DNA, mice embryos grew brains that were 12 percent larger than those of embryos injected with the same genes from chimpanzees.

Scientists at Duke University, writing in the journal Current Biology, say the experiment demonstrates the role that a particular gene sequence, HARE5, plays in the development of the human brain, which is far heavier and more complex than the brains of our closest animal cousins.

The research also may help reveal why humans suffer from conditions like Alzheimer’s and autism, but chimpanzees do not.

– New York Times