Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Mammoth cloning imminent?



Russia: New laboratory to study mammoth cloning
By News from Elsewhere...BBC
Russia has opened a laboratory in Siberia devoted to the study of extinct animal DNA in the hope of creating clones, it's reported.The new lab in Yakutsk - often called the world's coldest city - will "seek out live cells with a view to cloning", says Semen Grigoryev, director of the Mammoth Museum at the city's Northeastern Federal University. He tells Ogonek magazine that "the priority is to look into bringing back the mammoth", adding that the Beijing Institute of Genomics and South Korea's Sooam Biotech company, which has pioneered dog cloning, will be involved in the study.
Earlier this year, researchers at Harvard University announced they had copied 14 woolly mammoth genes into the genome of an Asian elephant. The scientists at Yakutsk's new facility hope that their own unrivalled collection of 2,000 or so remnants of prehistoric animals, ranging from primitive dogs and horses to mammoths, will help to identify quality cell tissue from which to extract useful DNA. The story has provoked considerable excitement in Russian social media, with many speculating about whether this will lead to the birth of an actual mammoth hybrid. But others ask whether the priority should actually be to help save existing species which are on the brink of extinction, rather than trying to revive those which have been gone for thousands of years.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Werewolves conference in UK

The itinerary for the UK's only werewolf conference

By Laurence Cawley BBC News

With international papers, workshops and a keynote speaker, a three-day conference to be held at the University of Hertfordshire next month resembles most other academic gatherings. What makes this one different is the subject matter: werewolves.
Lycanthropy is a word not often heard.
First coined in the 16th Century, it means the (mythical) transformation of a person into a wolf.
On 3 September - four days after the next full moon - many of the world's leading experts in lycanthropy will gather at the University of Hertfordshire for the UK's only werewolf conference.
Read rest here :

Makes me almost wish I wasn't retired from academia. I would have loved to go to that .

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Monster or something else?




What is this 'Roch Ness Monster' washed up at Hollingworth Lake?
   By Amy Glendinning
Adele Battersby found the four foot-long beast lying dead on the shore of the Littleborough lake and it's enough to give you nightmares. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, this huge creature – dubbed the Roch Ness Monster – was found washed up on the shores of the Littleborough lake on Sunday afternoon.
Read rest see pic here:http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/pike-monster-hollingworth-lake-scary-9789709

It is probably a pike as stated in the article. It shows how people can mistake remains for something more fortean.Always look for the simple explanation first .

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Dinosaurs had ginger feathers and were not scaly.




Why we like to believe that dinosaurs were scaly
Once thought to be terrifying, scaly lizards, it now seems dinosaurs were actually more like birds. But not everyone's ready to accept their new image, writes Mary Colwell. "All Brontosauruses are thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle and then thin again at the far end," declared the pedantic Miss Anne Elk in the famous Monty Python sketch more than 40 years ago. Miss Elk's observation still holds fast, but many of our other opinions about dinosaurs have changed.The word "dinosaur" is made from the combination of two Greek words, "deinos" which means terrible or fearfully great, and "saur" which means lizard. It was first used in 1842 by the palaeontologist Richard Owen who saw some similarities between huge fossil bones and the skeletons of living reptiles.He suggested "establishing a distinct tribe or sub-order of Saurian Reptiles, for which I would propose the name of Dinosauria".
And further down the page “Much intellectual blood has been shed in the corridors of paleontological research institutes over the years as evidence has been amassed to show that dinosaurs were highly varied in size and behaviour, and more like birds than reptiles.
"All the evidence is that dinosaurs were warm-blooded," says Mike Benton, professor of palaeontology at Bristol University. "When you look at the bone histology [structure] you see they had growth patterns and replacement of bone very like mammals and birds… Many if not most dinosaurs had feathers." Many of those feathers were coloured ginger and white and black.”

Read rest see pics  here :http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33678744

Would dinosaurs be less scary with feathers? Probably but they would still have sharp teeth so not for cuddling. Does this mean some cryptids may have feathers? Some cryptids are believed to be relics of past ages  and so could be feathered and not hairy or scaly .It is difficult to tell when you are startled by the sight of a cryptid and don’t see clearly but it is always possible that feathers or fine down are mistaken as hair or fur. Just a thought for the weekend .

Friday, 17 July 2015

Another sighting of the Lake Bala Creature

was contacted today with this sighting  of the Lake Bala Creature:
Anonymous said...
I have been prompted today to write this comment after reading yet another story about the Loch Ness Monster, but let me tell you about my experience whilst diving in Bala many years ago.

For the record I,m a 68 year old retired person, who has seen this creature under the water, whilst diving there in 1975.

A team of us had dived the previous week in the lake, but due to the visibility at that time which was poor, we decided to return the following week with our families.

But this time we were better equipped with torches.

As I recall there was about 9 of us in the team, we headed in from the shale shore on the backside of the lake on the opposite side to the town. After 30 foot out and 30 down, it blacks out, so we lined up holding onto each others back packs which held the tanks.

As we descended it got darker, I was second in the team with the leader holding one of the two torches. At 98 feet I suddenly saw a browny grey flank of something very large go through the beam. I normally describe it as the size of the back of an office swivel chair, but the curvature of it was much bigger.

I never seen the head, and I never stayed around to see the tail of this very long creature, which was very very long. As it seemed to keep going through the beam for a long time.

With shock I broke off the line and made my way to the top, when the rest of the lads came up shortly after, each said that they had seen something, but could not define exactly what it was.

Shortly after Scofields Quest was on TV talking about the "monster", I called the show producers and told them of my experience, this was some years later. They ask for any information to be sent in, whichI did.

The following week on tv, my experience was quoted, they also read out the entries in my Divers Log Book, which had the incident logged. Also in the log book it had the dated entries, which showed all of the dive dates both before and after, prooving it was a genuine entry.

Shortly after a Japanese tv show spoke with me in regards the experience !

Apparently at that time also, the Lake Manager had also reported that he had seen it himself.

Its without doubt that there is something very very large in that lake.Wheather it there now,I do not know.

What is good about this story, is that it happened many years ago, but it can be proven, because it was a featured story on Scofields Quest !!

Can I say "the plot thickens"
17 July 2015 at 15:21

Scientists have discovered a winged dinosaur .Here be dragons !



Dinosaur find: Velociraptor ancestor was 'winged dragon'
By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News


Scientists have discovered a winged dinosaur - an ancestor of the velociraptor - that they say was on the cusp of becoming a bird. The 6ft 6in (2m) creature was almost perfectly preserved in limestone, thanks to a volcanic eruption that had buried it in north-east China.And the 125-million year-old fossil suggests many other dinosaurs, including velociraptors, would have looked like "big, fluffy killer birds". But it is unlikely that it could fly.
Read rest here :http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33510288

So was this origin of dragons ? Where they really winged dinosaurs? Interesting thought for a Friday.