SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
It's Still a Dog's Life, But When Did It Begin?
from the San Francisco Chronicle
As scientific puzzles go, the origin of dogs may not be as important as the origin of the universe. But it strikes closer to home, and it almost seems harder to answer.
Cosmologists seem to have settled on the idea that 13.7 billion years ago the universe appeared with a bang (the big one) from nothing--albeit a kind of nothing that included the laws of physics. They assure us that although we may not be able to comprehend the numbers, this is what happened.
With dogs, there is no such agreement. A consensus seems to have been reached on only one point, which is that the ancestors of dogs were wolves. Beyond that, there are varying claims, particularly about dates and places. Dogs were domesticated, various scientists argue, between 15,000 and 100,000 years ago, in Asia or Africa or multiple times in multiple places.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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