Friday, November 21, 2014

In the News: Return of the Piltdown Man

Fig.1. The Piltdown man, originally thought to be the fossilized remains of an early human, proved to be a forgery (Credit:

Often called the "greatest hoax in the history of science," the Piltdown man was purportedly the missing link between apes and humans. In 1953, 41 years after its original "discovery," the Piltdown man was revealed as nothing more than a forgery, with pieced together orangutan, chimpanzee, and human bones. In this week's headlines, fake fossils return, along with advances in disease research, movement of carbon dioxide, ice core studies, and more.

  • Taking a fossil out of context can have devastating effects on its scientific utility, not to mention what happens if you start mixing and matching: "How Fake Fossils Pervert Paleontology," Scientific American (Nov. 15, 2014)

  • Feeding nine billion people by 2050 will be no easy task. These scientists play a vital role for the future of food security: "Mineral Uptake and Genetic Diversity in Rice," Crop Science Society of America (Nov. 18, 2014) 

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