James Noonan

Sep. 12, 2008

Genes -- And How Humans Got Their Dexterity

We use our hands to play flamenco guitar, crochet a sweater and grip a baseball bat...but how did we get such great dexterity? In this segment of Science Friday, guest host Joe Palca takes a look at how humans came up with such a great hand.

hand, opposable thumbs, limb development

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Teaching Ancient Nautilus New Tricks

\tWith its heavy outer shell, weak vision, and primitive brain, the nautilus lacks much of the excitement of the more flashy and cunning cephalopods. Yet a series of experiments by evolutionary biologists Dr. Jennifer Basil and Robyn Crook involving fish juice, blue lights, and mazes dispels the notion that this ancient species is incapable of basic learning and throws into question the origins of cephalopods' intellectual prowess.

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