13:13 - 09.12.2016 / Views: 10
In fossil rarity, tumor found in 255-million-year-old beast

Scientists examining the jawbone of a saber-toothed, mammal-like beast that prowled Tanzania 255 million years ago have come across a remarkable fossil rarity: one of the oldest-known tumors.

University of Washington researchers on Thursday described a benign tumor composed of miniature tooth-like structures they found embedded next to the root of the creature’s enlarged canine tooth while studying an unrelated aspect of the jaw.

The animal was a member of an extinct group of four-legged carnivores called gorgonopsians that mixed mammal-like and reptile-like traits. They reached up to 10 feet (3 meters) long and appeared early in the evolutionary lineage that led to mammals. The jawbone came from one of the smaller gorgonopsian species.

Gorgonopsians were among the top predators of their time, thriving from about 270 million to 252 million years ago when they were wiped out during Earth’s worst mass extinction at the end of the Permian Period. Their demise came roughly 20 million years before the first dinosaurs.

When the researchers sliced into the mandible fossil from Tanzania’s Ruhuhu Valley, they found a benign dental tumor called a compound odontoma that grows within the gums or other jaw soft tissues. When people get one, surgery is sometimes used to remove it.

“There was no indication that there was a tumor in this jaw. It looked normal before we cut it open. It was pure luck that we found the tumor,” University of Washington paleobiologist Megan Whitney said.

Until now, this type of tumor was known only in mammals, including some Ice Age fossils tens of thousands of years old. The new discovery shows such a tumor existed in mammal ancestors that lived tens of millions of years before the first mammals appeared.

Tumors, malignant and benign, typically involve soft tissue, and rarely fossilize.

“Ancient tumors generally need to affect hard parts such as bones and teeth in order to be preserved in the fossil record,” University of Washington paleobiologist Christian Sidor added.

This tumor included hard enamel and dentin.

Few tumor fossils are older. A 300-million-year-old fish was found with a tumor and a 350-million-year-old armored fish has an apparent tumor that some dispute.

“Fossils allow us to understand the evolution of diseases in deep time and have the potential to provide clues as to the causes of diseases that afflict humans,” Whitney said.

The research appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology.

U.S. lawmakers push for answers on Trump team’s Russia ties
15:15 - 16.02.2017

A crisis over the relationship between President Donald Trump’s aides and Russia deepened on Wednesday as a growing number of Trump’s fellow Republicans demanded expanded congressional inquiries into the matter. Trump sought to focus attention on what he called criminal intelligence leaks about his ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Trump forced Flynn out on

North Korea launches ballistic missile test
12:12 - 13.02.2017

North Korea fired off a ballistic missile into the East Sea from Banghyeon North Pyongan Province early Sunday, according to South Korean officials. South Korea’s military is analyzing exactly what type of missile it was but there’s a strong possibility that it was a midrange Musudan type, according to officials. North Korea has test fired

US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier
12:12 - 13.02.2017

For the first time, US investigators say they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, multiple current and former US law enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN. As CNN first reported, then-President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existence of

After day in South Korea court, Samsung chief awaits arrest decision
15:15 - 16.02.2017

Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee left a Seoul court after more than eight hours on Thursday to await a decision on whether he will be arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has engulfed President Park Geun-hye. The 48-year-old Lee, wearing a dark coat and navy tie, kept his head down

Key business lobby warns UK not to play favorites in Brexit
12:12 - 13.02.2017

A key business lobby warned Britain’s government Monday not to play favorites among industries when it negotiates the country’s exit from the European Union, saying that ignoring any sector would hurt the entire economy. The Confederation of British Industries and the international law firm Clifford Chance also said in a new report that it is

Trump, South Korea’s Hwang agree to strengthen defenses against North Korea: White House
16:16 - 30.01.2017

U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn agreed to take steps to strengthen joint defense capabilities to defend against North Korea’s nuclear threat, the White House said on Sunday after a telephone call between the two leaders. “President Trump reiterated our ironclad commitment to defend (South Korea), including through the provision

After day in South Korea court, Samsung chief awaits arrest decision
15:15 - 16.02.2017

Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee left a Seoul court after more than eight hours on Thursday to await a decision on whether he will be arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has engulfed President Park Geun-hye. The 48-year-old Lee, wearing a dark coat and navy tie, kept his head down

BT supports Google’s Android in EU antitrust row
21:21 - 06.02.2017

BT (BT.L) has become the first major telecoms company to back Google (GOOGL.O) in a battle with EU regulators, defending the “stability and compatibility” of the Android operating system, which is in the sights of anti-trust regulators. The EU says Google stifles competition by forcing smartphone makers to pre-install its search function and browser to

Nokia beats market expectations, sees network market improving
14:14 - 02.02.2017

Finnish network equipment maker Nokia reported its quarterly profits fell less than expected, helped by cost cuts and the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, and said the tough global market was starting to stabilize. Nokia and its rivals, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei [HWT.UL], have struggled lately as telecom operators’ demand for faster 4G mobile broadband equipment

U.S. lawmakers push for answers on Trump team’s Russia ties
15:15 - 16.02.2017

A crisis over the relationship between President Donald Trump’s aides and Russia deepened on Wednesday as a growing number of Trump’s fellow Republicans demanded expanded congressional inquiries into the matter. Trump sought to focus attention on what he called criminal intelligence leaks about his ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Trump forced Flynn out on

BT supports Google’s Android in EU antitrust row
21:21 - 06.02.2017

BT (BT.L) has become the first major telecoms company to back Google (GOOGL.O) in a battle with EU regulators, defending the “stability and compatibility” of the Android operating system, which is in the sights of anti-trust regulators. The EU says Google stifles competition by forcing smartphone makers to pre-install its search function and browser to

Iran says it sealed Boeing plane deal at half price
20:20 - 26.12.2016

Iran said on Sunday it had negotiated to pay only about half the announced price for 80 new Boeing (BA.N) airliners in an order that the American planemaker had said was worth $16.6 billion. Boeing and its European rival Airbus (AIR.PA) have both signed huge contracts this month to supply airliners to Iran, the first