Which came first, the chicken or the T-Rex?

Okay, obviously the T-Rex. But as it turns out, they have much more in common than just a clever blog title. Genetic researchers have just announced that those clucking, egg-producing denizens of the barnyard that we until now thought of as relatively harmless, are actually related -- though rather distantly -- to the T-Rex. By studying proteins from a 68-million-year-old T-Rex bone, they were able to prove a direct link between the two species. Scientists have theorized for years that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but until now, had no tissue-based proof of it. Read more about the laboratorial nitty-gritty here, or if dino-chickens aren't your thing, check out a Robot Chicken.

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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