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The ESP Timeline (one of the site's most popular features) has been completely updated to allow the user to select (using the timeline controls above each column) different topics for the left and right sides of the display.
New Left Column
New Left Column
New Right Column
New Right Column
Based on studies of Y chromosomes, Peter Underhill publishes his finding that all modern humans share a common ancestor, bolstering the 1987 announcement from Cann and Wilson. This suggests a "bottleneck" event (population crash) among human ancestors living in Africa roughly 150,000 years ago.
Sally McBearty and Alison Brooks publish "The Revolution that Wasn't" challenging the long-held notion of a "big bang" in human intellectual evolution approximately 40,000 years ago. Instead, they cite evidence for earlier appearances of modern behavior.
Gao Xingjian awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for an œuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama".
Gladiator wins Academy Award for best picture. When the Ridley Scott-directed epic opened in May, audiences loved it, but few predicted it would be a best picture winner. But as the months wore on, Academy members clearly maintained their admiration for the film, the kind of intelligent spectacle that Hollywood does best.
(no entry for this year)
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories".
A Beautiful Mind wins Academy Award for best picture. It doesnt sound like a surefire project: A biopic about a delusional math genius. But Russell Crowe turned in another great performance, and Oscars went to director Ron Howard, supporting actress Jennifer Connelly, and writer Akiva Goldsman, adapting Sylvia Nasars book about John Nash.
(no entry for this year)
Imre Kertész awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history".
Chicago wins Academy Award for best picture. Hollywood had circled around a movie adaptation of the stage musical since the 1970s, but director Rob Marshall and writer Bill Condon figured out how to make it work. They delivered a razzle-dazzle musical with wry observations about contemporary obsessions with scandal and celebrity.
(no entry for this year)
John M. Coetzee awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider".
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King wins Academy Award for best picture. Peter Jacksons film trilogy, adapted from the J.R.R. Tolkien novels, earned billions at the B.O., the intense loyalty of fans, and industry admiration for the new technology introduced in the fantasy epic. It also became the third film to win 11 Oscars, after Ben-Hur and Titanic and LOTR became the only one to sweep all its categories.
Peter Brown, Mike Morwood and collaborators announce the find of a 1-meter- tall hominid skeleton on the Indonesian island of Flores. Found near the remains of giant lizards and pygmy elephants, the new species is formally named Homo floresiensis and nicknamed the "hobbit." Though some suspect it's a kind of malformed, small-brained midget, this interpretation will be answered by braincase scans, wrist bones too primitive to be Homo sapiens, and the announcement of several more individuals of the same species. Later studies will suggest direct ancestry from Homo erectus, although another study will argue the remains really indicate Down syndrome. The species is initially given an estimated age as young as 11,000 years, but later research will indicate an age of at least 50,000 years.
Elfriede Jelinek awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power".
Million Dollar Baby wins Academy Award for best picture. This was Clint Eastwoods second big night at the Academy Awards, following Unforgiven. The tale of a woman boxer holds another distinction: In Oscars 77th ceremony, this became the first best picture winner set in Southern California.
(no entry for this year)
Harold Pinter awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as one "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces event into oppression's closed rooms".
Crash wins Academy Award for best picture. In the build-up to the Oscars, the gay western Brokeback Mountain had dominated the awards scene. But the Paul Haggis-directed Crash came out the big winner.
Jean Moliner, Gerhard Ries, Cyril Zipfel and Barbara Hohn publish their findings on stressed plants that not only mutate at a greater rate, but also pass an increased mutation tendency to their offspring.
Orhan Pamuk awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as one "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures".
The Departed wins Academy Award for best picture. After five nominations as director, Martin Scorsese hit the jackpot with No. 6, winning one of the films four awards. Its an Oscar rarity since its a remake, based on the 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs.
(no entry for this year)
Doris Lessing awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for being "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny".
Sculpture by Damien Hirst: For the Love of God consists of a platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead that is known as the Skull Star Diamond. The skull's teeth are actual human teeth, and were purchased by Hirst in London. The artwork is a Memento mori, or reminder of the mortality of the viewer. In 2007, art historian Rudi Fuchs, observed: 'The skull is out of this world, celestial almost. It proclaims victory over decay. At the same time it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.' Costing £14 million to produce, the work was placed on its inaugural display at the White Cube gallery in London in an exhibition Beyond belief with an asking price of £50 million. This would have been the highest price ever paid for a single work by a living artist. The base for the work is a human skull bought in a shop in Islington. It is thought to be that of a 35-year-old European who lived between 1720 and 1810. The work's title was supposedly inspired by Hirst's mother, who once asked, "For the love of God, what are you going to do next? Hirst said that the work was sold on 30 August 2007, for £50 million, to an anonymous consortium. Christina Ruiz, editor of The Art Newspaper, claims that Hirst had failed to find a buyer and had been trying to offload the skull for £38 million. Immediately after these allegations were made, Hirst claimed he had sold it for the full asking price, in cash, leaving no paper trail. The consortium that bought the piece included Hirst himself.
No Country for Old Men wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, based on Cormac McCarthys novel, became the second consecutive bloody actioner to take the big prize. And it was the second winner in Oscar history directed by a duo: Joel and Ethan Coen (after the team from West Side Story).
After studying grunting fish, Andrew Bass and colleagues report that the part of the brain controlling volcalization is extremely primitive, and propose that vertebrates evolved the ability to communicate through sound some 400 million years ago.
Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for being an "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization".
Slumdog Millionaire wins Academy Award for best picture. No foreign-language film has won best picture, but Slumdog Millionaire comes closest, since one-third of the dialogue is in Hindi. Its also a rarity, since it centers around a TV show: Indias version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Gabriele Gentile and colleagues describe a previously overlooked pink iguana, referred to as "rosada," on the Galápagos Islands. The pink lizard species may represent the earliest divergence of land animals on the island chain that Charles Darwin made famous.
Herta Müller awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as one "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed".
The Hurt Locker wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, beat out some tough competition, including the record-breaking Avatar Hurt Locker earned $49 million at the global box office, the lowest-grossing film in Oscar history. But it has gained many fans and admirers over the years, and Bigelow so far is the only woman to win a directing Oscar.
ESP Quick Facts
In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.
Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.
In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.
When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.
Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.
With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.
ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 06 MAR 2017 )
CRISPR-Cas: Bringing precise editing to DNA manipulation.
Treating Disease with Fecal Transplantation
Fossils of miniature humans (hobbits) discovered in Indonesia
Science Policy & Funding
Overbuilding Research Capacity: an important editorial in which Bruce Alberts argues that the current funding trajectory is unsustainable.
Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws: Bruce Alberts and others argue that "it is time to rethink some fundamental features of the US biomedical research ecosystem."
Gates Foundation research can't be published in top journals
DNA barcoding shows that restaurant seafood is often not what it seems
Dinosaur tail, complete with feathers, found preserved in amber.
Dinosaurs and Feathers: A Bibliography
Mysterious fast radio burst (FRB) detected in the distant universe.
Colliding stars will light up the night sky in 2022
Big Data & Informatics
Big Data: Buzzword or Big Deal?
Hacking the genome: Identifying anonymized human subjects using publicly available data.
Using DNA as a mass-storage device for digital data.