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3.3 Variation

Fossil rodents are first found in rocks that date from around 65 million years ago (from the Eocene) and are thought to have evolved from insectivore/omnivore-type mammals that lived 100 million years ago (in the Cretaceous period). To say that they evolved from simply means that there probably is a direct line of descent but that the descendants have changed from their forebears. One of the most significant ways that evolutionary change can be brought about is by a process known as na
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3.2 Adaptation

If you are working through the units in this series in sequence, you have already been introduced to the idea that many features of an animal's behaviour and structure are adaptations to their way of life. Unit S182_2 looked at the oily fur and the flipper-like feet of the water shrew, comparing the water shrew to the common shrew, a close relative that does not have these features and that does not chase prey under water. We also thought very carefully about the way that adaptations are desc
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1 Meeting the insect eaters

As you work through this unit you will come across boxes, like this one, which give you advice about the study skills that you will be developing as you progress through the unit. To avoid breaking up the flow of the text, they will usually appear at the start or end of the sections.

As well as the unit t
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2 The global water cycle

The flow of water through the land, the atmosphere and the sea is shown in Figure 3.


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1.4 Decimal places

If you have less than one unit you should put a zero before the decimal point to make it easier for yourself and others to read the value (e.g. you should write 0.4 rather than just .4, as will be explained later in this unit). However, how many zeros should you put after the last whole number in the series? For instance, is 0.4 the same as 0.40?

The short answer is that on one level, it is. However, by writing 0.40 we are saying that there are four tenths and zero hundredths, an
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4.1 Introduction

In the theory of plate tectonics there are three main types of plate boundary, namely: constructive, destructive and conservative plate boundaries.

Figure 5
Figure
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2.2.1 Using a calculator for scientific notation

You are likely to be doing many calculations with numbers in scientific notation, so it is important that you know how to input them on your calculator efficiently and how to interpret the results.

First, make sure that you can input numbers in scientific notation on your calculator. There are a couple of ways to do this, but the most straightforward is to use the special button provided for entering scientific notation. This might be labelled as EXP, EE, E or EX, but there is considera
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3.4 Specialisation within language areas: brain scanning

Is there any evidence from the undamaged brain that the view derived from aphasia is indeed correct? The most useful methodologies here use either PET or functional MRI (fMRI) scanning to establish which parts of the brain are active in particular tasks. The difficulty is that a standard linguistic task, such as understanding a sentence's meaning, involves phonology and syntax and semantics, and thus is not helpful when trying to tease out which of these subtasks happens in which areas.


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3 Orogenies in the Proterozoic

The document attached below includes the third section of Mountain building in Scotland. In this section, you will find the following subsections:

  • 3.1 Introduction

  • 3.2 Palaeoproterozoic rifting, sedimentation and magmatism

  • 3.3 The Palaeoproterozoic Laxfordian Orogeny

    • 3.3.1 Assembly of the Lewisian Complex

    • 3.3.2 Formation of Proterozoic crust


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1 Introduction

The document attached below includes the table of contents and first section of Mountain building in Scotland. In this section, you will find the following subsections:

  • Table of contents

  • 1.1 Setting the scene

  • 1.2 Recognizing ancient mountains

  • 1.3 Orogeny through geological time

    • 1.3.1 Geological time: a brief note

    • 1.3.2 Disentangling the cont
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5.2 Frequency code

Although the evidence for the place theory of frequency coding is compelling, there is some question as to whether the tuning curves obtained from neurons in the auditory nerve provide a mechanism for frequency discrimination that is fine enough to account for behavioural data. People can detect remarkably small differences in frequency – in some cases as small as 3 Hz (for a 1000 Hz signal at moderate intensity). What accounts for this ability? As early as 1930, the American experimental p
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3.6 Synaptic transmission from hair cells

In addition to being sensory receptors, hair cells are also presynaptic terminals. The membrane at the base of each hair cell contains several presynaptic active zones, where chemical neurotransmitter is released. When the hair cells are depolarised, chemical transmitter is released from the hair cells to the cells of the auditory nerve fibres. Excited by this chemical transmitter, the afferent nerve fibres contacting the hair cells fire a pattern of action potentials that encode features of
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6 Conclusion

There is much more to living in polar regions than insulation against the cold. Food may be very scattered both in space and in time and breeding must be tightly synchronized to seasons and food availability. Some of the most spectacular examples of natural obesity and efficient regulation of appetite are found among polar animals. The study of such species not only demonstrates that it is possible to remain healthy and active when very obese and during prolonged fasting, it also helps us to
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3.7 Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Activity 14

What is the condition that results from vitamin C deficiency and what are its symptoms?

Answer

You will probably remember from the start of this
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2.2 Population screening for genetic disease: the precedents

Knowing about particular genes, or their effects, also permits screening – the search in a population for persons with certain genotypes that are associated with a particular disease. Thus the test may be offered to one and all. Until now, screening programmes have focused on one gene at a time, or one disease at a time, in cases where a mutated gene poses serious health problems and something can be done for those who are found to carry the mutation. What that something is varies with the
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1.9 Summary and conclusion: ‘take-away messages’

It helps to understand the PhD in context: the modern PhD is typically a three-year research training providing evidence of the ability to conduct and bring to fruition an independent programme of research. It requires rigour and an ability to enter the discourse, but its scope is limited and it does not require perfection. Models of study and models of dissertations vary for different universities, disciplines, and topics. The key is to understand what is appropriate for your particular prog
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1.7.3 Framing an appropriate and useful research question

At the heart of any research is the research question. The quality of output hinges on the quality of the question: why it is asked, how it is asked, how it relates to other questions and knowledge, and what might constitute an answer. Hence, one key skill is demonstration of the ability to develop a well-formulated question. The examiner will be looking for evidence of:

  • articulation of the motivation and significance of the question


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Learning outcomes

Section 1 is an orientation or ‘framing’ section, and so its desired outcome is ‘awareness’ rather than particular demostrations of knowledge or skills. By completion of this Section 1 you should be:

  • familiar with the required rigour, depth, and scope of a PhD;

  • aware that there is no ‘one solution’, but that PhD models are influenced by institutions, disciplines, and topics;

  • aware of the need for both good research and good presen
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5.2 Neural ageing: article 1

Now read Neural Ageing Article 1: Concar, D. (2001) ‘Forever young’, New Scientist, 171, pp. 26–27.

Click to view 'Concar article'

2.1.2 Diffraction and interference of light

When light, or indeed any type of wave, passes through a narrow aperture, it will spread out on the other side. This is the phenomenon of diffraction. For example Figure 17 shows the diffraction of water waves in a device called a ripple tank. The extent to which waves are diffracted depends on the size of the aperture rel
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