Posts

October 14, 2014

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5:52 PM | Aggression in men. Social roles or evolutionary roots?
In almost every society men are the ones who are overwhelmingly involved in wars, in all kinds of intergroup aggressions and intragroup homicide; they mobilize themselves in armies of violent fans, in criminal gangs, in bands of thugs, etc. These observations are as old as the world and have allowed us to create a clear […] The post Aggression in men. Social roles or evolutionary roots? appeared first on Social Ethology.
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2:22 PM | Treating school uniforms to reduce dengue: the Finances
 [A shorter version of this article first appeared on SciDev.Net] Scientists working to reduce dengue among school children in Thailand are testing something new: insecticide-treated school uniforms. A recent model published in PLoS One suggests that this intervention can be economically attractive in the context of Thailand. Using data from dengue studies in Thailand, the […]

Tozan Y, Ratanawong P, Louis VR, Kittayapong P & Wilder-Smith A (2014). Use of insecticide-treated school uniforms for prevention of dengue in schoolchildren: a cost-effectiveness analysis., PloS one, 9 (9) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25247556

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1:42 PM | Evolutionary theorists and evolutionary theists live under rocks
CRISPR/Cas: Not Just for DNA Anymore Excerpt 1) “Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past two years, you’ve heard of CRISPR/Cas9, an RNA-guided nuclease that’s redefining synthetic biology and genome engineering.” Excerpt 2) “The authors propose several additional...Read more
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12:42 PM | 10 reasons why I didn’t pour a bucket with ice on my head
1. I am not a star, I am not searching for votes, I am not longing for a cheap PR. If the Ice Bucket Challenge will bring you dividends, maybe it’s worth trying. If you do it for the sake of the bet, it really is ridiculous. 2. I prefer not to turn an act […] The post 10 reasons why I didn’t pour a bucket with ice on my head appeared first on Social Ethology.
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2:43 AM | RNA-protein interactions and ecological adaptations
Capturing Complexes Techniques for analyzing RNA-protein interactions By Nicholette Zeliadt | October 1, 2014 Re: “Basically everything that doesn’t have this mutation, you can be confident that these were not interacting molecules…” My comment: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model links...Read more

October 13, 2014

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8:53 PM | Is That Lizard Possessed!? (A Guest Post)
By Tawny LiebeImage from Chuck Heston on Flickr.A creature straight from the depths of hell… or at least as close as you can get on this planet. The Texas horned lizard or “horny toad” is found in the deserts of the southwest United States and has an unusual adaptation to deter predation exclusively from a few species of canines. When threatened by coyotes, foxes, and dogs, the horned lizard squirts blood from its eyes to hit targets up to three feet away! A total of six […]
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7:27 PM | The Importance of Pets
It’s uh…  “Throwback Monday?” Things are a tad crazy right now, what with winter looming,(Translation: Spend much of Sunday planting the 300 bulbs that arrived on Saturday. Be sore today.) and a trip to APDT tomorrow morning. I’ll be giving the Keynote Wednesday morning, please come up and say hi if you are a blog […]
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1:57 PM | Birdbooker Report 342
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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8:01 AM | Schwartzenegger à Paris : l’effet superstar
L'écologie, on est tous d'accord, c'est important. Mais honnêtement, c'est foutu, n'est-ce pas? Le tri des déchets n'empêchera pas la Chine et les Etats-Unis de remplir l'atmosphère de gaz à effets de serre. Inutile d'espérer. Jusqu'à ce que... Et là, on se prend à y croire. Ce n'est plus Cécile Duflot qui nous parle d'écologie, mais Terminator. Et ça change quelque chose. Quoi? Les stars donnent le ton […]

October 12, 2014

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12:31 PM | No understanding of biodiversity
No single explanation for biodiversity in Madagascar Excerpt: “The study is part of a larger body of research aimed at identifying the climate, geology and other features of the environment that help bring new species of plants and animals into...Read more

October 11, 2014

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8:29 AM | Chronicles of Athena – Eleven Weeks
It’s been another busy week for our Athena. Well, firstly there was a slight suspicion she may have been a boy. When we went to the vets on Monday, after some considerable genital palpitation, we decided we’re 98% certain she’s … Continue reading →
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3:26 AM | The red of bearded vultures—allure or cure?
We now know that bearded vultures deliberately dust themselves red. But why?

Negro JJ, Margalida A, Hiraldo F & Heredia R (1999). The function of the cosmetic coloration of bearded vultures: when art imitates life., Animal behaviour, 58 (5) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10564620

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October 10, 2014

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10:17 AM | Beepcast, September 2014
Dieter Hochuli from the University of Sydney, tells me what life’s like for a caterpillar, and how one has evolved a cool mechanism to avoid being attacked. I find out how personality might influence your decision making, if you’re a stickleback. And in the scientific spark, I talk to Leigh Simmons who is managing editor of the scientific journal Behavioral Ecology, and Professor at, and Director of, the Centre for Evolutionary Biology at the University of Western Australia, about […]
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3:50 AM | Throwback Thursday: My First Digital Insect Macro Shot
I missed Wordless Wednesday yesterday, so today I bring you a Throwback Thursday shot instead!  If you have been living under a social media rock (I know lots of people who do!) and don’t know about Throwback Thursday, it’s a day each week where people post old photos of themselves, their families, anything from the […]

October 09, 2014

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9:10 PM | Understanding physical forces of ecological variation and adaptation
Discovery of new subatomic particle, type of meson, to ‘transform’ understanding of fundamental force of nature   Excerpt: “Because the Ds3*(2860)ˉ particle contains a heavy charm quark it is easier for theorists to calculate its properties. And because it has...Read more
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2:49 PM | Eliminating evolutionary theory
Does evolutionary theory need a rethink? Excerpt 1) “…the theory neglects key processes, say Kevin Laland and colleagues.” My comment: “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans...Read more
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1:05 PM | Ebola nous rend-il fous?
Depuis quelques jours, une folie du complot s'est déclenchée aux Etats-Unis autour du virus Ebola. Tout est parti du rapatriement d'un Américain atteint par le virus. Aussitôt, les complotistes les plus célèbres d'Amérique ont inondé Internet de leurs interprétations conspirationnistes. Un article du Nouvel Observateur explique bien les faits. On y voit notamment le féru de complots en tout genre, très […]

October 08, 2014

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8:28 PM | Kill The Science
This week we’re taking a short break from the usual so I can talk about Doctor Who. Specifically, last week’s Doctor Who Episode ‘Kill The Moon’. Before you animal lovers scurry away, let me give you a brief, spoilery synopsis. … Continue reading →
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9:05 AM | Psychose du complot autour du virus Ebola
Depuis quelques jours, une folie du complot s'est déclenchée aux Etats-Unis autour du virus Ebola. Tout est parti de la rapatriation d'un Américain atteint par le virus. Aussitôt, les complotistes les plus célèbres d'Amérique ont inondé Internet de leurs interprétations conspirationnistes. Un article du Nouvel Observateur explique bien les faits. On y voit notamment le féru de complots en tout genre, très […]

October 07, 2014

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10:00 PM | Behavioral ecology: please continue to believe in our fantasies
Behavioral ecology and genomics: new directions, or just a more detailed map? Excerpt 1): “Transcriptome sequencing, often called RNAseq, both sequences and quantifies the portions of the genome being transcribed under conditions of interest (Wang et al. 2009; De Wit...Read more
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2:09 AM | 2014 and 2004 Nobel Prize in Medicine
2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine is Awarded for Discovery of Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’ Excerpt: “At left, gray lines show the path followed by a rat as it moves around a box looking for pieces of food.” 2014 Nobel prize in...Read more

October 06, 2014

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6:29 PM | The Biology of Nagging
A female pied flycatcher can't feed herself sufficientlywhile she incubates her eggs and newly-hatchedchicks. Photo by Alejandro Cantarero.I have been blessed with the fortune of not just having two healthy and happy babies, but being able to spend much of the spring and summer nurturing them and watching them develop and grow. But it has not been all roses: their smiles beam through the fog of my sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Their tears are met with my own. Our clothes are stained in a […]

Cantarero, A., López-Arrabé, J., Palma, A., Redondo, A. & Moreno, J. (2014). Males respond to female begging signals of need: a handicapping experiment in the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, Animal Behaviour, 94 167-173. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.05.002

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5:47 PM | Subliminal
In preparation for a talk I’ll be giving soon in Madison, WI about the mental lives of animals, I’ve been reading Subliminal, by Leonard Mlodinow. I highly recommend it; Mlodinow elaborates on our increasing, and sometimes unsettling knowledge about the power of our unconscious. Here’s a talk given by the author himself about the topic. […]
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4:06 PM | Birdbooker Report 341
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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3:26 PM | Meet the Armoured Bush Cricket
The armoured bush cricket is native to the African bush across Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Because they make good a snack for many different predators, armoured bush crickets possess a remarkable array of defensive measures. These strategies can be deployed selectively against different threats, or progressively against a single predator if any lone measure doesn’t work to deter the attack. These tactics range from the clever to the gross. Read my latest Zoologic post: […]
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8:36 AM | Pourquoi George Clooney s’est marié
Se marier, quand on s'appelle George Clooney, n'est pas anodin. Ce garçon n'avait pas à se forcer pour trouver de nombreuses et séduisantes conquêtes. Courtney Cox, Lucy Liu, Elisabetta Canalis, Lisa Snowdon..., toutes aussi courtisées et attirantes mais dont l'espérance de vie dans les bras du beau George avoisinait quelques semaines. Que s'est-il passé pour qu'il se mue d'un Don Juan hyperactif en fidèle chevalier servant? Changement de […]
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8:36 AM | Que s’est-il passé dans la tête de George Clooney ?
Se marier, quand on s'appelle George Clooney, n'est pas anodin. Ce garçon n'avait pas à se forcer pour trouver de nombreuses et séduisantes conquêtes. Courtney Cox, Lucy Liu, Elisabetta Canalis, Lisa Snowdon..., toutes aussi courtisées et attirantes mais dont l'espérance de vie dans les bras du beau George avoisinait quelques semaines. Que s'est-il passé pour qu'il se mue d'un Don Juan hyperactif en fidèle chevalier servant? Changement de […]
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2:42 AM | RNA-mediated events: chromosomal rearrangements and genomic rearrangements
The Architecture of a Scrambled Genome Reveals Massive Levels of Genomic Rearrangement during Development Excerpt: “Genome-wide DNA rearrangements are most exaggerated in ciliates, particularly in the model organism Oxytricha trifallax, which programs not only DNA deletion, but also total reorganization,...Read more

October 05, 2014

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5:52 PM | How much good can be attributed to social science theories?
Battle between NSF and House science committee escalates: How did it get this bad? Excerpt: “The public deserves an explanation for why the NSF has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on musicals about climate change, bicycle designs, and a...Read more
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5:05 PM | Bay Area Science Festival!
The Bay Area Science Festival is coming up (October 23rd – November 1, 2014)! I’m involved in three different events, all […]
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