November 12, 2014

5:30 PM | Value
I like when current events in the media combine to illustrate animal welfare in our society. This week’s blog post was impossible to resist. Recently there was a bit of hubbub over a group of scientists discovering what they described … Continue reading →
8:47 AM | There’s a model for that!
Neuroscientists reveal mechanism crucial to molding male brains Excerpt 1) “…sex differences in brain function are established during the later stages of foetal development and around birth, but the actual cellular mechanisms underlying these important actions remained unknown.” My comment:...Read more

November 11, 2014

9:07 PM | Biologists puzzled by evolved RNAs and decaying DNA
Horizontal Transfer of Entire Genomes via Mitochondrial Fusion in the Angiosperm Amborella (December, 2013) Excerpt) “The ancestral angiosperm-wide genome duplication apparent in the Amborella genome not only serves as a genetic marker for the origin of extant angiosperms, but it...Read more
3:50 AM | SNPs and millions of small variations in the human genome
Thousands of never-before-seen human genome variations uncovered Excerpt: “This approach has successfully pinpointed millions of small variations in the human genome. These variations arise from substitution of a single nucleotide base, called a single-nucleotide polymorphisms or SNP.” My comment: In...Read more

November 10, 2014

8:42 PM | The Importance of “Ancient Mating Habits of Whatever”
Photo of Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos from at Wikimedia Commons. In the afterglow of the Republican national sweep in last Tuesday’s elections, Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos discussed his agenda for the next legislative session for the state of Wisconsin. Apparently, his agenda includes changes to the state’s support of the public University of Wisconsin System: “[We want] to make sure that people who are in the […]
4:19 PM | The Beauty of Fall
Jim and I are suffused with oxytocin, having just returned from visiting grand babies (7 years and 4 months) in Eugene, Oregon. Interesting to note that along with increasing social bonding, oxytocin is able to make your bones melt. That’s how I felt holding the newest addition to the pack. Before visiting Eugene we stopped […]

November 09, 2014

7:50 PM | More than a bag of chemicals?
From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior (1996) Excerpt: “Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans…” My comment:...Read more
4:10 PM | Swarm Sunday: 10/26/14 – 11/8/14
  The swarming activity is going way down as the weather begins to cool, but swarm reports came in from the following locations over the past few weeks: USA: Shadow Hills, CA Piscataway, NJ Manhatten, KS Argentina: Mar Del Plata And here is the US map for the last two weeks:   Red pins are static […]

November 08, 2014

9:27 PM | Achiral GnRH: no prophesy, just prediction
Predictions build on facts, mysterious “tongues” do not. (1 Corinthians 14:2-4) Effective communication demands that audiences understand what serious scientists and theologians can or cannot predict. Predicting the end of evolutionary theory or the end of the world by focusing...Read more
7:24 PM | Chronicles of Athena – 15 Weeks
I was very insistent this week that I write my own blog post. After all, who knows what I do better than me? My human put up a bit of a resistance, but I won. Of course. This week I … Continue reading →
8:05 AM | If the Earth would have plunged into darkness for 6 days…
“NASA announces that, in December, the Earth is going to almost completely fade into darkness for 6 days, due to a solar storm.” This rumor has recently circulated in the media and on social networks. Although, obviously, it was a little joke, a denial from the NASA’s official was necessary, in order to calm down […] The post If the Earth would have plunged into darkness for 6 days… appeared first on Social Ethology.

November 06, 2014

7:12 PM | Nothing new under the sun, except pseudoscientific nonsense
On the Importance of Being a Methodological Naturalist Posted on November 5, 2014 by David Sloan Wilson Excerpt: “…consider the flying spaghetti monster, a deity invented to poke fun at religion. It is ridiculous, but is there any way to prove...Read more
3:13 AM | Neury Thursday: Sleep and the Blood Brain Barrier, with some hesitation
The blood brain barrier (aka, BBB) can be a royal pain in the arse for pharmacologists and pharmaceutical companies. The ultimate goal of the neuro division of big pharm is to design drugs that can be taken orally and yet still cross the BBB with little issues. Billions of dollars can be gained or lost […]

He, J., Hsuchou, H., He, Y., Kastin, A., Wang, Y. & Pan, W. (2014). Sleep Restriction Impairs Blood-Brain Barrier Function, Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (44) 14697-14706. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2111-14.2014

2:19 AM | Making sense of quotes scattered across disciplines
Speaking of Science November 2014’s selection of notable quotes By The Scientist Staff | November 1, 2014 My comment: The quotes are scattered from across disciplines, but can be linked to what is known about conserved molecular mechanisms of biologically-based...Read more

November 05, 2014

7:04 PM | The psychology of coalition. Why do men gather into gangs and political parties, but women do not
Men are more violent that women. It is fact that has been biologically and sociologically demonstrated. The male aggression has been predetermined by the roles of hunters and protectors that males have had throughout evolution. Thanks to a larger body volume and to much more developed muscles, males got the mission to protect the group […] The post The psychology of coalition. Why do men gather into gangs and political parties, but women do not appeared first on Social Ethology.
5:32 PM | The STEM Pipe
Our wonderful and talented communications officer, Sarah, has been working hard to promote the image of women in the STEM fields. We’ve been going round schools and encouraging people to ask us about our Women In Science posters at all … Continue reading →
10:09 AM | Sagnol et les Noirs : quand le foot se prend les pieds dans le tapis
Grosse polémique ce matin à propos de l'entraîneur de Bordeaux, Willy Sagnol. Footballeur de premier plan au début des années 2000, finaliste de la Coupe du Monde avec une équipe multi-ethnique, Sagnol se prend les pieds dans un tapis trop glissant pour lui, sur un terrain où il n'aurait jamais dû s'aventurer. On regarde l'extrait. On note l'analyse à gros traits du footballeur africain pas cher, prêt au combat mais - […]

November 04, 2014

4:26 PM | Physics is dead without a link to chemistry and molecular biology
Stephen Hawking tells Google ‘philosophy is dead’ Physicist Stephen Hawking has told Google’s Zeitgeist conference that philosophers have not kept up with science and their art is dead Excerpt: In a 40-minute speech, Prof Hawking said that the new “M...Read more
12:28 PM | Birdbooker Report 345
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 […]
2:24 AM | Doggy Day Care –Fun for Fido or Not?
When I was five or six years old my mother took me to kindergarten. I am told I cried the entire day, sitting in the corner and sobbing hysterically. Nothing anyone did assuaged me. When my mother returned to pick me up, I reportedly ran screaming across the room, grabbed onto her legs and wouldn’t […]

November 03, 2014

5:50 PM | Intelligent viruses and cancers?
The Very Intelligent Ebola Virus Takes Front and Center Excerpt 1) “Ebola doesn’t enter the nucleus. It uses the cell’s machinery of ribosomes and transfer RNA to make proteins from the viral messengerRNA.” Excerpt 2) “Normally, mechanisms inside the nucleus...Read more
4:44 PM | War and Peace
A group of Gelada baboons in Ethiopia. Photo by A. Davey at Wikimedia Commons.Syria and Iraq. Ukraine. The Gaza Strip. People are dying in large numbers at the hands of other humans, and for what? Land and resources? Is it really worth it? It is often said that humans are the only species so horrific as to kill its own species in war. But the fact is, we are not alone in what was previously thought to be a uniquely human trait. In many animal groups, individuals will band together in […]
2:58 PM | Meet the Slimy, Jawless Hagfish
Hagfish are also known as slime eels, thought they are not eels. They belong to the class Agnatha, fish without jaws. There are an estimated 76 species of hagfish, which live in cold waters around the world. Different species range from several inches to more than four feet long. Hagfish have a reputation for being disgusting — it might have something to do with their sliminess and their unsavory dining habits — but they’re actually valuable parts of the ocean ecosystem, and […]
1:42 PM | La peur des clowns : un sentiment glaçant
Mâcon, Montpellier, Besançon, Les Sables d'Olonne : les faux clowns ont semé la terreur dans de nombreuses villes de France dans la semaine précédent Hallowen. Des passants ont été terrorisés, voire agressés physiquement par des individus arborant des masques de clowns. La police était en alerte pour intervenir si nécessaire, mais aussi pour neutraliser les milices anti-clowns qui commençaient à voir le […]
4:58 AM | Happy Circadian Rhythms Awareness Day!
This is one of the few days a year where “circadian” and “rhythms” and “light” and “sleep” are buzzwords on reddit. Well, I have written so much about Daylight Savings, its history, the pros and cons in regards to health and well being, and the biological underpinnings of it over the past five years that […]

November 02, 2014

4:05 PM | Chronicles of Athena – 14 Weeks
Not to brag, but I’m writing this post sprawled out of the sofa, with a nice coffee, some freshly baked pumpkin spice cookies, a cosy blanket and a purring kitten, with the tv on and the last of the day’s … Continue reading →

November 01, 2014

8:39 PM | Complex behaviors of cell types in cancer
Decoding the emergence of metastatic cancer stem cells Excerpt: “By applying a physics-based approach to understand the dynamics of cancer decision-making, we were able to explain a number of recent experimental observations, including some that seemed contradictory.” My comment: The...Read more

October 31, 2014

9:24 PM | De novo DNA methylation?
Epigenomics and the control of fate, form and function in social insects Excerpt: “De novo DNA methylation is critical for developmental divergence of female larvae towards the honeybee worker caste and is progressive [49,51].” de novo is a Latin expression...Read more
6:14 PM | Halloween Post: Parasites That “Zombify” Their Hosts
Zombies may still be a thing of fiction, but some parasites more or less turn their hosts into the walking dead. These masters of mind control manipulate their hosts from within, causing them to act in self-destructive ways that ultimately benefit the parasite. Read my latest National Geographic Weird & Wild post: Meet 5 “Zombie” Parasites That Mind-Control Their Hosts .

October 30, 2014

2:00 PM | Jays Find Others’ Food Stashes Through Eavesdropping
Eurasian Jays are known for caching food and remembering its location for later. They’re also known for their tendency to pilfer the caches of other jays. A new study shows jays can find other birds’ food stashes by watching or simply listening to them caching. Read my latest Zoologic post: Sneaky Jays Look and Listen to Steal From Other s.
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