October 30, 2014

2:28 AM | Turning Waste Into Treasures
[©CSIRO Publishing. This article first appeared in The Helix Issue 158, a science magazine for children produced by CSIRO.] Whenever you throw away something, say an orange peel, you have decided that it is useless to you. It is waste, and you are better off without it. But have you thought if these wastes can […]

October 29, 2014

5:49 PM | Cultural Biases: The Good Adopter
Something that has come up in a few of our lectures and in one of our Google HangOuts from the MOOC has been the idea that some people who adopt animals from shelters are motivated by the need to adopt, … Continue reading →
1:46 AM | We need pattern recognition, not proclamations
Two days after serious scientists report that there is no such thing as the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, see: Team discovers how microbes build a powerful antibiotic Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are right and...Read more

October 28, 2014

10:40 PM | We need pattern recognition, not a prologue
Prolegomenon “a preliminary discussion…; a prologue.” “… we need a mapping from genotype to phenotype, from phenotype to what is selected, and from what is selected to the new genotype (Lewontin, 1961). — cited in Prolegomenon to patterns in evolution...Read more
9:00 PM | Sex and power. The reproductive instinct of conquerors
The French writer Alexadre Dumas Sr., who had traveled to Caucasus in the years of 1858 and 1859, was telling in his traveling diary that the best gift that the Georgian and Lezghian youth could give to their fiancées were the chopped hands of the individuals from the neighboring tribe. These hands, brought as trophies, […] The post Sex and power. The reproductive instinct of conquerors appeared first on Social Ethology.

October 27, 2014

8:13 PM | Who Is Wearing the Pants in this Family?
Here’s my proudest moment in life (so far): It’s 1967, when the idea of women wearing pants was still a tad radical. But “pants suits” had just came out–dressy outfits that put trousers on your legs instead of a skirt, even for eveningwear. I worked as a salesgirl in a boutique in Scottsdale, AZ, and […]
7:40 PM | Real Zombie-Making Parasites Among Us
The mummified cat and the rat in the crypt of Christ Church in Dublin. Photo by Adrian Grycuk at Wikimedia Commons.The Happening, M. Night Shyamalan’s worst panned movie of all time, is a science fiction thriller about people going into a mysterious trance and committing suicide as a result of other mind-hacking species. One of the leading criticisms raised against this movie is the ridiculousness of the premise. One species can’t cause another to willingly commit suicide! […]

Kaushik, M., Knowles, S. & Webster, J. (2014). What Makes a Feline Fatal in Toxoplasma gondii's Fatal Feline Attraction? Infected Rats Choose Wild Cats, Integrative and Comparative Biology, 54 (2) 118-128. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icu060

6:52 PM | The Red Effect, in People and Monkeys
Research shows that people find members of the opposite sex more attractive when they are in close proximity to the color red. Does this reflect cultural influences, or is there a more ancient, evolutionary explanation? Scientists tested monkeys to see how they reacted to photos of opposite sex monkeys on a red or blue background to get to the bottom of the red effect. Read the whole story at Zoologic: The Red Effect, in People and Monkeys .
3:03 PM | Birdbooker Report 344
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 […]
3:40 AM | Pharmacogenomics
“The gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ-system pathway is a neuroscientifically established link between sensory input and behavior. Marts and Resnick (2007) stress the importance of this pathway in the context of a systems biology approach to pharmacogenomics.” (Kohl, 2012) “Naftolin...Read more
1:55 AM | Swarm Sunday: 10/1/14 – 10/26/14
I am all kinds of behind on my weekly swarm reports, but I’m trying to get caught up!  Rather than bombard you all with a bunch of swarm posts all at once, today I am going to focus only on the swarms that have been reported so far this month. I’ll post the other weeks as […]
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