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  • February 5, 2011
  • 06:51 PM
  • 636 views

Welcome, "Monstrous Murderer"!

by Paleochick in Paleochick's Digs

Dearest readers,
Happy “Superbowl Sunday” weekend (Not that I’m keeping score OR...... Read more »

  • February 5, 2011
  • 10:46 AM
  • 2,135 views

Egypt Week – Oxytocin and Ethnocentrism

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, as we approach the end of Egypt Week, we are going to talk about recent paper in PNAS. The researchers examined the effects of oxytocin on the extent to which people exhibit in-group favoritism. They use ethnic markers to indicate in-group versus out-group membership. In this study, which was performed in the Netherlands, the in-group was Dutch and out-groups were German or Arab.

Here's the bottom line: subjects who were given oxytocin were more likely to favor in-group members relative to........ Read more »

De Dreu CK, Greer LL, Van Kleef GA, Shalvi S, & Handgraaf MJ. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(4), 1262-6. PMID: 21220339  

  • February 5, 2011
  • 07:11 AM
  • 1,217 views

Studying viral infection at the whole-organism level

by Connor Bamford in The Rule of 6ix

What can the zebrafish tell us about viral infection? Well, a recently published paper uses transparent zebrafish larvae to follow infection and pathogenesis of Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus - an important salmonid pathogen.... Read more »

  • February 5, 2011
  • 05:22 AM
  • 524 views

Belyaev's Foxes - Introduction - Part I

by Leema in Some Thoughts About Dogs

A summary of the work of Belaev in his ongoing experiment with foxes.... Read more »

Belyaev, DK. (1979) Destablizing selection as a factor in domestication. Journal of Heredity, 70(5), 301-308. info:/

Kukekova, A., Trut, L., Oskina, I., Johnson, J., Temnykh, S., Kharlamova, A., Shepeleva, D., Gulievich, R., Shikhevich, S., Graphodatsky, A.... (2007) A meiotic linkage map of the silver fox, aligned and compared to the canine genome. Genome Research, 17(3), 387-399. DOI: 10.1101/gr.5893307  

  • February 5, 2011
  • 03:52 AM
  • 734 views

Welcome, "Monsterous Murderer"!

by Paleochick in Paleochick's Digs

A new Tyrannosaurus from the Kaiparowits Formation is named..... Read more »

  • February 4, 2011
  • 06:14 PM
  • 2,153 views

Flooding and disease

by James Byrne in Disease Prone


I’m not sure what the coverage has been like overseas but most of the east coast of Australia has been hit pretty hard. First there were biggest floods Australia has seen for a VERY long time that started in Queensland and continue to affect the east cost of Australia. Then, instead of letting Queensland off the hook for a few weeks nature hit the coast with a cyclone THE SIZE OF THE U.S.A. that might move so far inland that it could dump rain into my state, which is a desert, halfway across ........ Read more »

Ohl, C. (2000) Flooding and human health. BMJ, 321(7270), 1167-1168. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.321.7270.1167  

Howard MJ, Brillman JC, & Burkle FM Jr. (1996) Infectious disease emergencies in disasters. Emergency medicine clinics of North America, 14(2), 413-28. PMID: 8635416  

  • February 4, 2011
  • 05:38 PM
  • 1,413 views

Hidden in plain sight: discovering cryptic vesper bats in the European biota

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

In terms of its zoological diversity, Europe is the best known continent on the planet. Indeed it's generally assumed that just about all of Europe's macrofauna has, by now, been discovered. While that's mostly true, it seems that at least a few extremely similar species - so called 'cryptic species' - have been missed, mostly because they're extremely similar to their close relatives.





Here, I want to look briefly at new discoveries made concerning the diversity of European microbats [compo........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2011
  • 05:04 PM
  • 1,685 views

IQ Test for bacteria

by Jonathan Eisen in The Tree of Life





Social IQ of bacteria
Another quick one here.  Interesting paper out in BMC Genomics: Genome sequence of the pattern forming Paenibacillus vortex bacterium reveals potential for thriving in complex environments

The paper is from Eshel-Ben Jacob and colleagues from many institutions around the world.

Here is a summary of the article (from the paper)

BackgroundThe pattern-forming bacterium Paenibacillus vortex is notable for its advanced social behavior, which is reflected in deve........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2011
  • 04:03 PM
  • 1,024 views

Touching Death

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries in Exile

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by The Prancing Papio:There is something intensely animal about our relationship with the dead. As an atheist I don’t feel particular reverence or awe at the site of a cadaver. It mostly just creeps me out. But even religious believers, those who should be comfortable with the idea that a dead body retains no trace of the person they once knew, also seem to have trouble letting go of what St. Paul called “confidence in the flesh.” In funera........ Read more »

Cronin, K., van Leeuwen, E., Mulenga, I., & Bodamer, M. (2011) Behavioral response of a chimpanzee mother toward her dead infant. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20927  

  • February 4, 2011
  • 04:03 PM
  • 1,078 views

Touching Death

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by The Prancing Papio:There is something intensely animal about our relationship with the dead. As an atheist I don’t feel particular reverence or awe at the site of a cadaver. It mostly just creeps me out. But even religious believers, those who should be comfortable with the idea that a dead body retains no trace of the person they once knew, also seem to have trouble letting go of what St. Paul called “confidence in the flesh.” In funera........ Read more »

Cronin, K., van Leeuwen, E., Mulenga, I., & Bodamer, M. (2011) Behavioral response of a chimpanzee mother toward her dead infant. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20927  

  • February 4, 2011
  • 12:18 PM
  • 1,705 views

Culturomics does not exist

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

'Culturomics' does not exist. As far as I'm concerned, if it isn't on Wikipedia, it doesn't exist. However, it is listed on Wikipedia's Word of the year for 2010 under the designation 'Least likely to succeed'. As an amusing side note, it also says this: Most Unnecessary: refudiate (Blend of refute and repudiate used by Sarah Palin on Twitter. The laughs.... Read more »

Michel, J., Shen, Y., Aiden, A., Veres, A., Gray, M., , ., Pickett, J., Hoiberg, D., Clancy, D., Norvig, P.... (2010) Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books. Science, 331(6014), 176-182. DOI: 10.1126/science.1199644  

  • February 4, 2011
  • 12:16 PM
  • 1,069 views

Tricks of the trade: chimpanzees and their tools

by Djuke Veldhuis in Elements Science

Deep in the African rainforest researchers continue to find a wide array of tool use in wild chimpanzee populations. Djuke Veldhuis examines what is happening in the emerging field of primate archaeology.



Related posts:Science spreads through African lands
... Read more »

  • February 4, 2011
  • 09:04 AM
  • 1,598 views

Adaptationism in the Human Penis

by zinjanthropus in A Primate of Modern Aspect

As Scicurious’ mom points out, penises are funny lookin’. As long as humans have been humans, men and women have looked down and thought, “now what could be the possible reason for that?” The question no doubt vexed our early ancestors so much that they simply had to evolve larger brains to think about it [...]... Read more »

Bowman EA. (2010) An explanation for the shape of the human penis. Archives of sexual behavior, 39(2), 216. PMID: 19851854  

BIRKHEAD, T., & HUNTER, F. (1990) Mechanisms of sperm competition. Trends in Ecology , 5(2), 48-52. DOI: 10.1016/0169-5347(90)90047-H  

  • February 4, 2011
  • 12:49 AM
  • 702 views

Friday Weird Science: Penises are Funny Looking!

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

This one comes courtesy of NCBI ROFL, who presented the abstract last week. Can’t beat their fantastic penis-shaped light fixture, either. I’d like to begin today’s Friday Weird Science with a brief story about SciMom. SciMom is a brilliant mom. She’s encouraging and supportive and smart, and also really REALLY funny. Mostly because she’s prone [...]... Read more »

Bowman EA. (2010) An explanation for the shape of the human penis. Archives of sexual behavior, 39(2), 216. PMID: 19851854  

  • February 3, 2011
  • 07:38 PM
  • 1,134 views

Cheetah genetic diversity revisited

by hilaryml in Chicken or Egg blog

Another chapter has been added to the story of genetic variation in the cheetah, with a paper out in next month’s Molecular Biology and Evolution journal giving a detailed description of variation at key immune genes in the species.  I first became familiar with the cheetah story as a PhD student when I was studying genetic diversity [...]... Read more »

  • February 3, 2011
  • 04:54 PM
  • 1,221 views

Why siblings differ differently

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

The Pith: In this post I examine how looking at genomic data can clarify exactly how closely related siblings really are, instead of just assuming that they’re about 50% similar. I contrast this randomness among siblings to the hard & fast deterministic nature of of parent-child inheritance. Additionally, I detail how the idealized spare concepts of genetics from 100 years ago are modified by what we now know about how genes are physically organized, and, reorganized. Finally, I explai........ Read more »

  • February 3, 2011
  • 11:40 AM
  • 1,664 views

CoalHMM analysis of the human/chimpanzee ancestor, based on the orangutan genome

by Thomas Mailund in Mailund on the Internet

I’ve been wanting to write about our paper on the orangutan genome for a while, but I’ve just been too busy so far, so a little late I finally get to it. Besides the Nature paper, where we contributed to the analysis of the two sub-species of orangutans, we have two companion papers. One is [...]... Read more »

  • February 3, 2011
  • 10:54 AM
  • 1,399 views

So that's why Flipper asked for pineapples...

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

Peta recently stirred up quite a lot of controversy with their banned superbowl ad claiming that "studies have shown that vegetarians are better lovers." Of course, no such research exists, but somehow in trying find where that came from (no pun intended) I ended up in a twitter conversation about diet and sex. Anyhow, to make a long story short, after several converstaional tangents I found myself sifting through the scientific literature for anything containing "taste" and "semen."*

Sorry, f........ Read more »

  • February 3, 2011
  • 10:42 AM
  • 1,509 views

Willo the Dinosaur Loses Heart

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

At first glance, Willo was not an especially impressive dinosaur. A well-preserved Thescelosaurus, this herbivorous dinosaur was one of the mid-sized ornithischians that lived about 66 million years ago. What made Willo special was its heart. Preserved inside a concretion cradled within the dinosaur’s ribcage were the remains of its major cardiac muscle. But not [...]... Read more »

  • February 3, 2011
  • 10:29 AM
  • 1,457 views

Deathstalker v. Nightstalker: Bats take down highly venomous prey without a care in the world

by Matt Soniak in mattsoniak.com

There are some 1,400 described species of scorpion in the world, and while only 25 of those have proven they can take down a human being with their venom, many more of them can easily injure and kill smaller creatures. Given that, you’d expect scorpions to be important predators in desert food webs, but you [...]... Read more »

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