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Brawn trumps beauty and sex trumps fitness on the evolutionary battlefield
All Posts / Animal Appeal

Brawn trumps beauty and sex trumps fitness on the evolutionary battlefield

Experiments with zebrafish capture evolution in action as scientists observe the ousting of genetic traits over generations. In a study released yesterday in the journal Evolution, demonstrated how evolutionary forces led to the extinction of a particular genetic trait in the laboratory. Researchers from Purdue University studied 18 different groups of zebrafish containing both wild-type males … Continue reading

Declining biodiversity was tipping point for dinosaurs. May be for us too.
All Posts / Conservation / Slightly Off Topic

Declining biodiversity was tipping point for dinosaurs. May be for us too.

Last week, a group of scientists announced that declining biodiversity may be tipping us toward Earth’s sixth mass extinction event. Coincidentally, another group of scientists reported evidence that a loss in biodiversity might have prevented the dinosaurs from surviving the last mass extinction event 65 million years ago. [read my article about it in Smithsonian … Continue reading

The Name Game: Gender Bias and Perceived Hurricane Threat
All Posts / Meteorology / Society Matters

The Name Game: Gender Bias and Perceived Hurricane Threat

In early June, researchers from University of Illinois announced that their survey of public response to hurricanes showed a clear gender bias. People perceived male-named storms to be more threatening. What’s more, they said that, inexplicably, female-named storms had in fact been more deadly. Their claims gained traction quickly in the media, but closer inspection suggested the bandwagon may have led the parade … Continue reading

Plastishpere: A Hotbed for Vibrio, No Threat of Cholera
All Posts / Ocean / Slightly Off Topic

Plastishpere: A Hotbed for Vibrio, No Threat of Cholera

Last year, scientists discovered that huge patches of garbage in the middle of the ocean were creating a completely new kind of ecosystem made primarily of microbes thriving on plastic. Of the 1,000 species of microbes the scientists found living on ocean plastic, one of the frequent inhabitants was vibrio. That specific bit of news … Continue reading