Sunday, 27 May 2012

Biology stuff from the week 14-20/5/12

Economic growth and overpopulation are causing this species to live well beyond its means:
- Biodiversity has plummeted
- The atmosphere is augmenting at an accelerating rate
- 2.7 billion people experience annual water shortages
- By 2030, we will need an extra planet! (which we don't have, if you hadn't noticed)
The top offenders are Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, Denmark, and the USA.
And the richer nations are living at the expense of the poorer ones -- no surprise there!

Ah - those canny corvids - carrion crows can distinguish between the voices of familiar and unfamiliar humans!

The circadian clock, that tells us when to get up, and when to go to bed, and gets out of whack when we change time zones, evolved 2.5 billion years ago, at the same time as aerobic respiration (using oxygen for extra spunk)

All the myths and facts surrounding left-handedness

Contrary to what 'social darwinists' say (a bastardisation of evolutionary theory), bacteria evolve to work in cooperation with other bacterial species, and survive better than species that have not benefited from past cooperative adaptations

More about birds - sparrows do the equivalent of 'alpha male' humans during breeding season - as their testosterone surges, their songs become more aggressive, but there's more -- their brains grow more neurons in the singing region. This knowledge could help with stroke treatments.

*Not a dinosaur* but it did have arthritis - in an animal that lived 150 million years ago

More evidence of the link between low genetic diversity and susceptibility to disease, this time in platypuses

Mammals living at high altitudes have evolved to cope with hypoxia

Scientists discover first ever record of insect pollination from 100 million years ago

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