Tangled Bank #77

Welcome to another edition of Tangled Bank, a round-up of the best science blogging of the past fortnight:

Top story–mammals and the KT event

Since the previous Tangled Bank, a few big stories hit the blogosphere. One that generated a lot of attention was a paper in Nature analyzing mammalian diversity, and its relation to the K-T extinction. This was picked up by:

Greg Laden: Mammals and the K-T Event
RPM of evolgen for his Phylogeny Friday.
PZ’s “Don’t Blame the Dinosaurs”
Grrl Scientist: Mammals Began to Diversify Prior to K/T-Boundary
Nick Matzke at Panda’s Thumb: Mammalian Macroevolution Muddle
Larry Moran: Evolution of Mammals
Mike Dunford: Mammal Evolution – Fossils and Molecules

And while we’re on the topic of mammals, Marcia Bonta sends along this lovely post on the Virginia opossum.

Additionally, Sarda of Fish Feet writes about whale-hunting polar bears.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Sunlil of Balancing Life writes about a talk given by HIV co-discoverer Robert Gallo: “…a sobering reminder for a lot of us, on AIDS and its global impact.”

Going from viruses to even smaller stuff, read about micro RNA in Charles’ post at Science and Reason.

Research and Discovery

GrrlScientist writes about roadrunner-like bird from the Cretaceous found recently in China: “‘If the tracks had been found in very recent deposits in North America, we would have assumed they were made by the well-known roadrunner,’ said Lockley.” Find out more on the roadrunner at the Hairy Museum of Natural History.

Monado of Science Notes lays out the evidence for new research suggesting that 4300-year old stone tools were used by chimpanzees.

Bora of A Blog Around the Clock muses on animal models for evo-devo research:

From BioTunes comes an interesting post on whether music is a language.

Illegal immigrants have been in the news frequently here, but Jenn at the Invasive Species Weblog writes about a different type of “illegal alien” coming across the border from Mexico.

Medical musings

Joseph of Cotch.net sends along an essay discussing the basic medical genetics of Down’s syndrome.

At Ouroboros, Chris brings news of new research into the molecular biology of progeria, and how this may one day affect our own normal aging processes.

Drawing on a few of the big news stories over the past few weeks, at Respectful Insolence, Orac writes about the difficulties of diagnosing cancer early. See other posts in this series here (part 2) and here (part 3).

My own submission deals with the power of the government to enforce quarantine in the event of a public health emergency.

From Sharpbrains.com comes some some tips on how to keep your brain in tip-top condition.

In a related vein comes a submission from the Methuselah foundation blog discussing the recent aging symposium held in Edmonton. And from Fight Aging, a call to sequence genomes from long-lived animals, in order to better understand aging and longevity.

Generally interesting stuff

Over at Viva la evolucion!, Salvador asks, Who needs sex?. I’ll leave it to you to pop over and find out.

At 10,000 Birds, read all about the encounter with a sexy redhead.

Meanwhile, over at the Behavioral Ecology Blog, Matt writes about manipulative males, and the fitness cost they may pay. He also has a strategy for single men to woo women using some basic parasitology research…how well that would extrapolate to humans, well, is anyone’s guess.

When you’re done with those posts, head on over to Lab Cat’s pub and find out about beer allergies.

If you think you’re unlucky after reading all that, you might want to count your blessings. From Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science” comes a story of a nurse jailed for murder–is she the victim of bad statistics?

Climate change

Guest contributor Andy Jarvis at the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog writes about the potential for climate change, and what we can do about it.

New Scienceblogger Jeremy Bruno of the Voltage Gate tears apart a Catholic cardinal’s climate change “skepticism”.

Misc.

Thought Namibia was only in the news because of Angelina Jolie? Think again. From Tim of Walking the Berkshires comes word that Namibia may be interested in nuclear power off its coast.

And finally, thinking about nuclear power and radioactive waste, Phil muses on how to clean it all up.

That’s it for this round! Thanks for stopping by and to all those who took the time to submit articles, and check out the next edition at About Archaelogy.

Images from http://www.freedesktopsbycloud.com/images/roadrunner.jpg; http://www.ojibway.ca/opossum1.jpg; http://images.usatoday.com/news/_photos/2003/04/17-progeria-inside.jpg; http://www.shafted.com.au/photos/albums/funnies/a/Animal%20Sex%20(Venison).jpg; http://www.coloradocollege.edu/Dept/PC/RepresentativePhy/Pages/Photoshop/Problem%20Pictures/Nuclear%20Plant.jpg

Comments

  1. #1 Edo River
    April 12, 2007

    MY GOD!!! what a nest of links. Who can read all that? Well, actually this blog has a name for itself on the web…so.
    In any case maybe you can help me. Here comes the paste:

    Ok, I’m trolling, looking for help.
    I’m writing a story. And at this point in the story (about me actually) this guy is caught in a traffic jam.

    I want to compare the random collection of characters in a traffic jam (USA, near Atlanta , Ga, actually) to the random collection of living things, or other, caught in a drop of pond water.

    So, can you guide me to a source that would explain and identify the random collection of living and non-living elements in a drop of pond water?
    Thanks, for any help I’ll be back.
    Regards from Japan.

    PS having said that, I will take a small taste of one of those links that seemed appetizing.

  2. #2 Dean
    April 12, 2007

    Hi Tara and thanks!

    A cool link that just missed your deadline

    Proof that T Rex was a big chicken

  3. #3 Dean Morrison
    April 12, 2007

    rats.. messed up the link – here’s the T Rex link:

    http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/April/12040702.asp

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