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My picks from ScienceDaily

Migratory Birds: Innocent Scapegoats For The Dispersal Of The H5N1 Virus:

A review to be published shortly in the British Ornithologists’ Union’s journal, Ibis, critically examines the arguments concerning the role of migratory birds in the global dispersal of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1. Ecologists of the Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat and of the GEMI-CNRS in the Camargue (France), Michel Gauthier-Clerc, Camille Lebarbenchon and Frédéric Thomas conclude that human commercial activities, particularly those associated with poultry, are the major factors that have determined its global dispersal.

Common Fungicide Causes Long-term Changes In Rats’ Mating Behavior:

Female rats avoid males whose great-grandfathers were exposed to a common fruit crop fungicide, preferring instead males whose ancestors were uncontaminated, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have discovered. Their research shows that environmental contamination could affect the evolution of wildlife through changes in mating behavior.

Dark Chocolate, Nicotine Patches Examined For Impact On Heart Function:

Genetics and family history play a large role in a person’s risk for heart disease, but factors in diet, lifestyle and the environment are also thought to influence susceptibility to the disease. A number of studies presented recently at the American College of Cardiology’s 56th Annual Scientific Session look at how health-related behaviors can influence a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease.