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My picks from ScienceDaily

Bear Hunting Altered Genetics More Than Ice Age Isolation:

It was not the isolation of the Ice Age that determined the genetic distribution of bears, as has long been thought. This is shown by an international research team led from Uppsala University in Sweden in the latest issue of Molecular Ecology. One possible interpretation is that the hunting of bears by humans and human land use have been crucial factors.

Mediterranean Sea: Most Dangerous Place On Earth For Sharks And Rays:

The first complete IUCN Red List assessment of the status of all Mediterranean sharks and rays has revealed that 42% of the species are threatened with extinction. Overfishing, including bycatch (non-target species caught incidentally), is the main cause of decline, according to the research.

Nicotine May Enhance Attention And Working Memory In Recovering Alcoholics:

Detoxified alcoholics in the early stages of recovery tend to have impaired cognitive functioning. Many alcoholics also smoke, and nicotine is known to have enhancing effects on attentional processes. New findings indicate that nicotine patches can enhance cognitive function among newly recovering alcoholics with a history of smoking.

Facial Expressions Have Greater Impact On Kids With Bipolar Disorder:

Children with bipolar disorder respond differently to facial expressions than children without psychiatric disorders, according to a new study led by a Bradley Hospital researcher. These findings provide additional insight into the neurobiology of pediatric bipolar disorder.

Why Age Doesn’t Matter For Motherhood:

The assumption that those born to mothers outside the optimum age for reproduction are disadvantaged has been challenged by scientists at the University of Exeter. Their research found that mothers adjust their pre and post-natal care to compensate for any health problems their babies might face as a result of them being below or above the best age to give birth.

Ripening Secrets Of The Vine Revealed:

Whether you prefer a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Noir grape variety, two new research articles offer a host of new genetic information on fruit ripening for this economically important fruit crop.

Environmental Researchers Propose Radical ‘Human-centric’ Map Of The World:

Ecologists pay too much attention to increasingly rare “pristine” ecosystems while ignoring the overwhelming influence of humans on the environment, say researchers from McGill University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Are Current Projections Of Climate Change Impacts On Biodiversity Misleading?:

Are patterns of current climate sufficient to explain and predict the diversity of life? This is the urgent question arising from the study “Quaternary climate changes explain diversity among reptiles and amphibians,” published in the journal Ecography. The new theory proposes that historical climate patterns are of strong importance to diversity prediction.