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My picks from ScienceDaily

New Questions About Evolution Of Hormones In Mammals:

New techniques used to examine hormones in feces and urine of mammals in the wild are yielding surprising results about hormones and evolution. The new techniques allow scientists to examine the social structure of a broader range of mammals.

Tree Lizard’s Quick Release Escape System Makes Jumpers Turn Somersaults:

If you’ve ever tried capturing a lizard, you’ll know how difficult it is. But if you do manage to corner one, many have the ultimate emergency quick release system for escape. They simply drop their tails, leaving the twitching body part to distract the predator as they scamper to safety. According to Gary Gillis from Mount Holyoke College, USA, up to 50% of some lizard populations seem to have traded some part of their tails in exchange for escape.

Asian Elephants Under Increasing Threat As Illegal Ivory Prices Soar:

Indochina’s few surviving elephants are under increasing threat from booming illegal ivory prices in Viet Nam, according to a new market analysis released by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

Suppressing Cancer With A Master Control Gene:

Starting with the tiny fruit fly and then moving into mice and humans, researchers at VIB and K. U. Leuven show that expression of the same gene suppresses cancer in all three organisms. Reciprocally, switching off the gene – called Ato in flies and ATOH1 in mammals – leads to cancer. The authors show there is a good chance that the gene can be switched on again with a drug.

If It’s Hard To Say, It Must Be Risky:

We all have different criteria for what we consider risky. However, numerous studies have suggested that we tend to perceive familiar products and activities as being less risky and hazardous than unfamiliar ones. If something is familiar, the thinking goes, it is comfortable and safe. But how do we know if something is familiar? We often rely on a simple shortcut: If it is easy to perceive, remember or pronounce, we have probably seen it before. If so, will a product’s name and how easy it is to pronounce, affect how we view the product?

Vital Climate Change Warnings Are Being Ignored, Says Expert:

Canada’s inland waters, the countless lakes and reservoirs across the country, are important “sentinels” for climate change and Ottawa and the provinces are ignoring the warnings.

Tracking Warming Trend In Northwestern North America:

A new Montana State University study says that weather, especially in late winter and early spring, is getting warmer in northwestern North America.

Life Forms May Have Evolved In Ancient Hot Springs On Mars:

Data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) suggest the discovery of ancient springs in the Vernal Crater, sites where life forms may have evolved on Mars, according to a new report.