Environment

Gene Expression

Category archives for Environment

Be safe and live long

Arboreality has allowed for the evolution of increased longevity in mammals: The evolutionary theory of aging predicts that species will experience delayed senescence and increased longevity when rates of extrinsic mortality are reduced. It has long been recognized that birds and bats are characterized by lower rates of extrinsic mortality and greater longevities than nonvolant…

Owen Lovejoy & Ardipithecus

Owen Lovejoy has some theories which he is using to process the data from the spate of Ardipithecus ramidus papers. When it comes to the argument about social structure based on the anatomy of the extant remains I’m skeptical. I just recorded a diavlog with John Hawks which is 2/3 devoted to Ardi-issues (should be…

Ag subsidies + ag science = :-(

From Science, Plenty of Cows but Little Profit: Three years ago, a technological breakthrough gave dairy farmers the chance to bend a basic rule of nature: no longer would their cows have to give birth to equal numbers of female and male offspring. Instead, using a high-technology method to sort the sperm of dairy bulls,…

Crazy genetic mutant, alien….

Darren Naish has the full story. In a bygone age without scientists who…know stuff, these sorts of finds would become the germ of myth. As it is we cobble together a bunch of banal facts and likelihoods into something far less exciting, but more likely to b a true description of reality.

Nuclear power, who are the haterz?

Matt Springer of Built on Facts has a post up where he defends the potential of nuclear power. Regular readers of this weblog will know that I am broadly sympathetic. I understand that the “atomic age” is not going to be a utopia by any means nor will it solve all our problems, I do…

A helpful invasive species?: Introduced species can wreak havoc on the ecosystems they invade. But what happens after they’ve been established for centuries? A new study in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society suggests that, in one case, an introduced species has actually become an important part of the native ecosystem — and helps…

Hawaii, going long on space tourism

Hawaii Looks to Space Tourism to Aid Recession Woes: According to the Honolulu Advertiser, the state would start by spending up to a million dollars developing a spaceport. But Hawaii isn’t alone: The state is already facing heady competition from states including Florida, Okalahoma and New Mexico, all of which are moving into the space…

Aral Sea no more

Back in the early 1990s I remember stories about the incredible reduction in size and volume of the Aral Sea. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the environmental disasters caused by state “planning” were exposed for all to see, and the command system of the USSR was as good at managing environmental resources as…