Biology

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Category archives for Biology

Women’s taste in men varies naturally with their menstrual cycle–during the more fertile period, they are more drawn to a square jawline, heavy brow, facial symmetry, and other signs of masculinity. But a new study by a team of British biologists shows that women taking birth control are not subject to the same cyclical preferences;…

The Buzz: Science in Sex

There’s no denying that sex is important for most creatures biologically. For humans, the biological imperative of sex has seeped into our psyches over thousands of years worth of evolution, making it more essential than we realize. On The Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer reports on a new column in Mind Matters positing that love and…

Ligers are known in popular culture for being pretty much Napoleon Dynamite’s favorite animal, but a lesser known fact is that the lion-tiger hybrids are actually the largest of the big cats, more massive than either parent due to a quirk of genetics. As Razib explains on Gene Expression, parental imprinting is responsible for the…

In the latest installment of Bloggingheads.tv Science Saturdays, ScienceBloggers Greg Laden and David Dobbs discuss David’s book Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral.

Our worst fears confirmed

As reported in The New York Post, British botanists recently discovered a species of pitcher plant that consumes entire rats—not insects, rats. The plant was found atop Mount Victoria in the Philippines and has been named Nepenthes attenboroughii after Sir David Attenborough. Hapless rodents, like the one below, that stumble into its open mouth are…

A recent paper in Nature Biotechnology reported the first complete human genome to be sequenced using third-generation, single-molecule sequencing technology. The genome sequenced belongs to one Stephen Quake, co-founder of the biotech company Helicos that developed the Heliscope instrument used to perform the analysis. On Genetic Future, ScienceBlogger Dan MacArthur analyzes the paper itself, explaining…

Here at ScienceBlogs, we’re generally fans of the Discovery Channel. MythBusters is great. Man vs. Wild is thrilling. Planet Earth is, of course, one of the most sublime ways to spend an hour—or if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the boxed DVD collection, eleven hours. Straight. But we just can’t get behind…

The Buzz: Battle of the Winged

Like the Marvel Comics villain Mysterio who blocks Spiderman’s spider-sense by emitting a special gas, a species of tiger moths can jam the sonar signals emitted by bats in order to escape the grisly fate of becoming a midflight meal. The tiger moths, Bertholdia trigona, possess a unique structure, the tymbal, that produces a clicking…

In the course of anthropological history, several developments served to set humans apart from other mammals: Tools, language, and domestication all played an instrumental role in shaping our evolution. Now, Razib of Gene Expression reviews a recently published book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, that argues that the ability to extract maximum energy…

The Buzz: Fishing For the Truth

The observation of World Oceans Day June 8 sparked a lively online debate about the environmental repercussions of seafood consumption. Is it possible to know whether the fish you are eating is truly sustainable? Why is Pacific cod “safe” but Atlantic cod off limits? Is farm-raised salmon really better than wild? Jennifer Jacquet of Guilty…