My picks from ScienceDaily

HIV/AIDS Pandemic Began Around 1900, Earlier Than Previously Thought; Urbanization In Africa Marked Outbreak:

New research indicates that the most pervasive global strain of HIV began spreading among humans between 1884 and 1924, suggesting that growing urbanization in colonial Africa set the stage for the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Specific Gene Found In Adolescent Men With Delinquent Peers:

Birds of a feather flock together, according to the old adage, and adolescent males who possess a certain type of variation in a specific gene are more likely to flock to delinquent peers, according to a landmark study led by Florida State University criminologist Kevin M. Beaver.

Canada's Shores Saved Animals From Devastating Climate Change 252 Million Years Ago:

The shorelines of ancient Alberta, British Columbia and the Canadian Arctic were an important refuge for some of the world's earliest animals, most of which were wiped out by a mysterious global extinction event some 252 million years ago.

'Hub' Of Fear Memory Formation Identified In Brain Cells:

A protein required for the earliest steps in embryonic development also plays a key role in solidifying fear memories in the brains of adult animals, scientists have revealed. An apparent "hub" for changes in the connections between brain cells, beta-catenin could be a potential target for drugs to enhance or interfere with memory formation.

Extinct May Not Be Forever For Some Species Of Galapagos Tortoises:

Yale scientists report that genetic traces of extinct species of Galapagos tortoises exist in descendants now living in the wild, a finding that could spur breeding programs to restore the species.

Gender Is A Relative Term In Politics, Study Finds:

For only the second time in presidential debate history, a female nominee will take the stage to spar with a male opponent. While Geraldine Ferraro broke new ground in 1984, it has taken 24 years for another female to be included as part of a major party ticket. On Thursday night, the nation will be watching as vice presidential candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden clash in the vice presidential debate.

Why A Mother's High-fat Diet Contributes To Obesity In Her Children:

New research published online in The FASEB Journal suggests that pregnant women should think twice about high-fat foods. In a study from the University of Cincinnati and the Medical College of Georgia, scientists found that female mice fed high fat diets were more likely to have oversized offspring (a risk factor for overweight and obesity) because fat causes the placenta to go into "overdrive" by providing too many nutrients to the fetus.

Restless Nights Put Older Adults At Risk For Depression Recurrence:

Nearly 60 percent of the nation's elderly have trouble sleeping, whether it's a lot of tossing and turning or outright bouts of insomnia. While for most people sleeplessness can be annoying at best or unhealthy at worst, for elderly individuals who have suffered from depression in the past, poor sleep may be the first sign that a new bout of depression is coming on.

During Exercise, Human Brain Shifts Into High Gear On 'Alternative Energy':

Alternative energy is all the rage in major media headlines, but for the human brain, this is old news. According to a study by researchers from Denmark and The Netherlands, the brain, just like muscles, works harder during strenuous exercise and is fueled by lactate, rather than glucose.

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The last known member of the subspecies Pinta Island tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni), affectionately named Lonesome George, passed away on Sunday at about 100 years old (no one knew his exact age). He had been the last of his kind in the Galapagos Islands for the past 40 years, earning his…
I know this is not a comparative physiology topic, but this article caught my attention as I know I just ate a rather high fat meal last week for Thanksgiving and I plan to do the same throughout the holiday season. Insulin does more than just lowering blood sugar by increasing its uptake into…
New research at the Institute sheds some light on a protein that could make it harder for overweight people to stick to a diet. That protein helps regulate the effects of leptin - a hormone that reduces appetite and increases physical activity. People missing the leptin gene are invariably obese.…
Another Reason To Avoid High-fat Diet: It Can Disrupt Our Biological Clock, Say Researchers Indulgence in a high-fat diet can not only lead to overweight because of excessive calorie intake, but also can affect the balance of circadian rhythms - everyone's 24-hour biological clock, Hebrew…