Welcome to another edition of the Tangled Bank, the blog carnival broadly about the natural sciences. My original idea was to get creative, and trace the history of logic while threading through another edition of the Tangled Bank. But these are busy days, so we’ll keep it short and sweet (and please excuse any typos or errors, this was put together rather quickly).
Starting with archer fish, Andre at Biocurious writes about animals that intuitively know and use very advanced concepts in physics, but then, can they write equations? And I had absolutely no idea that those garden destroying squirrels were immune to rattle snake poisons. Read all about that, infrared body temperatures and tail flagging over at Grrlscientist’s. She also has another post on the deadly Marburg hemorrhagic disease, which is incurable and is transmitted by a virus. Apparently the the source of this virus is a fruit bat. At the Invasive Species Weblog, Jennifer writes about the common periwinkle snail, which we first thought was an invasive species, then were told that it has been in North America for 8000 years, and now it is back to being an invasive species. And what’s a “tangled bank” without mention of the Galapagos islands and the fabled finches? Mike of 10,000 birds writes about the unique birds of the Galapagos. That island has such an amazing concentration of diversity, it even has four endemic mockingbirds (and there’s just one in all of the rest of North America).
Pure, unadulterated science:
Veo Claramente has an excellent post on the damage response framework of microbial pathogenesis. That’s some very good science writing on a fascinating topic. At the wonderful world of Archaeozology there is a post on the diversity and origins of cattle. If you ever wondered how and when the wild, cud-chewing bovine was domesticated, here is your answer. In some more excellent science writing, Aaron at Synapostasy has a three part mini-review on the evolution of X and Y chromosomes, so here are links to Part I, Part II and Part III. At Cotch.net, Joe, writing about evolution and cancer, neatly summarizes a review on DNA check points, tumors and the loss of apoptosis. And over at Ouroboros, there is an interesting post on delayed aging via increased Arf and p53, discussing if tumor suppressor genes are beneficial or detrimental with respect to ageing and lifespan.
Religion and science:
There’s surprisingly little about religion and science this week. But there’s still some good stuff. At the Primate Diaries, Eric lucidly explains The feeling of what happens: Science, faith and Nature’s error. He also has an excellent post on sexual equality, double standards and social scale.
Odds and ends:
Andrew the Sexy Secularist is making a sales pitch for some rather nice looking jewelry. Except that these are DNA double-helix bracelets! Go buy some.
Its midnight, and you can’t go to sleep? Do you look at those early sleepers and early risers with utter disbelief? Don’t worry, you aren’t an unnatural freak. You fall into the group Paddy K calls the B-team, and your tribe is large.
Sharp brains links to a number of research articles on “Computer based cognitive training (or “brain fitness”), and some of the links are fascinating. Also worth reading are the ten habits of highly effective brains. I’m going to practice positive, future oriented thoughts everyday, starting now.
From Omnome comes the story of an inventor who claims to have invented injectable heat generating nanoparticles which will cure tumors. Omnome doesn’t think a cure for cancer is going to come from here. Finally, from my own blog, here’s a little bit of history, on standing on the shoulders of Giants.
That’s it for this edition of the Tangled Bank. The next edition will be in two weeks, at The behavioral ecology blog.