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Category Archives: Biology

CTDL 226: Spiders using UV to paint

Originally found on Boing Boing, this is an interesting evolutionary trait to use UV light to woo the prey into the webs.

The crosses, zigzags, and spirals woven by some spiders have long puzzled web watchers. But those seemingly superfluous decorations may be traps that use light to lure prey, a new study of Australian spiders [...]

CTDL 225: Cholesterol Genes?

Nothing to add to this, except I hope I have these genes.

A third of the population have genes that could help them in the fight against heart disease, say scientists.
A study of 147,000 patients suggests that certain types of the CETP gene might increase the levels of so-called “good” cholesterol.
UK and [...]

CTDL 221: Pile O Links V2.0 for today

Yet again I had a huge backlog of links even after the last post, so I’m putting together even more of them into a smorgasbord of interesting articles. Enjoy!

“Her methods probably are finer, but our conclusions are very similar.”
He also criticised the emphasis placed by the McGill University researcher on the “low” figure [...]

CTDL 220: Pile of Links again

Pile of excerpts and links from BBC articles I didn’t get around to making their own posts. Enjoy.

In January, the Brazilian government announced that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon jungle had soared in the last half of 2007, just months after officials had celebrated three years of steep falls.
It was an [...]

CTDL 219: Fallafel or insulin, you decide

Falafel wins every time. Interestingly enough this is largely the diet espoused by the Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy book which based most of its information on the harvard medical school nutritional findings. Note they talk about it as a Mediterranean diet, but it’s really just a healthy one.

Sticking to a diet which includes fruit, [...]

CTDL 218: Cancer Cells and cloning

Good use of cloning here (no midichlorians were harmed I’m sure), hopefully this is a treatment that pans out.

US researchers, reports the New England Journal of Medicine, took cancer-fighting immune cells, made five billion copies, then put them all back.
[From BBC NEWS | Health | Clone cell cancer 'cure' hailed]

CTDL 215: Maybe all those sloth comparisons aren’t insults?

Rather than snoozing for more than 16 hours a day, as observed in captivity, sloths in the wild doze for less than 10 hours, research suggests.
Scientists caught sloths living in the rainforest of Panama and fitted them with a device that monitors sleep.
The findings, published in a Royal Society journal, may [...]

CTDL 214: Un-Farming in the UK

How should Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) respond to the “food crisis”? Our environment analyst Roger Harrabin examines how worries about food are stimulating a debate about the long-term future of the CAP.
The Common Agricultural Policy – the vast system that costs Europe’s taxpayers more than £30bn pounds a year – will be [...]

CTDL 213: Tasmanian Park

Michael Crichton is rolling over in his grave… or not.

A fragment of DNA from the Tasmanian tiger has been brought back to life.
Australian scientists extracted genetic material from a 100-year-old museum specimen, and put it into a mouse embryo to study how it worked.
It is the first time DNA of an [...]

CTDL 212: If only we could make fuel from Kudzu

Good advice here, don’t bring in some new species of crop just to deal with new energy needs.

Nations should avoid planting biofuel crops that have a high risk of becoming invasive species, a report warns.
A study by the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) said only a few countries have systems in place to [...]