sticky little lizard feet

Evolutionary change can be fast – Peter and Rosemary Grant's long-term & ongoing research project on the Galapagos finches documented rapid responses to environmental changes, for example, as does the  recent work on cane toads in Australia. And biologists have known since Darwin's time that competition can be a strong driver of evolutionary change. (Take […]

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rapid evolution in cane toads

In her book Paleofantasy, Marlene Zuk discusses cane toads (Bufo marinus) as an example of just how rapidly evolutionary processes can work. These amphibian pests were introduced into Australia in 1935 to control borer beetles in sugar cane. Unfortunately the toads never got the memo about this expectation, and have spread rapidly across the continent, […]

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human facial features the result of being used as a punching bag? somehow I don’t think so

I saw this story in the newspaper yesterday, & again today on one of the science feeds: Researchers in the US have studied the skulls of ancient human ancestors and concluded that fist-fighting may have played a role in shaping the male face. You can read the paper itself here (Carrier & Morgan, 2014). I’m sorry, […]

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“If you’re going to get lectured at, you might as well be at home in bunny slippers”

There's an increasing body of literature demonstrating the benefits of active learning for tertiary students taking science subjects. This is a topic I've written about before, but I'm always interested in reading more on the subject. And let's face it, the more evidence the better, when you're wanting to get lecturers in the sciences engaged […]

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an anti-fluoride view: democracy is ok as long as it delivers what we want

At least, that's how it sounds in this Waikato Times report on the first day of presentations relating to submissions on Hamilton City Council's draft annual plan. One of those submitting was quoted as saying  The democratic argument is flawed in this instance. Sometimes democracy is not enough, we need wise leadership. Democracy is a dangerous […]

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fluoride-cancer claims exaggerated? it looks that way

My friend & blog-buddy Grant drew my attention to a story about osteosarcoma at stuff.co.nz – and to the comments section, where one commenter raised the issue of a claimed link between this rare form of cancer and community water fluoridation (CWF). This particular claim has surfaced quite a lot lately, as anti-fluoride groups target […]

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