Search Results for: label/brood parasite
If you want your dinner, little fairy wren, sing the secret password!
…oo chick hatches, he’ll reap the benefits of having a fairy-wren mother to feed and protect him. But fairy-wrens have adapted to this evolutionary trick with a clever one of their own. A little more than halfway through their 14-day incubation, starting on day nine, fairy-wren mothers sing an “incubation song” while sitting on their eggs. Every four minutes, she sings a two-second tune, and the little growing chicks in her eggs are listening… and…
Authored by Emily Willingham on November 14, 2012
Biology Explainer: The big 4 building blocks of life–carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and nucleic acids
…molecules themselves break down into a surprisingly small number of building blocks. The proteins that make up all of the living things on this planet and ensure their appropriate structure and smooth function consist of only 20 different kinds of building blocks. Nucleic acids, specifically DNA, are even more basic: only four different kinds of molecules provide the materials to build the countless different genetic codes that translate into all…
Authored by Emily Willingham on June 8, 2012
Thanks, Mom, for not eating me
…he’s so cute, I could just eat him up!” No, grandma. Just … no. Happy Mother’s Day! Supporting Literature J. Bartlett, Filial cannibalism in burying beetles, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 21, No. 3 (1987), pp. 179-183 [PDF] Hope Klug and Michael B. Bonsall, When to Care for, Abandon, or Eat Your Offspring: The Evolution of Parental Care and Filial Cannibalism, The American Naturalist, Vol. 170, No. 6 (Decembe…
Authored by Jeanne Garbarino on May 13, 2013
After Newtown missteps, journalists get guidelines
…almost twice as likely to say that they don’t want to live or work near a person with mental illness if they read an article about a person with mental illness involved in a mass shooting, according to a study published March 20 in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Interestingly, this tendency is the same even if the article avoids any mention of mental illness. This may be because this link between violence and mental illness is deeply engrain…
Authored by DXS Contributor on March 27, 2013
What do you know about Charles Darwin?
…ilitating health problems in later life. Today is Darwin Day, so designated because Charles Darwin (and Abraham Lincoln,while we’re at it) was born on February 12. Darwin’s year of birth was 1809, so he’d be 204 today were humans capable of a tortoise-like lifespan. I often wonder what Darwin would make of today’s persistent caricatures of him as upending science or religion or both with his ideas. I’m not a Darwin…
Authored by Emily Willingham on February 12, 2013
Parenting paranoia comes in different forms
…udies reporting no link between vaccines and autism, but let’s face it: Science is slow, and news is fast. In the interval, scary information takes root. The Lancet retracted the article 12 years after its publication, and in 2011, British investigative journalist Brian Deer demonstrated that Wakefield actively falsified data. Still, to this day, vaccination rates have not fully recovered, and many parents remain misinformed and concerned about v…
Authored by DXS Contributor on May 19, 2013
What does ‘safe’ mean when we’re talking about chemicals?
…look at things on a spectrum of lower risk to higher risk and think about decisions as risk evaluations. At the lower risk end, I would include things that have 1) solid, evidence-based records of few or no harmful effects, 2) relatively few/unusual circumstances in which it produces harmful effects, and 3) statistics favoring my likelihood of emerging unscathed. Here are some things I would consider lower risk within the parameters of my lif…
Authored by Emily Willingham on June 4, 2012
Can depression be a matter of genetic fate? by Siobhan Mitchell [This post is the latest installment in our I Am Mental Illness series.] What if you could know if you were fated to be depressed? With the rise of personal genotyping services such as 23andme, almost can find out what their psychiatric ‘fate’ will be, but what do you do with this information once you have it? When I first considered testing myself for depressio…
Authored by DXS Contributor on May 17, 2013
Is the bar high enough for screening breast ultrasounds for breast cancer?
…n controversial. What’s new is the “Are You Dense?” patient movement and legislation to inform women that they have dense breasts. Merits and pitfalls of device approval The approval of breast ultrasound hinges on a study of 200 women with dense breast evaluated retrospectively at 13 sites across the United States with mammography and ultrasound. The study showed a statistically significant increase in breast cancer detection when ultrasound was…
Authored by Emily Willingham on September 21, 2012
Autism and the DSM-5
…ial social aspect of this change, and the one thing that might, when it comes to autism, elevate the DSM-5 above the level of doorstop. [Image credit: Dave Bullock, UK, via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 generic license.]…
Authored by Emily Willingham on April 23, 2013