Science and Socioeconomics: Humans to Hyenas

Science and Socioeconomics: Humans to Hyenas

We recognize that making the choice to smoke a cigarette can damage your lungs and too much  alcohol can damage your liver, but what if something as passive as your social status could affect the most fundamental building blocks of your biology? 

Find out how social and economic ranking affects the very building blocks of our being and how this biology connects us to hyenas. It's not all a laughing matter...

Read More

Acclimation, Adaptation, and Reaching Great Heights.

Acclimation, Adaptation, and Reaching Great Heights.

Selective pressure is powerful, our environment always changing, and how an individual or an entire species is able to change with nature reveals a lot about its ability to thrive. A recent dinner-table story of a volcanic mountain climb reminded me of the wild challenges on biology at high altitude and the specialized physiology of animals sitting cozy up there.

Whether by acclimation or adaptation, the ability to adjust is an essential part of movin' on up!

 

Read More

Ferocity at its Finest

Ferocity at its Finest

The Tsavo River. Running east from the border between Tanzania and Kenya, its waters are teeming with life surrounded by vast grasslands. This serene habitat holds a terror-filled story within its natural history; one which combines human intervention, habitat ecology, animal behavior, and the taste of human flesh. Dig in. 

Read More

Peanut butter, sex, and the weakening of the human species.

Peanut butter, sex, and the weakening of the human species.

Peanuts. A trail mix staple. A match made in heaven for jelly. A baseball game must-have. So good that we grind them up and make an infinitely useful butter out of them! But have you ever considered the possibility that they may also be responsible for the eventual decline of human life on this planet? I'm talking about the peanut allergy.

Mr. Peanut sure looks like a friendly fella', but he doesn't play nicely with everyone...

 

Read More

The Bac[tea]rial Beauty of Kombucha

The Bac[tea]rial Beauty of Kombucha

Some like their tea with sugar and some take a splash of cream. If Earl Grey is just not your "bag", maybe you're one of the others who prefer steeping their beverages with a wild collection of bacteria and fungus.

Curiosity outweighing your gag reflex? Don't let me tea'se you...

Read More

Pleasure, Pain, and Playlists

Pleasure, Pain, and Playlists

Music is a universally appreciated experience across human culture and the means to understanding its significance blurs the fine lines between psychology, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology.  Can science help describe an art form?  

If we take a look at pleasure, heartbreak, and the unintended foreshadowing of 1970s punk rock - I think it can.

Read More

Antarctic Fishes and Ice Cream?

Antarctic Fishes and Ice Cream?

Ocean temperatures near the Earth's poles linger below freezing, but some marine organisms have benefited by a cool adaptation that keeps their bodies from becoming a fish-cicle.  You may want to give a shout out to creatures like this the next time you're oggling pints of Häagen-Dazs in the grocery store.

What do Antarctic fish and mint chocolate chip ice cream have in common?

Read More