Category Archives: Scientific Research

Have a high IQ? Try some drugs


According to White & Batty’s recent correlations, you may already have.

Read the rest of this entry

The myth of the common segmented ancestor


Before the advancement of mollecular genetics, segmentation was viewed with an emphasis on the functional and phylogenetic advantages of having a segmented body plan.  However, recent molecular evidence has shifted the view of segmentation from that of a physiological approach to that of an onto-genetic view.  Common subjects for such studies of segmentation include the mollsuks the annelids, arthropods and chordates; all of which exhibit segmentation in one form or another.  However, even with recent mollecular evidence, there is still debate as to what exactly constitutes a segmented organism.  There is usually a distinction between animals that are “segmented” and those that merely exhibit serial repetition (Seaver,2003).  Serial repetition refer to body parts that exhibit repeating themes.  An example of such an organims would be branching points in hydrozoa colonies.  (Pechenik, 2005).  In order for an animal to be considered truly segmented, repeating structures must be present from anterior to posterior ends with each segment consisting of repeated tissues or organs that are ectodermally and mesodermally derived,(Seaver 2003). Read the rest of this entry

The Genetics of Monogamy! Guys? Girls? You better read this:


Ever wonder why some people are exceedingly good at being with someone and others struggle?  Most would blame it on personality, upbringing, hormones.  But what if you found out it was out of your control?  What if you found out you were predisposed from birth to be monogamous or not!?

Scientists at Emory University have begun to study Prairie voles and have come out with some amazing discoveries!  The reason they studied prairie voles is they are a monogamous rodent!   A similar species though the meadow voles are super promiscuous and love to be in the end alone. Read the rest of this entry

The barn owl (Tyto alba) an auditory specalist


The barn owl (Tyto alba) has been said to be one of the most successful nocturnal predatory birds that exist in our world today.  As adults, barn owls rarely miss their target prey.  They owe this to their finely tuned auditory system.  Owls combine excellent hearing with visual tracking to perfectly locate prey and maximize their chances of successful capture (http://www.allaboutbirds.org).  Their auditory tracking system functions based on several key features of barn owl morphology.  The first is that barn owls possess asymmetrically shaped ears.  This means that the owl’s left ear points downward and the right ear points upward.  A sound that appears louder in amplitude on the right side of the owl is interpreted as being higher in elevation than a sound that appears louder in amplitude on the left side of the owl.  This helps the owl discern moving target’s elevations.  The second key feature is the owl’s facial disk.  Barn owls are known for having a heart shaped face.  This facial disk acts like the pinna on humans and helps the owl to amplify sounds. (Koppl et al. 2007)  The last key feature is the owl’s ability to detect timing differences in sounds.  The owl’s midbrain can process the differences in arrival times of a sound between one ear and the other.  The owl can then use this information to help them direct their head towards the prey item. (Spitzer et al. 2006) Read the rest of this entry