Archives for posts with tag: favoritism

When the going gets tough, the tough get… more relief from a placebo?“[T]he new findings link specific, established personality traits with an individual’s susceptibility to the placebo effect…. The researchers showed a significant link between certain personality traits and how much relief people said they felt when given the placebo – as well as the level of a specific chemical that their brains released…. The findings show that about one-quarter of placebo response was explained by the personality traits of resiliency, straightforwardness, altruism or anger/hostility, as measured on standardized tests.”

Oxytocin Keeps Flirting Folks at Arm’s Length“[M]en who were in a committed relationship even maintained a greater distance from an attractive woman when under the influence of oxytocin than their control group.”

Gene distinguishes early birds from night owls and helps predict time of death“Common gene variant helps determine the time you will wake up each day — and the time of day you are likely to die.”

Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed“People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, there being a particularly salient connection between writing and schizophrenia.” – via parapundit.

Identical Twins Are Genetically Different, Research Suggests – copy errors.

The mysterious Ainu“[I]s the physical similarity [of the Ainu] to Europeans just a matter of chance? Convergent evolution? No, it may be that the Ainu have just not changed as much physically as other East Asians. – from peter frost.

Pre-Neolithic Mediterranean Island settlement“‘[T]he first inhabitants of many of the Mediterranean islands may not have been modern humans at all. Instead, he says evidence has been found that shows that they might have been Neanderthals, or Homo Erectus.’” – from dienekes.

Evidence for Early Hafted Hunting Technology“[E]arly humans were manufacturing hafted multicomponent tools ~200,000 years earlier than previously thought.”

The Golden Age“If people were always getting dumber, why on Earth would the scientific revolution be recent?” – greg cochran’s latest, most excellent rant. (^_^)

Einstein’s Brain“Uncommon features of Einstein’s brain might explain his remarkable cognitive abilities” – @the breviary (with appropriate and enjoyable sarcasm from mangan… (~_^) ).

Brain scans of rappers shed light on creativity“Functional magnetic resonance imaging shows what happens in the brain during improvisation.”

Why “Multicultural Society” is a Logical Impossibility

In Defense of Favoritism“Affective neuroscience research on early-childhood bonding suggests that, as mammals, we probably start out as emotionally glued microcommunities (family and tribe) before we become autonomous ego-driven creatures. Favoritism, not egoism, is probably the primal value system. In short, favoritism or bias toward your group is not intrinsically racist, sexist, or closed-minded. Privileging your tribe does not render you negative or bigoted toward those outside your tribe.”

bonus: Study Tracks Brain Gene Response to Territorial Aggression“Researchers are mapping the genetic underpinnings of the stickleback’s aggressive behavior.”

bonus bonus: Bonobos Catch Yawns from Friends

bonus bonus bonus: ‘Rogue planet’ spotted 100 light-years away“Astronomers have spotted a ‘rogue planet’ – wandering the cosmos without a star to orbit – 100 light-years away.”

(note: comments do not require an email. aggressive stickleback lurking in the foliage….)

artemisia tridentata — the common sagebrush. looks like a decent sort of plant. you know, the kind that would give any other plant a fair shake:

WRONG!!

a. tridentata actually plays favorites! specifically, it favors clones of itself and other sagebrush plants that are closely related to it genetically:

Effect of genetic relatedness on volatile communication of sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)

“Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) uses volatile cues to induce systemic resistance to herbivory within and between plants (so-called volatile communication). Previous study revealed that the volatile components varied among individuals and that sagebrush suffered less damage when it received volatiles from clonally potted genetically identical branches than when it received volatiles from genetically different potted branches. In this study, we investigated whether there are genetic relationships among individuals growing within 60 cm where volatile communication occurs under natural condition, and whether volatile components are influenced by genetic relationships. By using genetic analysis involving microsatellite markers, we found that genetically identical ramets which were thought to be clonally propagated and genetically closely related ramets were growing near to each other. In addition, volatile components were similar among genetically identical or closely related ramets. Our results imply that genetic relatedness and volatile similarities may influence the strength of induced resistance of ramets that received volatiles.

here’s what the whole volatile doohickey business is all about:

“The sagebrush communicated and cooperated with other branches of themselves to avoid being eaten by grasshoppers, Karban said. Although the research is in its early stages, the scientists suspect that the plants warn their own kind of impending danger by emitting volatile cues. This may involve secreting chemicals that deter herbivores or make the plant less profitable for herbivores to eat, he said.”

first sea rockets and now sagebrush? who knew that the plant world was so full of darwinian drama?!

previously: even plants do it

(note: comments do not require an email.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 276 other followers