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Archive for the ‘Male Genetics’ Category

Over Easy: History of Shopping, part II – Press Herald

Ever wonder why the clothes that fit you so well 20 years ago are too small today? Has your size gone from medium to large without you knowing how or why? Well, here is a cockamamie theory to explain such a phenomenon. A theory that makes about as much sense as showing up at one of the big box stores at midnight on Thanksgiving to shop.

A little background first. Before the Industrial Revolution, we used to make our own clothes. Our mothers made our clothes, our fathers watched Ozzie and Harriet reruns. Just kidding. Fathers made guns and tools and tamed horses.

Things changed when industrialization dictated that our clothing would now be made in factories by workers who are paid money. Those workers could be living anywhere, in less developed countries like Sri Lanka or Cambodia, halfway around the world. Now, Im not denigrating any group of people when I write that the average height of men and women of a certain country may be shorter (or to be politically correct, of less height) than those living in more developed countries. It is well known that human growth is limited by poor nutrition and poverty, but genetics play a major role also.

My point is that my shirts started misfitting me at about the time the shirts in the marketplace began to sport labels of manufacture from places like Myanmar and Bangladesh. According to a 2013 study by the University of Oxford, the average height of those inhabitants of Asian origin was 6 inches shorter than those inhabitants of North America and Europe. I discovered this firsthand years ago on a Tokyo subway when I gazed down the length of the train car and saw nothing but the tops of heads. In comparison, I would see a sea of shirt collars on a subway back in America.

In that same report from Oxford, the average height of a Danish man was listed at 183 centimeters (5 feet, 11 inches), tallest in the world, while the average Burmese male comes in at 161 centimeters (5 feet, 5 inches). Scientists know that height and build are dependent on good health, good nutrition and avoidance of poverty, but the most important factor is genetics. If you want to be tall when you grow up, choose tall parents.

So my crazy proposition is that somehow shirts being made by an average Burmese woman from Myanmar are for an average North American male (a full 6 inches taller than the person making it) to wear.

Ive got it in my head that somehow the person sewing the shirt is influenced by the height of the recipient. It may appear to be ridiculous, but so does the idea of the Electoral College. Given my take on the relationship between sewer and sewee, a mens medium shirt made in Samoa would end up the same size as a two-person tent from L.L.Bean. Ill report on that at a future time.



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Over Easy: History of Shopping, part II - Press Herald

Does the United States have a drinking problem? – Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY While opioid-related deaths dominate recent headlines, even more people died as a result of drinking alcoholic beverages over the last two decades. During that period, close to 1 million Americans died from alcohol-related causes, as overall consumption rose and drinking patterns changed, according to an analysis of U.S. death certificates from 1999 to 2017 by researchers at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Alcohol consumption, emergency room visits related to drinking and hospitalizations also increased during that time frame, according to a new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

I think that drinking is a huge problem and weve forgotten about alcohol with the attention on opioids. Alcohol kills more. We havent seen it go away, said Dr. Elizabeth F. Howell, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah who is board-certified in addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine.

Women drove most of the increase, though they are still much less likely to consume alcohol than men. Women are, however, drinking at higher rates than they were across all adult age categories in those 20 years, while male drinking patterns were comparatively flat. Death rates involving alcohol, in fact, increased 85% for women, compared to 35% for men.

Men drink a lot more, they drink more often. They drive drunk more, they are injured and die more. They go to the hospital more, said Aaron M. White, lead author on the study and senior scientific advisor to the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But women are catching up; the gap is narrowing.

Meanwhile, women are particularly vulnerable to the physical harm associated with alcohol, compared to men, a phenomenon Howell called telescoping. It means that women get in trouble with alcohol faster than men, from getting addicted to developing medical complications because they have less of an enzyme that helps metabolize alcohol. If drinking had a lifespan, she said, it would be 10 years shorter for women.

The institute study points to a growing body of research that shows alcohol in even moderate amounts increases the risk of breast cancer for women. They also face more risk of developing heart or liver disease, alcohol use disorder and other health problems related to drinking.

In 1999, 35,914 death certificates mentioned alcohol. In 2017, the number rose to 72,558. That compares to nearly 70,000 drug-related deaths, including opioids like heroin and fentanyl.

Women ages 55-64 had the highest rate of female alcohol-related deaths, followed by those ages 45-54. The death rate increased for women by 5.2% a year from 2010-2017. In 1999-2010, the annual increase was 2.1%. The highest rate of alcohol-related male deaths is also among those 55 to 64, followed by those 65 to 74.

Experts note that many death certificates dont mention the role of alcohol, though it is relevant. Of drivers who die in crashes with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08%, a level pretty much everyone considers dangerous, White said, fewer than 1 in 5 death certificates list alcohol as contributing.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 1 in 3 deaths from falls involve excessive drinking, but fewer than 2% of those death certificates say it. Its not a nefarious plot; often someone is taken to the hospital and dies hours later. By that time, the alcohol is not detectable during autopsy, White said.

Patterns of drinking also changed in ways that may be surprising. Beer consumption is down. Wine consumption is up. Consumption of spirits went up more than anything, White said.

Industry tracker IWSR said the volume of wine consumption fell slightly in 2019, the first drop since 1994. The Wall Street Journal reported volumes of ready-to-drink products consumed rose 50%, driven by hard seltzers and canned cocktails. Spirits volumes grew 2.3%, helped by mezcal, tequila, cognac, bourbon and other whiskey. Beer continued to decline, falling 2.3%.

While more women and more older women are binge drinking, binge drinking has been decreasing among college students for a few years, dropping most in states where marijuana is legal, according to research from Oregon State University. Marijuana use, not surprisingly, has increased significantly in those states.

Its hard to say what increased marijuana use will bring, said David C. R. Kerr, associate professor of psychological science and a co-author of that study. We know that marijuana use is not totally distinct from other substances.

Binge drinking is clearly linked to harm, though, he said, noting more run-ins with the police, sexual assaults and risky behavior involve alcohol. Known negative outcomes with marijuana include poor motivation, less academic achievement and greater risk for driving accidents.

Amid the shifting trends, theres a bit of encouraging news, if it holds over time, White said: While alcohol use and harm are going up for adults, they are coming down among adolescents particularly adolescent males. Alcohol use has also declined among those college age, again mostly among males, not females, who are more likely to report drinking and being drunk than are males that age.

The greatest increase in drinking is among older non-Hispanic white women.

White believes as baby boomers age, they will continue to bring higher levels of alcohol and drug use with them. He said experts expect increases in harm among older drinkers, but its possible that if younger cohorts arent drinking and harming themselves they could bring a new attitude toward alcohol.

Thats already being seen in different social movements, like Sober October and Dry January. The sober curious are taking a time out from alcohol consumption or eschewing it entirely. Boozeless bars are also becoming popular.

Basically, theyre asking the question, What is this drug again? White said. Why are we drinking it? What do we get from it?

Its too soon to predict the change will hold among those who are younger now, said White. But hes among those hoping that will be the case. Right now, weve got what weve got, which is an increase among adults.

Alcoholism is not determined by how much one drinks, Howell said, but what happens when one drinks, such as loss of consistent control over consumption and continued use of alcohol in the face of adverse consequences.

The biggest risk of becoming alcoholic is genetic, but people dont necessarily know they carry genetic risk. Trauma is a big risk, as well. And the younger one starts drinking the more the risk increases. One can become an alcoholic at any age and studies suggest the share of people becoming alcoholic when they are older is growing.

Chronic excessive drinking doesnt spare any organ system, White said. It triggers inflammation and irritates the stomach lining. It alters the brain. If you just keep doing that over time, the body ends up damaged. Alcohol takes a toll; it is not a nutrient.

Still, he added, its a legal drug for adults as long as they dont break laws. And at low doses, the risks appear to be smaller, though they are not zero. The risk goes up the more you drink.

Howell said some may be able to drink more, others less, without harm. And she notes one little-known risk factor: gastric bypass. People who have had it and drink see greater harm.

Does America have a drinking problem? White ruminates.

Yes, we have a drinking problem that in some ways is getting worse and in other ways is getting better. Its getting worse among adults, especially middle-age and older. Its certainly getting worse among women in general. But the positive component is less drinking among adolescents and young adults. Whether that will lead to fewer problems as they age, we dont know.

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Does the United States have a drinking problem? - Deseret News

Genesis of the Holy Grail – WeekendPost

Publishing Date : 21 January, 2020


It all began in Orion on a planet of the Suriya star

If we depose that Princes Diana was a direct descendent of Jesus of Nazareth, it necessitates, General Atiku, that we posit a well-buttressed argument that she indeed was such. This, General, is not a profession that can be exhaustively elucidated upon in only one or two articles: maybe three, four, five, six, or even more. As such, I accordingly seek your permission, venerable General, that I do likewise.

I am mindful that you may find this elaborate approach a shade overdone and even somewhat pedantic, but Ill trust to your patience and forbearance anyway. After all, patience is the companion of wisdom and you General constitute a remarkable repository of enormous reserves of both these traits. Not too long ago, General, relatively speaking, I served up a series titled The Jesus Papers. I would like to believe, General, that you followed it avidly and fervidly. Much of what I will say in relation to the divinity of Diana if you will, General, I did enunciate in The Jesus Papers, and to a larger extent in The Earth Chronicles.

If I am obliged to restate the same in the Lady Die context, General, it is only for the sake of that segment of the readership who came aboard the This Earth My Brother bandwagon much later and therefore missed out on the gem that was The Jesus Papers and the inceptual section of The Earth Chronicles narrative. Certainly General, I wouldnt want them to find themselves in a position where they make neither head nor tail of the tale that is being woven before them.


As a keen and voracious all-round reader General, Im sure you will have come across the concept of the Holy Grail elsewhere other than my own writings. In the wider public domain, it first surfaced in a 1982 best-seller, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (sub-titled The Secret History of Christ and the Shocking Legacy of the Grail) by the trio of Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent, and Richard Leigh.

There were further cherries on the cake by another prolific mystery historian Laurence Gardner. These were Bloodline of The Holy Grail (sub-titled The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed), 1989; Genesis of the Grail Kings (sub-titled The Explosive Story of Genetic Cloning and the Ancient Bloodline of Jesus), 1999; and The Magdalene Legacy (sub-titled The Jesus and Mary Bloodline Conspiracy), 2005.

Barbara Theirings Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls (sub-titled Unlocking the Secrets of His Life Story), 1992, was further food for thought about who exactly the Saviour or Messiah was. But it was The Davinci Code, a 2003, blockbuster, fact-based fictional work that mainstreamed the subject of the Holy Grail into daily parlance, General. Never before, General, had Jesus mortality, as opposed to his divinity, so riveted the attention of a globalwide audience.

All the above works in varying degrees of depth traced the origins of the Holy Grail to either the Anunnaki (Gardner) or Jesus (Theiring and Lincoln & Co). But years before Lincoln & Co put pen to paper, General, Robert Morning Sky had gone much further: in his pocket-sized book titled Eden, Atlantis, and the UFO Myth, he traced the genesis of the Holy Grail to the Orion star system. How so General? And what anyway is this animal called the Holy Grail?


Over the course of time, the Holy Grail, General, has assumed any number of forms depending on whos telling the story and the juncture in history he or she is specifically highlighting. In the main, it has been characterised as a cup, bow, dish, chalice, goblet, platter, or a stone invested with miraculous powers to heal all wounds, deliver eternal youth, and grant everlasting happiness. But all these, General, are little more than emblems of the real deal. For the fact of the matter, General, is that the Holy Grail is a genetic strain that goes all the way back to the Orion Queen, who resides in a cosmic location ranging from 243 to 1360 light years away.

Permit me at this juncture, General, to restate a cardinal point I adduced in The Earth Chronicles that our planet Earth is not independent: it is a colony, de jure or de facto, of the Sirian-Orion star system. Earth is actually situated on the fringes of the broader Sirian-Orion Empire, the most expansive in the Milky Way Galaxy. The history of Earth, General, begins not here but in the Sirian-Orion star system and even further back in the Lyran star system as we amply demonstrated in The Earth Chronicles.

The term Orion derives from the ancient compound word Ori-An. Orimeant Spirit, that is, the Spirit of the Queen of Orion; Holy; or Master Race; and Anstood for Heaven, that is, the cosmos. Thus Orion was the abode of the Holy Goddess. To the ancients, therefore, Heaven was not a spiritual realm of existence where First Source dwells, the way it is understood in modern-day religion: it was the home of the Mother Goddess primarily. The Mother Goddess was not a spiritual being: she was the Queen of Orion.

In the worlds the beings of Orion conquered, they were referred to as the Alla-An, Arra-An, Ari-An, or Aya-An (varying but related renditions of one of the Orion Queens multiple titles). All these forms of address meant The Holy Ones of Heaven or The Divine of Heaven. It is Ari-An/Alla-An which gives us the words Aryan and Alien, terms ancient Earthlings used for beings from the Orion star system primarily and all ETs in general. The Sumerians, the worlds best-known known civilisation of old, called it Uru-Anna, meaning Crown of Heaven.

Orion, General, is the most significant constellation both astronomically and historically with respect to Earth. Orion has had the most impact and influence on Earth exopolitically as ancient records attest. Only Sirius is second in this regard. Orion is one of the largest constellations in the cosmic expanse. It has more than 300 stars. Its brightest stars are Rigel and Betelguese, whose civilisations have featured prominently in Earths cosmic history. The other significant stars are Mintaka, Alnilam, and Alnitak. These constitute what is known as Orions Belt. It is Mintaka, General, to which the shaft of the Giza Pyramids Queens Chamber is astronomically aligned.

If you do read the Bible at least from time to time, you will be aware, General, that Orion is directly mentioned in the Bible three times in JOB 9:9 (He [God] is the maker of the Bear and Orion), JOB 38:31 (Can you loosen Orion`s belt?), and AMOS 5:8 (He [God] who made the Pleiades and Orion). In the gospels, the three stars on Orions Belt have been allegorised as the Three Wise Men who presented special gifts to baby Jesus. Ancients called the Orion Belt stars as the Three Kings.

The symbology in the Jesus story of the Star from the East (Sirius) and the Three Wise Men (the three stars studding Orions belt) is a veiled message that Jesus had both Sirius and Orion origins. But he was not unique in that way, General: we all have genes of beings from Sirius and Orion.


The first planet to develop life by way of evolution in the Orion star system General has at times been referred to as the Green World because green is the colour that is generally associated with Reptoids inasmuch as the baseline colour of the worker class of the Reptoid world, the mainstream class, is green. The insect genotype that was the first to dominate its species on the Green World looked like a dragonfly. It also had traits and characteristics of a bee. If it arose on Earth, we would call it a dragonfly-bee. In the ancient records, however, it is referred to as a Kheb.

The Khebs laid their eggs in the ponds. The newly-born Khebs looked like microscopic scorpions, with tiny stingers on their tails and tiny pincer claws on their forelegs. The moment they were born, General, the Khebs went to war with each other. They fought for territory straight from birth and they killed straight from birth very much in keeping with Reptilian humanoids were familiar with here on our planet.

In time, the Khebs left the watery ambience to dwell on dry land but up in the trees. Here, another transformation took place. The Khebsno longer looked like a dragonfly-bee but like a mantis. By then, their outer skins had hardened into a tough shell. How did the Khebs reproduce, General? For ages, they produced asexually, that is, without the involvement of a male Kheb. This was not by choice: the male species had not appeared at this stage. Evolution is such that female creatures appear first. Male creatures follow at a later stage. These are millions of years were talking about General.


At long last, General, a genetic mutation in the Kheb females caused Kheb males to come into existence. The Kheb species was now able to reproduce sexually. In other words, the Khebs were capable of producing either sexually or asexually depending on their preference or environmental factors such as climate for instance. Remember, General, the Khebshad part-characteristics of bees and bees even in our day produce either way, sexually or asexually. When the eggs are fertilised by male seed (sexual reproduction), they will always produce a female.

When they are not fertilised by male seed (asexual reproduction), they will always produce a male. This is what was happening to the Khebs as well. However, for the Kheb females to produce sexually, General, it necessitated a certain transformation in their internal organs. This change was necessary to permit conception. Before the advent of male Khebs, female Khebs routinely survived on the nectar of plants or the flesh of other insect species. Now they needed to feed on the blood of other creatures. The female Khebshad become vampires, like what malevolent Reptoids (humanoids [beings who look like us] who evolved from a reptile) are today.

As time went by, in billions of years, the Khebs, General, became large, flying reptiles. At this stage, the male Khebs had bony plates all over their bodies and arms and legs, much like the dinosaurs of Earth in the long ago prehistoric eras. They had a ridge of short plates with semi-sharp edges, that began near their forehead, trailed back and over their skull and down their backs, gradually tapering down on their short slender tail (like a Tokoloshe, or sprite in English.). All the while, the Khebs retained the ability to fly.

At some stage, the Kheb reptiles began to branch into several related species. Some specialised as lizards, others as dinosaurs and still others as snakes. It was the latter species, the snake strain, that proliferated on the Green World, General. Even among the snake species, there were branches. Here on Earth, we have more than 3000 snake species. The Green world must have had a similar number of serpent strains too.


In the course of evolution, General, genetic instructions were such that the Kheb males were physically smaller than the Kheb females. This indeed is true of the overwhelming majority of reptiles: females are typically larger than males. It is only among mammals and birds that males are predominantly larger than females. But there was one major development with the Kheb females on the Green World that was particularly significant, General. A glitch in their physiology rendered them poisonous.

Relates Robert Morning Sky: Something happened to the female Khebs that did not happen to the males. The changes in their bodies that produced the hormones necessary for the production of offspring also produced a fluid that was acidic and highly poisonous to other creatures! The Kheb Reptilian females could protect themselves and their nests by spitting natural venom into the eyes and faces of their victims. A stream of hot acidic fluid that struck the face of an enemy could cause nerve-numbing paralysis or blindness.

If there was an open wound or the venom entered the gullet of the victim, death was almost always certain. And woe be to any enemy that felt the fangs of the female Kheb. The Kheb females were resultantly much more feared than the Kheb males, General. In time, General, the Khebs became the most dominant life form on the Green World. It were the Khebs who became the first humanoid species to evolve on the Green World.

And just as we Earthlings have lost much of the features and traits of the animal from which we evolved, an ape-like creature, the Khebs also lost a great deal of the very distinct Reptilian and insect features of their ancestors. They no longer had scales, for example, and could no longer fly. But unlike us, they were smooth through and through: they didnt have a single strand of hair on their bodies because they evolved from a hairless insect strain which metamorphosed into a hairless serpentine creature (it explains, General, why Enki, the great Anunnaki scientist who genetically engineered mankind into existence from Anunnaki and Ape Man genes [see The Earth Chronicles series] and whose primordial ancestry was Kheb, is always bald-headed and without a beard in every ancient depiction of him that take the form of a statue).

In terms of skin texture, the Kheb race were very much like the Ebens of planet Serpo, who also evolved from a serpentine creature (see Zeta Series). These first Reptoids to emerge on the Green World, General, were known as the Surbah. Surbah is a compound word, with Sur standing for majestic and Bah meaning being. Surbah therefore meant Royal Race. It is the term Surbah which gives us the Sanskrit word sarpha; the Latin word serpens; and the English word serpent.

The serpent race, General, was the first to arise, by way of evolution, in the 9th Passageway of the Milky Way Galaxy, arguably the most lucrative trade route in the cosmos. Let me underline this most pertinent of points General: originally, the term serpent did not mean snake at all. It had a very noble meaning Majestic Race. The snake connotation arose as a slur on that race by the Sirians, the beings of the Sirius star system, just because the Surbah evolved from a snake-like creature. In sum, General, the Surbah evolved from a dragon-fly bee insect to a mantis to a large flying reptile to a snake-like creature to a humanoid.


The Surbah, as the first fully sentient beings to evolve on the Green World, were very spiritual General. This is the trend with evolution everywhere in this universe. Why is it like this? Because the first souls to incarnate did so cloaked in predominantly female energy although as spirits they are genderless. Thats why all life begins with females everywhere in the universe. We all know that females are comparatively tender-hearted than males (albeit more gullible than males because they generally think with their emotions than intellect).

They are in fact more spiritual, more affectionate, and way kinder than males. Females are also known to have a facility for communicating with the spirit world. It explains, General, why most psychics are women and the shamans of old were initially women. In the primordial age of the Surbah, life in this counterfeit universe (which was designed by Lucifer) was very much akin to that of the real Heaven, General. It was a kind of Paradise. The ancients referred to this age as the Dar-Ek-Uye, meaning the Primeval Holy Age of the Universe.

Sadly, the historical particulars of this age are not fully chronicled by cosmic historians; only its general tenor and tempo. The relevant history that cascaded down to our Solar System begins in the Omakh, the Age of the Divine Mother. This was the Age of the Orion Queen.It was the age of Ari-Anbeings, as the ancients referred to the Orion civilisation. Now, the ancients, General, did not refer to the Orion constellation as such.

They called it the Shagari Stars, meaning Fires That Drift (shagari being a compound word made up of asa[fiery] + gar [to drift or fly]). Of course we know that stars, also called suns, are fiery at least theoretically and are not stationary: they too drift in their own orbits carrying along their planets with them, just as planets drift in their own orbits carrying along their satellites (moons) with them.

The Shagari cosmic region had numerous stars. From the viewpoint of our planet, astronomers today designate at least 300 as the constellations notable stars, that is, those that can be detected from this distance by virtue of their more pronounced degree of luminosity. However, only ten of the Shagari Stars had planets, and of these ten only seven were the most consequential.

One of the seven most important stars was known as the Suriya star, meaning Star of the Divine One (Suriyabeing a compound word made up of sur[majestic] + Aya[divine or holy]). In the Omakh age, the Divine One was the Orion (Shagari) Queen. It was on one of the planets of the Suriya star, in the Shagari star system and in the Peshmeten the 9thPassage Way of the Milky Way Galaxy that the Serpent race arose, first as the holy Surbah, and over time as the degenerate Ari-An beings, General.NEXT WEEK: THE GREAT MA-MA

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Genesis of the Holy Grail - WeekendPost

Opinion: Body image and its presence on school campuses – Los Angeles Times

Scrolling through your Instagram is often not an easy task. Each day your feed is bombarded by seemingly perfect mirror selfies or poolside pictures, and you cant help but wonder why cant I look like that?

People often compare themselves to what they see online, at school, or in their own homes. In fact, a recent study done by psychiatrists at UCLA report that people today feel worse about their appearance compared to statistics from the 1970s. Similarly, in a schoolwide survey, 64% of respondents feel like they too struggle with body image.

Body image is defined as ones perception of his or her aesthetic body. This being said, one can have either a positive or negative body image. A person who expresses positive body image, body satisfaction, is able to appreciate his or her natural shape and recognize that physical appearance in no way correlates to ones character or value. On the other hand, body dissatisfaction causes a person to develop a distorted vision of oneself.

According to The National Eating Disorders Association, people who feel frustrated with their bodies are more likely to suffer from feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, and depression. Even though there is no single explanation of why eating disorders develop, research identifies body dissatisfaction as the best-known contributor to conditions such as anorexia and bulimia.

In a survey of 100 Brentwood School students, 90% reported that social media was a cause of body image issues, 75% reported that it comes from their peers, 35% from sports, 33% from parents, 20% from their siblings, and 9% named other sources such as stereotypes, magazines, and celebrities.

Upper School counseling department member and psychologist Densise Mahdesian has worked with patients, both inside and outside of Brentwood School, on issues relating to body dissatisfaction.

Restricting food intake is a way people seek to gain control in their lives, Mahdesian said.

Mahdesian also speaks on the genetics of eating disorders.

Its psychology, biology, and social factors, Mahdesian said. Its all combined. People with these diseases tend to have family members who struggle with alcoholism or mood disorders.

With women in particular, body dissatisfaction, is deeply rooted in our historical view of the female body. Since the beginning of time, women have been valued for their bodies dating back centuries. Such a strong emphasis has allowed for the cultural norm to become a sexualized view of a womans body, rather than understanding it as an outlet in which humans sustain life and function.

Even in the present day, these ideals are still apparent. NEDA reported that 40% to 60% of girls who are six to 12 years old already begin expressing concerns about their shape or weight.

Negative body image is an equally serious issue for men. Subclinical eating disordered behaviors, such as binge eating, laxative abuse, and fasting, are about as common in males as they are in females. A more recent pattern among men is the development of Orthorexia the obsessive behavior when seeking a healthier diet.

The hyperfocus on health can easily tip into something very unhealthy as fitness is becoming extremely compulsive, said Director of Upper School Counseling Bryan Anderson.

A major contributor to this rise in body dissatisfaction in men is the movie industry, especially superhero films. For instance, points to the fact that The Marvel Cinematic Universe which tops the list for highest grossing film franchises portrays men with ideal bodies.

In order to be a hero in these movies, men must be muscular. By projecting this message, society is essentially encouraging men to prioritize their physical bodies over their character or mind.

Nearly 70% of Brentwood students surveyed said that they think there is an ideal body type that they should look like.

However, everyone has a different shape based upon their genetic makeup, and that is perfectly alright.

In addition to school counselors, there are multiple resources for students to hold important conversations. One resource is B-Well, Brentwoods first student-run mental health initiative that officially launched this year. In November, B-Well focused on body image. B-Well also provides resources in Schoology regarding body image and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

Other peer-led resources for students include Girl Impact, which can provide a safe space for all students, male or female, to discuss either body satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Lastly, the Gender Studies course, taught by Upper School Assistant Director Dana Gonzalez, delves into gender-charged topics such as body image. In particular, Gonzalez encourages her students to tackle the language from the best-selling novel, The Beauty Myth, which supports women and young girls perception of their bodies, a profoundly eye-opening experience for her classes.

No matter if you fit the perfect image or not, we should be open to talk about it and get rid of the stigma by making it a part of our everyday conversations, Gonzalez said.

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Opinion: Body image and its presence on school campuses - Los Angeles Times

Male Sparrows Are Less Intimidated by the Songs of Aging Rivals – Duke Today

DURHAM, N.C. -- Few singers reach their sunset years with the same voice they had in younger days. Singing sparrows are no different. Duke University-led research reveals that elderly swamp sparrows dont sound quite like they used to -- nor do they strike the same fear in other males who may be listening in.

Humans are remarkably good at guessing a persons age just by hearing their voice. But this is the first time the phenomenon has been demonstrated in wild animals, said Duke biology professor and study co-author Steve Nowicki.

The findings were published on January 7 in the journal Behavioral Ecology.

During the early spring, a male swamp sparrow stakes out a breeding territory and threatens any male who dares to trespass on his turf. If a potential rival enters another males territory and starts to sing, the resident male says "Get out! by singing back with a rapid weet-weet-weet and flying toward the intruder. Eventually, if all else fails, he attacks.

Previous research by this team showed that male swamp sparrows reach their peak as vocalists at age two, and start to decline after that, singing less frequently and less consistently as they get older.

To find out if other males take note of such changes, the team set up a speaker in the territories of 35 male swamp sparrows in a Pennsylvania marsh and played them 5-minute audio clips of stranger males recorded at age two and again at age 10.

The team measured the birds responses, noting how closely each male approached the speaker. They found that males approached seven feet closer when they heard a potential rival singing at age two. This suggests that males are more aggressive towards younger-sounding rivals.

Males in their prime pose an obvious threat: if a resident male isnt assertive, theres a good chance that the other guy could steal his mates, said first author Matthew Zipple, a doctoral student at Duke. But apparently the song of a 10-year-old -- a centenarian in bird years -- doesnt warrant getting as worked up over.

If decreases in song quality in later life reflect the inevitable consequences of physical decline, the researchers believe that such changes could indicate to other males that a once-formidable male is no longer a match.

Whether song changes after mid-life make males more or less attractive to females is still unknown. One interesting question would be, is the equation a little different from the females point of view? Nowicki said.

Males accumulate genetic mutations in their sperm as they age that could make them less desirable mates. On the flip side, Nowicki said, The mere fact that hes lived this long means he must be doing something right.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (IBN-0315377) and Duke University.

CITATION: "Sounds of Senescence: Male Swamp Sparrows Respond Less Aggressively to the Songs of Older Individuals," Matthew N. Zipple, Susan Peters, William A. Searcy, Stephen Nowicki. Behavioral Ecology, Jan. 7, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arz218.

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Male Sparrows Are Less Intimidated by the Songs of Aging Rivals - Duke Today

Queen bees more likely to be executed by their workers if they mate with multiple males, research shows – The Telegraph

Because the queen was just as likely to be executed in both colonies, it showed that by mating with two males the queen actually doubled her chance of being executed.

Francis Ratnieks, Professor of Apiculture (beekeeping) at the University of Sussex, said: By studying test colonies, we found that queen stingless bees will have an increased chance of being executed by the workers in their colony if they mate with two males instead of the one male they normally mate with.

The reasons for this are fairly complex, but in short, it is due to the genetics of sex determination in bees and the risk of what is known as 'matched mating'.

The project tests a long standing idea of mine that if stingless bee queens mate with two males instead of one that it will increase their chances of being executed. It was quite satisfying that an idea that was thirty years old could finally be tested, especially when the hypothesis was found to be correct, Prof Ratneiks added.

The study, published in theAmerican Naturalist, helps biologists to understandwhy some species mate with multiple males, while others only remain with one.

The Honey Bee, which can be found in parts of the UK, is a species known for its queens mating with between ten and twenty males.

Queen stingless bees are closely related to honeybees and bumblebees, but are found in tropical climates such as Brazil.

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Queen bees more likely to be executed by their workers if they mate with multiple males, research shows - The Telegraph

Weekly sexual activity linked to later menopause – NHS Website

"Having sex weekly may delay your menopause: Scientists say not getting enough action 'makes the body choose to stop ovulating'," reports the Mail Online.

Women enter the menopause when they stop releasing eggs, usually in their 40s or 50s. Some of the timing seems to be down to genetics, while lifestyle factors such as smoking are also important.

This study was designed to test the theory that women's bodies may stop releasing eggs when the body senses that a woman is no longer likely to get pregnant for example because she is no longer having sex.

The researchers also wanted to look into a theory that exposure to male pheromones (for example, from living with men) delays menopause.

Researchers analysed information about 2,936 women in their 40s and 50s who lived in the US. The women answered questions about their health, lifestyle, who else lived in their household, and their sexual activity. They were followed up for 10 years.

The researchers found that women were less likely to have gone through the menopause if they had weekly sex. However, the study only shows a link between how often women had sex and their age at menopause. It cannot prove that having more sex directly causes a later menopause.

The researchers did not find any evidence that exposure to male pheromones was linked to timing of the menopause.

Find out more about the menopause.

The researchers who carried out the study were from University College London.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Royal Society Open Medicine on an open access basis, meaning it is free to read online.

Most of the media headlines suggested that regular sex could delay the menopause, or reduce risk of an early menopause. But the study only shows a link between sexual activity and timing of menopause, not that sexual activity can actually delay menopause.

The news stories themselves gave a more accurate picture of the research, although none pointed out that early menopausal symptoms can affect how likely a woman is to want to have sex.

This was a cohort study. Cohort studies are good ways to look for links between behavioural factors (such as sexual activity) and outcomes (such as menopause). However, they cannot tell us that one directly causes the other. The relationship may be more complex.

Researchers recruited women aged 42 to 52 in 1996 to 1997.

The 2,936 women were all pre-menopausal, although half were experiencing early signs of approaching menopause, such as hot flushes or irregular periods.

The women were asked a range of questions at the start of the study and at 10 follow-up visits over the following 10 years.

Questions included:

Researchers also checked whether the women had been through the menopause at any point during the study.They used the information to calculate:

The first question was to investigate whether menopause might be delayed by the presence of male pheromones in a woman's living space, while the second looked more directly at whether sexual activity was linked to menopause.

The researchers adjusted the results to take account of a range of factors, including:

Most of the women in the study (78%) were married or in a relationship at the start of the study, and 68% lived with their partner. 64% of the women reported weekly sexual activity.

During the study, just under half (45%) of women went through the menopause, with the average age at menopause being 52.

The researchers found no link between women living with men and the likelihood of having gone through the menopause at any point.

However, women who said they had regular sexual activity were less likely to have gone through the menopause than women who said they had sexual activity less than once a month:

The researchers explained their results in an evolutionary framework.

"During ovulation, the woman's immune function is impaired, making the body more susceptible to disease. Hence, if a pregnancy is unlikely owing to a lack of sexual activity, then it would not be beneficial to allocate energy to a costly process, especially if there is the option to invest resources into existing kin," they said.

On the other hand, if a woman is engaging in regular sex which could lead to pregnancy, "then it may be better to maintain the function of her menstrual cycle for slightly longer".

They point out that menopause is "an inevitability" that cannot be prevented by any behaviour.

Menopause, when women stop releasing eggs and are no longer able to get pregnant, happens to all women eventually. For most women, it happens during their 40s or 50s, but there is a lot of variation.

This study was an attempt to explain part of the reason for the variation in timing of menopause, looking at the question from an evolutionary perspective.

The study has limitations that mean we cannot read too much into it. As with all observational studies, it cannot tell us whether sexual activity is directly linked to age of menopause.

That's because many factors affect whether someone is having sex, and when the menopause happens. For example, if someone is experiencing anxiety or vaginal dryness both common symptoms of the menopause they may be less likely to want to have sex.

The findings of the study are interesting for scientists investigating the biology of the menopause and how it might be affected by lifestyle. But they are not particularly relevant to women. We do not know whether changing behaviour to have sex more frequently, for example, could change a woman's time of menopause.

There's no suggestion from this study that women should change their behaviour to delay menopause, even if they wanted such a delay.

Find out more about the menopause.

Analysis by BazianEdited by NHS Website

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Weekly sexual activity linked to later menopause - NHS Website

LI’s Amy Schumer talks effects of IVF treatments – Newsday

Comedy star Amy Schumer, who has rarely hesitated at sharing intimate medical issues, from her current desire for in vitro fertilization to the pregnancy-long hyperemesis vomiting she experienced while pregnant with her first child, talked IVF-related constipation Saturday at a wellness event hosted by Oprah Winfrey.

"I had my egg retrieval on Monday," the Rockville Centre-raised Schumer, 38, told media mogul Winfrey, 65, at "Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus" at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Which is also the last time I pooped," Schumer added. "I said I wasn't gonna say it, but I did. Yeah, can't poop after."

In a backstage video Winfrey posted on Instagram, the comedian assures her, "I feel so much better. I can't even complain, except that I haven't pooped since Monday." Oprah gives the camera a look, and Schumer rushes to hug her. "We'll save that for the audience. We'll save that for the 15,000 people. Charlotte needs to know!" Schumer said jocularly.

In the same video, when Winfrey asks if Schumer has tried teas said to help. "I was going to do Smooth Move," the comic said, referring to one such brand. "But then I was scared it would hit while we were onstage, so I'm waiting until after." Winfrey mentions that a type of airplane Schumer will be on soon has a good bathroom. "I'll use any bathroom if it happens, the comicanswers lightheartedly. "I will not be precious about whatever bathroom!"

"Listen, I heard @amyschumer hadn't [poop emoji] and I thought it was TMI but then she told a sold-out arena about it and apparently people love to talk about [poop emoji](or not)," Winfrey wrote in an accompanying post. "Amy, thank you so much for spending your Saturday making US laugh and sharing your journey through motherhood, marriage, and yes [poop emoji]. And Charlotte, you guys were EPIC!"

The full 40-minute interview is scheduled to run Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Winfrey's Facebook channel and the WW Now Facebook channel.

According to the Mayo Clinic, in vitro fertilization consists of a series of treatments to deal with infertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. IVF procedures include harvesting mature eggs from a woman and then fertilizing thosein a lab setting. The resulting embryos are then implanted inside the future mother's uterus or a gestational carrier at a later date. One cycle of IVF can take two to three weeks and more than one cycle may be required for a viable pregnancy.

Schumer, who gave birth to son Gene Attell in May, is married to celebrity chef and cookbook author Chris Fischer. She said to Winfrey during the event that she'd like to have a daughter.I picture us all on the beach together," Schumer said. "And teaching maybe a little girl how to play volleyball.

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"What an amazing day with @oprah who is still to this day making people's lives better including mine and my family's," Schumer wrote on her own Instagram account. "Check stories for some clips and the whole thing will be available Wednesday! I'm wearing @russwest44 on my feet and Charlotte was a great time! The comics I mentioned people checking out are @miacomedy @janellejamescomedy @rachelfeinstein_ @bridgeteverett @marinayfranklin @ejthecomic and @chelsanity."

By Frank Lovece Special to Newsday

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LI's Amy Schumer talks effects of IVF treatments - Newsday

Another Winter Of Wolf Study Begins At Isle Royale National Park – National Parks Traveler

Another winter of studying wolves at Isle Royale National Park is getting underway/NPS file

Editor's note: The following story was written by Allison Mills at Michigan Technological University.

On October 20, a ranger on his final hike for the season in Isle Royale National Park came across a dead wolf lying in the trail. An era ends and new packs may form.

Over the past year, the National Park Service and regional partners brought more than adozen new wolves to Isle Royaleas only two island-born wolves remained. This past fall, the park documented two wolf deaths both caused by injuries inflicted by another wolf or group of wolves. One wolf was the male of the native pair.

To help document the shifting social hierarchies of the island, the 62nd Winter Study is underway in the Isle Royale National Park led by Michigan Technological University.

Rarely do we find dead wolves unless they are radiocollared, said Rolf Peterson, a research professor in theCollege of Forest Resources and Environmental Scienceat Michigan Tech who co-leads the annual Isle Royale Winter Study. He helped park staff recover the carcass of the old male wolf, who was not radiocollared.

His death, and finding the intact body so soon after, presents an extremely rare chance to study his genetics, Peterson said. Finally, his heritage will be clear and we will have a better understanding of the Isle Royale wolf story. Also, it remains to be seen what will happen with new packs forming.

The male wolf was 11 years old and his mate, who was both his sister and daughter, is now nine years old. Based on necropsy results from the US Geological Surveys National Wildlife Health Center, the cause of death was wolf-inflicted wounds. The pair had been the last remaining wolves on the island until the National Park Service introduced new wolves from Ontario, Minnesota and Michigan; these deaths and wolf-on-wolf aggression are not uncommon as wolves defend and establish their territories and social hierarchy. There are now 15 wolves on the island seven females and eight males. The new wolves wear radio collars, so researchers track their movement as they explore the island.

The research from Isle Royale gives us a glimpse into the predator-prey dynamics and its impact on the islands

With her mate gone, the female wolf may seek out a new partner, whose new offspring is unlikely to fall prey to the inbred genetics that crashed the original population. In partnership with the National Parks Service, Kristin Brzeski, assistant professor of wildlife ecology and genetics at Michigan Tech, will be studying the old male wolfs genome. With an esteemed heritage his grandmother was known as the Cinderella Wolf and his great grandfather The Old Grey Guy, two important wolves within theIsle Royale family tree the males genes carry the story of genetic rescue and severe inbreeding, phenomena that are hard to study in the wild. Phil Hedrick from Arizona State University, a longtime collaborator on the Isle Royale project, will also be contributing to the research. A deeper understanding of the old packs downfall can help inform wildlife management and conservation decisions on the island and around the world.

The wolves of Isle Royale have been showing us for some time now how the life of an individual animal can affect an entire ecosystem, said John Vucetich, professor of ecology and another Winter Study co-lead. The Old Grey Guy, who came across an ice bridge and introduced new genes into the population, and Cinderella, a notable alpha who survived a pack coup, are important examples. And the recovery of this carcass from the last known male wolf of the previous population may well prove to be another important example."

If the female does not choose a new mate, a power struggle may ensue as alpha contenders emerge and new packs form. The radio-collar movement patterns reveal wolves sharing bed sites, meals and hunting grounds as well as watching one another from a distance. Or rather listening: Wolves communicate territorial boundaries and pack identity through howling.

The wolves are good at detecting vacancies, Peterson said. Anything could happen at this point. This years drama is just beginning.

The next Winter Study report is expected to come out late in winter 2020 with an update on the wolves, moose population growth and health, small mammal populations and browsing impact on vegetation.

Another Winter Of Wolf Study Begins At Isle Royale National Park - National Parks Traveler

How to increase height: Factors that influence growth – Medical News Today

The main factor that influences a person's height is their genetic makeup. However, many other factors can influence height during development, including nutrition, hormones, activity levels, and medical conditions.

Scientists believe that genetic makeup, or DNA, is responsible for about 80% of a person's height. This means, for instance, that tall people tend to have children who also grow up to be tall.

People usually grow until they reach 18 years of age. Before then, a range of environmental factors can affect how tall they become.

This article covers the factors that affect a person's height, some ways people can increase height during development, and whether or not adults can increase their height.

Babies and children grow continuously. This is due to changes in the growth plates in the long bones of their arms and legs.

As the growth plates make new bone, the long bones get longer, and the child gets taller.

People grow the fastest in the first 9 months of life, before being born. After birth, this slows down.

Once a child is 8 years old, they will grow at an average of 2.16 inches (in), or 5.5 centimeters (cm), per year.

That said, teenagers will have a "growth spurt" around the time of puberty. After this, the growth plates stop making new bone, and the person will stop growing. The hands and feet stop growing first, then the arms and legs. The last area to stop growing is the spine.

Due to typical aging processes, people begin to lose height gradually as they get older.

The following factors can affect how tall a person will become:

DNA is the main factor determining a person's height.

Scientists have identified more than 700 different genes that determine height. Some of these genes affect the growth plates, and others affect the production of growth hormones.

Normal height ranges are different for people from different ethnic backgrounds. Again, this is determined by their DNA.

Some genetic conditions can also affect a person's adult height, including Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome.

The body produces hormones that instruct the growth plates to make new bone. These include:

Males tend to be taller than females. Males may also continue growing for longer than females. On average, an adult male is 5.5 in (14 cm) taller than an adult female.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, the average male is 69 in (175.2 cm) tall, and the average female is 63.6 in (161.5 cm) tall.

Learn about what age girls stop growing and what age boys stop growing here.

People cannot control most of the factors that influence their height. This is because they are determined by DNA, which they cannot change.

However, some factors can increase or reduce growth during childhood and puberty. Growing children and teenagers can take some steps to maximize their adult height. These include:

Nutrition plays a very important role in growth. Children without good nutrition may not be as tall as children with adequate nutrition.

Nutritionists recommend that children and young people eat a varied, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. This will ensure that they get all the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive.

Protein and calcium are particularly important for bone health and growth. Some protein-rich foods include:

Some calcium-rich foods include:

Ensuring good nutrition during pregnancy is also important for the bone health and growth of the fetus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that pregnant women consume a variety of foods, including "green and orange vegetables, meat, fish, beans, nuts, pasteurized dairy products, and fruit."

Sleep promotes growth and development in children and teenagers. During deep sleep, the body releases the hormones it needs to grow. Getting enough sleep may therefore allow optimal growth.

Regular exercise is also important for normal physical development. Playing outside or taking part in sports, for example, can make bones healthier, denser, and stronger.

Once a person has been through puberty, the growth plates stop making new bone. They fuse together, and the person stops growing. This means that when a person reaches 18 years of age, they are not able to increase their height.

Practicing good posture and keeping the back and core muscles strong can allow a person to stand straighter and appear taller.

Learn more about growing factors that affect height as an adult here.

Height is largely determined by DNA. However, environmental factors such as nutrition and exercise can affect growth during development.

As children get older, they need good nutrition and plenty of exercise to help their bodies make the hormones they need to grow. Teenagers will experience a growth spurt during puberty. After that, their bones will stop growing, and they will not get any taller.

Good nutrition during pregnancy is also important for the future bone health and growth of the baby.

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How to increase height: Factors that influence growth - Medical News Today

Police Release Image Of Belt That May Belong To Serial Killer In Gilgo Beach Case – Daily Voice

For the first time in almost a decade, Suffolk County Police have released new evidence in connection with the Gilgo Beach serial killer case.

During a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 16, policereleased an image of a black leather belt with two initials that they believed could belong to the killer because it had not been touched by any of the victims.

The belt is imprinted with the letters "WH" or "HW" depending on the way the belt is turned.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart saidshe hoped the release of the evidence could help identify a suspect.

"We remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering justice to the victims," Hart said.

The serial killer case was opened during the search for Shannan Gilbert, 24, a Jersey City woman who solicited for sex on Craigslist, was reported missing in May 2010.

During the search for Gilbert, a K-9 officer and his dog uncovered the remains of another missing woman who worked in the sex business in a clump of weeds along Ocean Parkway near Jones Beach in December of 2010.

Where the bodies were located near Gilgo Beach. Suffolk County Police

What followed was a mass search of the area by police that uncovered the remains of nine additional bodies, including seven women, a baby, and an adult male.

Police have only been able to identify half of the bodies, with four sets of remains including the infant and male, still unidentified.

No arrests have ever been made in connection with any of the bodies found.

Photos of some of the women found whose bodies were found at Gilgo Beach. Suffolk County Police

Police have said in the past they don't believe Gilbert's murder is connected to the serial killer due evidence they have not released.

Hart declined to say why the department is releasing the belt at this time, or what size it was.

During the conference, the department also announced a new website will be used as a way for police and the public to exchange information on the investigation and as a way for the public to send in tips anonymously.

"We are asking the public to consider the information on the website and whether they have information that can bring the case forward," said Hart.

The department is also still waiting for the results of a new genetic test being used in the case in hopes of finding the killer or identifying the other bodies.

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Police Release Image Of Belt That May Belong To Serial Killer In Gilgo Beach Case - Daily Voice

My Long and Arduous Journey Across the Frontiers of Fertility Technology – Discover Magazine

Do you want to know the gender? the doctor asked me, after delivering the news of our healthy embryos.


Do you want to know? Many people want to select.

I just want the healthiest embryos, I answered reflexively. The ones most likely to survive.

My doctor had just delivered the genetic testing results of our 13 embryos, created in the lab through in vitro fertilization: three healthy embryos, two girls and one boy. After multiple miscarriages, I wanted a baby who would live. I didnt care if it was a boy or a girl, with blue eyes or brown, or curly or straight hair. I wanted a baby who was breathing.

I am an accidental fertility expert. Fertility was not something I thought much about, until confronted with years of trying to conceive and the devastating pain of my first miscarriage, followed by six additional miscarriages and almost a dozen failed IVF attempts.

Over the course of nine years, I saw 10 doctors in six countries, and turned to state-of-the-art medical practices as well as traditional approaches to overcome infertility. I tried Clomid to encourage my body to ovulate, then intrauterine insemination (IUI) to assist with fertilization, followed by in vitro fertilization (IVF) to actually force it. When that failed, my husband and I turned to preimplantation genetic testing (PGS) in hopes of finding a good embryo. And when my body couldnt carry our sole healthy embryo, we finally embraced the idea of a gestational surrogate.

During the course of our years-long fertility journey, my husband and I discovered that we were part of a growing demographic of the infertile in America. Luckily for us, fertility technology is largely keeping pace, enabling the previously infertile to achieve their dreams through new approaches previously reserved for the province of science fiction. The technology is a boon its the reason we have our own children.

But it was also an exhausting process. There was the emotional trauma, physical toll and financial burdens of infertility, and, on top of that, the prospect of forging into legally complicated and morally untested territory.

When my husband and I entered the world of advanced reproductive technology, we had no thoughts of social engineering; we just wanted to have a baby. Yet society abounded with criticisms of the techniques we were employing: Gender selection will lead to people asking for blond-haired, blue-eyed babies. Women will begin using surrogates to avoid getting fat.

These are valid concerns and must be thought about carefully in crafting safe and ethical guidelines. But these slippery-slope arguments fail to convince me. Having subjected myself to uncountable injections, ultrasounds and anesthetized egg retrievals, I simply dont accept that women would opt for daily needles to create designer babies, or would choose not to carry their own baby to escape putting on weight.

People turn to these technologies because they need them to have a healthy child.

Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, was born in 1978. In the four decades since her birth, new and more powerful techniques have emerged, pushing the boundaries of human reproduction outward. But legal and ethical discussions around fertility technology have stalled, resulting in virtually no national regulation. Paired with a ban on federal research, this means aspiring parents must often assess not only the efficacy, but also the morality, of potential procedures themselves.

(Credit: Jay Smith/Discover)

For example, before considering the selection of a boy or a girl, we had to confront the question of whether we even wanted the power to choose a decision that made me uneasy. If I had gotten pregnant naturally, I wouldnt get to pick the gender. Wouldnt this be cheating?

Considering what had seemed like the technical question of whether to transfer two or three of the genetically tested, healthy embryos that cycle into a surrogate rather than me suddenly became difficult. It was more than just a science project we were talking about potentially getting another woman pregnant with two or three babies that would become our actual children, to have and raise forever. But if we transferred too few, we might end up with none. Again.

I agonized all night.Could I handle triplets? Was that fair to Catherine, our surrogate?

I neednt have worried. By the time we got to the clinic the morning after receiving the news, the male embryo was no longer viable, and the two females were loaded in the catheter to be transferred. Wed avoided an uncomfortable choice for the time.

But these questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fertility technology.

A few of the dilemmas hopeful parents must wrestle with: What makes a parent a parent? The person who provides the genetic material? The woman who carries the baby? The individuals who commissioned the birth? (In our case, we carefully chose a jurisdiction in which we were confident that, as the genetic parents, we would be recognized as the legal parents. But thats not true everywhere.)

Is it morally acceptable to select an embryo for certain traits, like gender? (While we opted not to, people do every day).To create a baby who is a perfect genetic match to save the life of another through bone marrow or organ donation? (If we have the technology, some argue, why not?)

These are hard questions, with no easy answers. Yet future aspiring parents will likely have to deal with still harder choices, as even more disruptive breakthroughs are on the horizon.

Mitochondrial replacement therapy, in which the nucleus of the mothers egg is removed and injected into a healthy donor egg to avoid certain genetic diseases, was used to create a so-called three-parent baby for the first time in Ukraine in 2017; more are likely to follow. And, in 2018, a Chinese researcher used the gene editing technology CRISPR to edit the genomes of twin girls when they were still embryos to protect them from HIV a move that was widely condemned as premature. Both techniques irrevocably alter the germ line, meaning that any changes are passed down to future generations.

With the rapid evolution of technology, policymakers can no longer ignore the reality that human reproduction is quickly changing. Legislators must step up to the task of delineating clear rules for parents, doctors and scientists. This includes guidance on parental rights, how many embryos may be transferred during IVF, how many babies may come from a single donor, and, perhaps most importantly, a framework for evaluating the safety, efficacy and morality of emerging techniques, such as gene editing.In the absence of guideposts, doctors and patients alike will face literally life-changing decisions about how far they are willing to go to create a much-desired child.

While the medical community debates these difficult issues, science will, in all likelihood, continue to forge ahead. The very real ethical dilemmas involved in allowing trace amounts of another womans DNA to be incorporated into an embryo or genes to be edited before birth notwithstanding, I suspect that new parents have a different perspective on the issue. They are, in all likelihood, simply marveling at their 21st-century miracle babies, and the many paths that can lead them to having the family of their dreams.

Elizabeth Katkin is the author of Conceivability: What I Learned Exploring the Frontiers of Fertility

This story is part of "The Future of Fertility" a new series in Discover exploring the frontiers of reproduction.

Read more:

Can Humans Have Babies in Space?

George Church Wants to Make Genetic Matchmaking a Reality

Human Gene Editing is Controversial. Shoukhrat Mitalipov Isn't Deterred

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My Long and Arduous Journey Across the Frontiers of Fertility Technology - Discover Magazine

The X-Men’s Mr. Sinister is An Expert On Sorcery Too – Screen Rant

This article contains spoilers forRuins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth #1.

It seems the classicX-Men villain Mr. Sinister is an expert on aspects of magic as well as mutation. Born Nathaniel Essex, Sinister was a contemporary of Charles Darwin who theorized that evolution didn't always happen incrementally. He was shunned for his views, not to mention his unorthodox experiments, which horrified the British Royal Society.

An unfortunate encounter with Apocalypse left Nathaniel Essex transformed him into an ageless and immortal being. He traveled the globe, fascinated by humanity's potential to develop and evolve. The X-Men comics have long hinted at the kind of unethical experiments he conducted on mutants; in fact, Sinister meddled with Charles Xavier's own bloodline, foreseeing greatness in the genetic potential of the Xaviers.

Related:Wolverine's Biggest X-MEN Reboot Mystery Has Been Solved

Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth #1 by Frank Tieri, Guillermo Sanna, Angel Unzueta, and Gerardo Sandovalreveals that Sinister's earliest experiments weren't upon mutants. In the early 1900s, he recognized the potential of the newly-opened Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane and moved to America in order to work there. While at Ravencroft, his focus was upon mystical beings rather than mutants; creatures like vampires and werewolves, Wendigos and hydras. Sinister experimented upon them all, dissecting them, learning everything he could about them. Some samples were deemed unwanted, and were cast into a sub-basement cavern - only to survive and almost escape in the present day.

Given all this, it's reasonable to assume that Nathaniel Essex is just as knowledgeable on matters of mysticism as he is on mutation. This revelation comes at a time when the X-Men comics are being increasingly linked to the supernatural.Excalibur has retconned the history of anti-magicviolence -from the Valais witch trials of the 15th century to French legends like theBeast ofGvaudan - was in part directed against mutants. Apocalypse, who has been a major character in these books, has been reinterpreted as a priest of Krakoa who is secretly fascinated by the mystical potential of Otherworld, a sorcerous realm linked to the British Isles. It's really not hard to see the pattern here; the current X-Men relaunch is seeing the mutant race closely tied to the supernatural.

Of course, the irony is that the X-Men themselves don't seem aware of this pattern.Apocalypse and Sinister are both keeping this secret from the rest of Krakoa's Quiet Council, most likely pushing their own dark agendas. The interesting question is whether they coincide - or whether, instead, it's only a matter of time before these two powerful and dangerous mutants find themselves operating at cross purposes.

Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth #1 is on sale now in comic book stores.

More:X-Men Bringing Back Marvel's OTHER Wolverine?

Superman Finally Gets Fired From The Daily Planet

Tom Bacon is one of Screen Rant's staff writers, and he's frankly amused that his childhood is back - and this time it's cool. Tom's focus tends to be on the various superhero franchises, as well as Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Star Trek; he's also an avid comic book reader. Over the years, Tom has built a strong relationship with aspects of the various fan communities, and is a Moderator on some of Facebook's largest MCU and X-Men groups. Previously, he's written entertainment news and articles for Movie Pilot.A graduate of Edge Hill University in the United Kingdom, Tom is still strongly connected with his alma mater; in fact, in his spare time he's a voluntary chaplain there. He's heavily involved with his local church, and anyone who checks him out on Twitter will quickly learn that he's interested in British politics as well.

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The X-Men's Mr. Sinister is An Expert On Sorcery Too - Screen Rant

Health Benefits of Sea Moss – Is Irish Moss Good for You? –

Sea moss (a.k.a Irish moss) is not something that you'll find in the typical American diet. But if you're of Jamaican or of Irish descent, there's a chance you've at least heard of it.

I'm first-generation Jamaican, and growing up, I was only exposed to sea moss in the form of a sugary beverage. When my family went out to a local restaurant to eat curry goat or jerk chicken, I would pick it out from the fridge in it's non-branded, homemade bottle. The sweet, creamy mixture of condensed milk, moss, vanilla, and nutmeg was a real treat after some spicy delights. But as tasty as this drink was, I knew it wasn't really healthy. So as a kid, I never thought that pure Irish moss had any beneficial properties on it's own. That is until I did some reading....

Sea moss is a type of red algae that grows on the Atlantic coastlines of North America, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. Since the 1800s, the Irish have been harvesting it from their rocky shores to use as medicine. They even used it to get the nutrients they needed during times of famine. Jamaicans have also traditionally used sea moss to treat illness, and some have touted it to be the perfect elixir to increase male libido. Unfortunately, there's no scientific proof for the latter (sorry, guys), but there's a lot of research showing that our ancestors understood the healing potential of this plant.

While it's been embraced by Irish and Jamaican cultures, sea moss has been getting a bad rap lately. Carrageenan, a derivative of this seaweed, is a thickening agent that can be found in dairy and alt-milk products. This ingredient is said to cause inflammation and was labeled as "a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. That's some scary news that has certainly discouraged many people from consuming this algae.

However, it's important to note that carrageenan (a chemically processed ingredient) is different than sea moss. Sea moss is a whole food that is in fact chockfull of beneficial vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. So while our forefathers and foremothers have used sea moss for old-time remedies they may or may not have been able to explain, here are six ways this red seaweed can improve your health along with the science to back it up.

Like chia seeds, aloe, and okra, sea moss is a mucilaginous food. As gross as this sounds, its snotty texture makes it a great healing/soothing agent for mucus membranes in the body, including in the respiratory and digestive systems. According to some animal studies, sea moss can have a prebiotic effect during digestion. This means that it can increase beneficial short-chain fatty acids in the colon, get rid of bad bacteria in the gut, and improve overall gut health and immunity.

Irish moss is full of different iodine compounds that your thyroid needs to healthily chug along. It contains DI-Iodothyronine, which is actually used to treat thyroid disorders. And it also contains high amounts of concentrated iodine, which your thyroid uses to make hormones that regulate your metabolism, digestion, mood, and more.

When it comes to capitalizing the energy stored in food, you need B vitamins. Sea moss contains a decent amount of riboflavin (B2) and folate (B9). Riboflavin is needed to break down proteins, carbs, and fats, while folate is needed to form DNA and other genetic material. When folate pairs up with B12, it also helps to create red blood cells.

During cold and flu season, sea moss smoothies could become your go-to meal. It has potassium iodide, which is great for dissolving troublesome phlegm in clogged airways. It also rich in amino acids, vitamin C, antioxidants, as well as a host of antiviral and antimicrobial agents. These nutrients can help you to fight or ward off infections.

Because of its vitamin and mineral packed gelatin-like quality, many people use sea moss masks to soothe eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and burns. Studies have found that citrullinearginine, a compound found in Irish moss, can improve cell growth and metabolism. This compound also releases amino acids that are essential for protein and collagen synthesis. Collagen is the protein that maintains smooth skin and silky hair.

Sea moss has a bunch of magnesium and potassium, which are known mood boosters. Both minerals play a key role in brain function, and when we are low on either, we might feel crankier than usual. Some research indicates that sea moss may protect brain tissue from degeneration and Parkinson's disease.

If you are looking to get your hands on some sea moss, you can either buy it raw or in gel form. If you buy it raw, you're going to have to prepare it by washing the moss thoroughly, soaking it for about a day, then tossing it in the blender until you get the right consistency.

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Sea moss is tasteless so you can add it to a variety of dishes. In fact, it's an especially great plant-based substitute for gelatin or other thickening agents. The traditional Jamaican Irish moss drink is a popular option, but you can also put it in:

Remember, since Irish moss has little to no flavor, you can get creative when it comes to reaping the benefits of this nutritious algae. So don't be afraid to experiment. You might come up with a new, tasty recipe.

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Health Benefits of Sea Moss - Is Irish Moss Good for You? -

Cobb-Vantress appoints genetics executive – The Poultry Site

Today, Cobb-Vantress appointed Dr Mark Cooper as managing director of genetics to oversee the companys global genetic program. Effective immediately, Dr Cooper will continue work to achieve genetic gains and competitive advantage through alignment of Cobbs breeding program with its product strategy, developing a portfolio of products to meet growing global market needs. He will report to Dr Aldo Rossi, vice president of research and development (R&D).

In his new role, Dr Cooper will lead a global, multifunctional team, including Dr Rachel Hawken, senior director of genetics; Dr Manouchehr Katanbaf, senior geneticist; and Dr Sriram Krishna, senior geneticist. Prior to this appointment, Dr Cooper previously worked as director of product testing. Since joining Cobb, he has also served as pedigree geneticist responsible for male line development, European director of genetics, director of genetics for all of Cobbs breeding programs, and director of product management.

Cobb has been dedicated to genetic research and the responsible use of technology for over 100 years, said Dr Rossi. Dr Cooper has made a big impact in his nearly 20 years with Cobb, and were looking forward to the continued advancements we expect him to accomplish in this new position.

In his time at Cobb, Dr Coopers research has focused on technology development and implementation in the breeding program, welfare parameters and meat quality. He has also spent time with global business leaders and customers to understand and update the R&D team on the product portfolio needed for the future. Most recently, he led Cobbs product testing team, helping to evaluate the companys product performance and development.

Im honored to take on the position of managing director of genetics, said Dr Cooper. Im fortunate because Cobb invests a significant percentage revenue into research and development, allowing us to continue leading the way in genetic progress.

Dr Cooper earned a bachelors degree in poultry science from Texas A&M University, a masters degree in poultry genetics from the University of Georgia, and a PhD in poultry genetics from the University of Arkansas.

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Cobb-Vantress appoints genetics executive - The Poultry Site

Aicardi syndrome: Definition, causes, symptoms, and more – Medical News Today

Aicardi syndrome is a very rare condition that usually affects girls.

Depending on its severity, it can cause developmental delay, epilepsy, problems with vision, and a shortened life expectancy.

In this article, learn more about Aicardi syndrome, including its risk factors, symptoms, and treatments.

Aicardi syndrome is a rare condition that almost exclusively affects females, with doctors having reported only a few cases in males.

Another name for Aicardi syndrome is agenesis of corpus callosum, or ACC.

Experts think that the condition develops in an embryo during early pregnancy, when there is a change in the DNA of one or more genes.

Aicardi syndrome is not passed down through families. It occurs in people with no family history of the condition.

Doctors usually diagnose Aicardi syndrome in early infancy after the baby experiences seizures called infantile spasms.

Children with Aicardi syndrome may also have developmental delays, learning difficulties, and partial sight or blindness. They may also have a shortened life expectancy.

Aicardi syndrome is very rare, occurring in just 1 in 105,000167,000 babies in the United States. Around the world, there are likely about 4,000 people with the condition. Most of these people are female.

Researchers believe that Aicardi syndrome results from genetic mutations that happen while an embryo is forming. One change may involve the X chromosomes in affected females.

Female embryos have two X chromosomes, while males embryos have just one.

Research indicates that when the characteristic genetic mutations occur in one X chromosome, female embryos can survive because another, healthy X chromosome is present.

If these changes occur in the single X chromosome of a male embryo, it is unlikely to survive. This could explain why babies born with the syndrome are almost exclusively female.

However, very rarely, male babies have been born with Aicardi syndrome. Some boys with the condition have an extra X chromosome.

A mutation in the TEAD1 gene on chromosome 11 may also be responsible for some cases of Aicardi syndrome in boys and girls.

Scientists have yet to prove these theories definitively, and research into the causes of Aicardi syndrome is ongoing.

Infantile spasms are usually the first symptom of Aicardi syndrome. These are seizures that involve single jerks of the whole body.

The spasms often appear before 3 months of age, and they can occur several times a day.

Before a doctor can make a diagnosis of Aicardi syndrome, they need to conduct tests to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms. These alternate causes could include:

Children with Aicardi syndrome usually have some degree of developmental delay and learning difficulties.

Epilepsy is a feature of Aicardi syndrome, and one study found that those with more severe epilepsy had poorer cognitive skills, involving organization and memory.

Some people with Aicardi syndrome have milder symptoms and may not receive a diagnosis until they are adults.

A doctor can detect Aicardi syndrome's changes to the brain with an MRI scan. Some or all of the following features could be present:

People with Aicardi syndrome often have chorioretinal lacunae, which are round, whitish-yellow lesions in the retina the tissue that lines the back of the eye. An ophthalmologist can see these lesions with an ophthalmoscope.

A person with Aicardi syndrome may also have:

Sometimes, these symptoms cause partial-sightedness or blindness.

Also, some people with Aicardi syndrome have distinct facial features and other physical attributes, including:

Other health issues associated with Aicardi syndrome are:

Aicardi syndrome can cause different symptoms in different people, and the treatments also vary.

The aim of treatment is to manage the symptoms, and a doctor will tailor their approach to address each person's situation.

Some treatments focus on easing the severity and frequency of seizures. Others, such as physical, speech, and occupational therapies, can help people with Aicardi syndrome overcome developmental delays and problems relating to vision.

Having a rare disease or being the parent or caregiver of someone with this type of illness can be difficult. A person may feel isolated.

Support groups give people a space to voice their concerns and speak with others who face similar challenges.

The following groups may be useful for people with Aicardi syndrome and their loved ones:

Aicardi syndrome is a rare condition that can cause seizures, vision problems, and other symptoms. It mainly occurs in females.

Most experts think that Aicardi syndrome results from genetic mutation in embryos during very early pregnancy. It is not passed down through families.

As there is no cure for the condition, treatment aims to manage each individual's symptoms.

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Aicardi syndrome: Definition, causes, symptoms, and more - Medical News Today

Researchers uncover genetic links to anxiety in veterans – Washington Times

Researchers have uncovered new genetic evidence linked to anxiety in the largest study on the condition that included about 200,000 veterans.

By comparing the participants genomes, the researchers pinpointed six genetic regions related to anxiety and their ties with other psychiatric conditions.

Dr. Joel Gelernter, a senior co-author of the study, said the research provides molecular evidence of shared genetic risk for anxiety and other psychiatric conditions such as depression, which can help identify specific genes that affect risks for such disorders.

To the extent that it identifies genes that were not previously known to be associated biologically with these traits, it will help us understand the biology, and biology can lead to treatment strategies, said Dr. Gelernter, who is a Yale University professor and psychiatrist for the VA Connecticut Healthcare Center. So the ultimate hope is that this study and/or its successor studies will begin to lead us to understand novel biology, which can then lead us to novel treatments that are relevant to anxiety traits.

The study, published last week in the American Journal of Psychiatry, pulled data from the Million Veteran Program, one of the worlds largest biodata banks that includes genetic and medical information from U.S. military veterans.

About 40 million adults in the U.S., or 18%, live with anxiety disorders the most common mental illness, according to the Anxiety and Depression Disorder of America.

However, the studys researchers estimate that anxiety disorders affect 1 in 10 Americans each year.

Dr. *Elspeth Ritchie, a retired military psychiatrist and chief of psychiatry at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said the differences in numbers could be due to how anxiety is defined, commenting on how post-traumatic stress disorder used to be medically categorized as an anxiety disorder.

It is estimated that only about a third of those with anxiety disorders receive treatment.

Although there are not immediate treatment implications for our findings, they do point us toward future treatments that may involve some of the biochemical pathways and systems identified by our research, said Dr. Murray Stein, a co-author of the study, University of California San Diego professor and staff psychiatrist for the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

He said genome-wide association studies, such as this one, examine millions of markers across the entire genome to see if each marker is more or less common among people with anxiety.

The research team found five genetic variants related to anxiety in European Americans and one in African Americans.

While previous similar studies examined traits among individuals of mostly European descent, this study also included DNA samples from African Americans, who are not always included in large genetic studies, said Dr. Gelernter.

The study discovered the first genome-wide significant findings on anxiety in African ancestry, according to a press release by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

About 18% of the enrollees in the Military Veteran Program, which has more than 800,000 participants, are African American.

One of the variants linked to anxiety the researchers identified occurs in an estrogen receptor. Women are more likely to have anxiety and depression traits, said Dr. Gelernter, but this variant was found in a primarily male study group. He said he would like to eventually test sex differences of this genetic variant.

People with anxiety disorders often experience intense, disproportionate concerns about anticipated events that lead to distress that can interfere with daily activities.

Anxiety is very common, and its also very common for it to be either untreated and undertreated. We do have decent treatments for it, said Dr. Ritchie. I think its important [to treat] because anxiety really gets in peoples way.

She noted there hasnt been much progress so far in the development of new psychiatric treatments based on genetic studies.

Some medications and types of psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy effectively treat anxiety disorders.

Genetic studies in other fields of medicine have led to precision medicine approaches for treating various diseases. The studys researchers hope more genetic insight into anxiety will lead to the development of tailored treatments for psychiatric patients.

The research team also found that genetic variants tied to anxiety overlapped with other psychiatric conditions such as neuroticism, schizophrenia and insomnia.

(* Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated Dr. Elspeth Ritchies name. The story has been updated.)

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Researchers uncover genetic links to anxiety in veterans - Washington Times

CPD: Key questions on breast and ovarian cancer genetics – Pulse

Learning Objectives

This module will update you on the role of genetics in breast and ovarian cancer, including:

Dr Marc Tischkowitz is a reader and consultant in medical genetics at the University of Cambridge and East Anglian Medical Genetic Service

There are a few key questions that can give an idea of whether family history needs to be explored further:

These four questions should identify the need for a more detailed investigation is required. It is crucial to ask about the paternal side. All the main cancer susceptibility genes can be passed on by either sex but as men rarely get breast cancer, the history can appear more distant on the male side. The cancer pattern can be masked if there are lots of males in a family, so it is important to ask about the male/female balance. If a woman has a paternal grandmother, aunt or cousins with breast or ovarian cancer this should be taken as seriously as a positive maternal history. Ask for this information directly, as it is often not volunteered. If I were only allowed one key message in this article, it would be always to ask about paternal history.

BRCA1/BRCA2variants are 10 times more common in those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, so it is important to ask about this where appropriate.

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CPD: Key questions on breast and ovarian cancer genetics - Pulse

Glimpses of Fatherhood in Non-Pair-Bonding Chimps – UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

AUSTIN, Texas Although they have no way of identifying their biological fathers, male chimpanzees form intimate bonds with them, a finding that questions the idea of fatherhood in some of humanitys closest relatives, according to a study of wild chimpanzees in Uganda.

In adulthood, male chimpanzees form strong relationships with one another. These bonds can be mutually beneficial to relieve stress, protect one another and share food.In a new study examining when and with whom these bonds develop, researchers found chimpanzees most often bond with their maternal brothers and old males, including seemingly unbeknownst to the younger chimps their biological fathers.

Fatherhood is really a social relationship that happens to be linked to a genetic relationship. In humans, it is strongly correlated because humans tend to form pair bonds, said Aaron Sandel, assistant professor of anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin. Usually we think that pair bonds evolved in humans first, and then fathers came to play an active role. However, my findings suggest that elements of fatherhood may have arisen in a chimpanzee-like social system before mates formed pair bonds.

Sandel and his team studied the social relationships of 18 adolescent and young adult (12-21 years old) male chimpanzees at Ngogo in Kibale National Park, Uganda, over the course of one year.

The researchers found that by age 12, which is about the time chimpanzees begin to regularly travel independently from their mothers, male chimpanzees form strong friendships with other males in their communities. These relationships range in intimacy, from associating in the same subgroup, where they travel, rest and feed together; to spending time in proximity, a tighter-knit group that stays within about 15 feet of one another; to grooming, where they use their fingers to comb through each others hair.

For humans, you can imagine association, proximity and grooming as if you were at a coffee shop, Sandel said. Youre in association with everyone at the coffee shop. Youre in proximity to others at the same table or one table away. And if you have a private conversation with someone, thats like grooming.

Through observation and fecal sampling, researchers found that the younger males tended to associate and spend the most time in proximity to their maternal brothers. Many bonds were with distantly related or unrelated males. Some bonds were between peers. However, many of their closest relationships were with old, retired males, including their biological father.

Its as if chimpanzees have father figures and some of these are their actual father, Sandel said. This was surprising because chimpanzee females will mate with multiple males while ovulating, and theres no paternal care in a chimps rearing. So, there is no reason to think that she or the males know who the father of her offspring is, and vice versa.

But there are benefits to bonding with an older, somewhat retired male, the researchers noted. Older males are well connected in the community but are no longer competing for a position in the hierarchy. It could be that the chimps biological father was high-ranking in the past, making him more likely to reproduce with females within the same territory and more likely to be groomed by younger chimps looking to climb the social ladder, Sandel suggested.

The researchers proposed that future research should examine the mechanisms of how father-son relationships might develop. But the fact that there is a relationship at all suggests that such bonds can arise without a bond between parents and without the father caring for his offspring as an infant, two factors thought to be important for father-offspring relationships in humans.

This research, co-authored by researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Michigan, was published in the American Journal of Primatology and reviewed and approved by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, Uganda Wildlife Authority and the University Committee on Use and Care of Animals at the University of Michigan.

Glimpses of Fatherhood in Non-Pair-Bonding Chimps - UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

Chimp sons like to hang with fathers and brothers – Futurity: Research News

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Even if they have no way of identifying them, male chimpanzees form intimate bonds with their fathers, according to a new study of wild chimpanzees in Uganda.

In adulthood, male chimpanzees form strong relationships with one another. These bonds can be mutually beneficialto relieve stress, protect one another, and share food.

In the new study, which examines when and with whom these bonds develop, researchers discovered that chimpanzees most often bond with their maternal brothers and old males, includingseemingly unbeknownst to the younger chimpstheir biological fathers.

Elements of fatherhood may have arisen in a chimpanzee-like social system before mates formed pair bonds.

Fatherhood is really a social relationship that happens to be linked to a genetic relationship. In humans, it is strongly correlated because humans tend to form pair bonds, says Aaron Sandel, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Usually we think that pair bonds evolved in humans first, and then fathers came to play an active role. However, my findings suggest that elements of fatherhood may have arisen in a chimpanzee-like social system before mates formed pair bonds.

For the study in the American Journal of Primatology, researchers studied the social relationships of 18 adolescent and young adult (12-21 years old) male chimpanzees at Ngogo in Kibale National Park, Uganda, over the course of one year.

The researchers found that by age 12, about the time chimpanzees begin to regularly travel independently from their mothers, male chimpanzees form strong friendships with other males in their communities.

These relationships range in intimacy, from associating in the same subgroup, where they travel, rest, and feed together; to spending time in proximity, a tighter-knit group that stays within about 15 feet of one another; to grooming, where they use their fingers to comb through each others hair.

For humans, you can imagine association, proximity, and grooming as if you were at a coffee shop, Sandel says. Youre in association with everyone at the coffee shop. Youre in proximity to others at the same table or one table away. And if you have a private conversation with someone, thats like grooming.

Through observation and fecal sampling, researchers found that the younger males tended to associate and spend the most time in proximity to their maternal brothers. They shared many bonds with distantly related or unrelated males. Some bonds existed between peers. However, many of their closest relationships were with old, retired males, including their biological father.

Its as if chimpanzees have father figures and some of these are their actual father, Sandel says. This was surprising because chimpanzee females will mate with multiple males while ovulating, and theres no paternal care in a chimps rearing. So, there is no reason to think that she or the males know who the father of her offspring is, and vice versa.

There are benefits to bonding with an older, somewhat retired male, the researchers say. Older males are well connected in the community but are no longer competing for a position in the hierarchy.

It could be that the chimps biological father was high-ranking in the past, making him more likely to reproduce with females within the same territory and more likely to receive grooming from younger chimps looking to climb the social ladder, Sandel suggests.

The researchers propose that future research should examine the mechanisms of how father-son relationships might develop. But the fact that there is a relationship at all suggests that such bonds arise without a bond between parents and without the father caring for his offspring as an infant, two factors thought to be important for father-offspring relationships in humans.

Additional coauthors are from the University of Michigan and Arizona State University.

Source: University of Texas at Austin

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Chimp sons like to hang with fathers and brothers - Futurity: Research News

National Western Stock Show: Reputation of Weld County familys Herefords spans the globe – Fort Morgan Times

LA SALLE On Tuesday morning, the barn at Coyote Ridge Ranch in Weld County served as the bovine equivalent of a hair salon.

Some of the ranchs top Hereford cattle were brought in for a bath and blow-dry. Outside, workers gave the rust and white-colored animals a final clipper trim, preparations for their impending closeups.

The National Western Stock Show is back for its 114th year in Denver and Coyote Ridge Ranch Herefords are right in the thick of it, as theyve been for three decades.

The Cornelius family, lead by Jane Evans and her son Hampton, founded the ranch in Boulder County, but for the past 25 years, its operated on a 1,000-acre spread south of La Salle. The barn/cattle hair salon there is 130 years old and may be the oldest structure in the Beebe Draw valley, according to the family.

Over the decades, the Corneliuses have established a reputation as one of the countrys if not the worlds preeminent producers of top quality Herefords and Hereford genetics. And the stock show is their biggest marketing opportunity of the year.

Denver is like a trade show for us. Were not there to win a ribbon. Its cool when you win one but were there to promote our genetics and make contacts, Jane said of the National Western show, where Coyote Ridge will be showing a pen of three heifers and a pen of three bulls this year.

Were showing our spring-born 2019 cattle, Hampton said. Everything is for sale. The idea is to drum up interest to get people to come back here and take a look at our other ones.

The business-first approach doesnt mean they arent proud of how Coyote Ridge Ranch has performed at National Western. Hampton rattles off the stack of honors the operation has come away with in years past. They include three grand champion pens, two bulls that won individual championships in competitions on the hill at National Western and countless individual class champions.

Its a validation of what youre doing, Jane said.

Coyote Ridge Ranch is what is known in the cattle business as a seedstock producer. The means its herd of 160 or so Herefords is being raised to further the genetics of the breed. It sells bulls, heifers, semen and embryos to commercial Hereford ranching operations that in turn produce steers for slaughter and sale to consumers.

The ranch dates back to when Hampton and his sisters Katie and Coleman, a former Denver Post staff writer, were kids raising cows and calves as part of 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs. The hobby blossomed into a passion and the family herd grew large enough to become a viable business.

The Corneliuses were drawn to Herefords because of the breeds disposition, its hardiness and the animals deep connection to ranching culture in the American West. Nowadays, Coyote Ridge is considered an elite Hereford seedstock producer with genetics from their animals spread across ranching operations in the U.S. and all over the world.

I would describe that family as just being committed to making really good cattle and breeding Herford cattle the way they need to be bred for the commercial industry, said Jack Ward, executive vice president of the American Hereford Association.

Ward and many other staffers from his association are in Denver this week for the stock show. Among the events Ward is organizing is the national Hereford junior heifer show on Wednesday morning and the Mile High Night Hereford Sale, which is expected to bring more than 1,000 people to the National Western Stadium Arena at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Ward said. Coyote Ridge will be represented at both events, of course, with Hampton Cornelius son, John, showing a heifer in the junior show.

Beyond their work furthering the Hereford breed, the Corneliuses have become ambassadors for the cattle industry in Colorado. With a ranch thats within an hours drive from downtown Denver and a willingness to open their operation to visitors, theyve hosted school groups, chefs, and delegations from countries including China, Japan and South Korea.

(Hamptons wife) Kay and Jane Evans are both so very well-spoken on so many segments of their industry, Colorado Beef Council marketing director Tami Arnold said. Just the typical consumer, we know we could take them out to their place and they would be able to really represent the beef industry well.

For Jane Evans, the most exciting visit came last summer when a Taiwanese trade delegation stopped at Coyote Ridge Ranch. It wasnt just because the visitors were so impressed by seeing a cattle operation where riders on horseback drive a herd across a pasture. She was pleased because the delegates were in Colorado to sign a letter of intent with Gov. Jared Polis to expand access in Taiwan for Colorado agricultural goods including beef.

It gets its moment in the sun in Denver every January during the National Western, but Jane is quick to point out the livestock industry is a major force in Colorados economy. Cattle operations alone generated $3.4 billion in cash receipts in the state last year, according to the University of Colorados 2020 business economic outlook.

Jane Evans, 78, has established a reputation of her own over the years. Cattle ranching has been a male-dominated industry, but she hasnt shied away from being at the center of it. In the mid-1990s, she became the first woman elected to the American Hereford Association board of directors.

She paved the way for women in the beef industry, specifically for leadership and we love her for that, said Arnold, who in addition to working with the Cornelius family through the Colorado Beef Council also ranches nearby and has known them most of her life.

Janes love for agriculture goes back to her childhood in Alabama, when her grandfather would let her tag along when he would assess farms and ranches as part of his work as a banker.

I was very lucky. In those days girls did one thing and boys did another, she said. My mother used to say, When Jane Evans grows up shes going to own a large cattle ranch in the West like Dale Evans, and I do. (Dale Evans was married to singing cowboy Roy Rogers and they had a popular TV show in the 1950s.)

The next week will be a busy one for the Cornelius family. But now that theyve settled into their pen in the National Western Centers evolving stock yards, they do expect to have a little fun.

These guys work alone a lot. When they get together they definitely will kick up their heels a little bit, she said of her family and her fellow ranchers at the stock show. You see people that you have a lot in common with, that you work with, that you swap genetics with. Even though there is stiff competition, there is an awful lot of camaraderie.

National Western Stock Show: Reputation of Weld County familys Herefords spans the globe - Fort Morgan Times

Newsroom Climate change adds to frog woes Frog and lizard scientists add their voices to the – Newsroom


Frog and lizard scientists add their voices to the call for climate change action to save species from extinction

By 2085 climate change could mean life is a 60-year long boys weekend for tuatara. Temperature can dictate whether tuatara eggs hatch as female or male. In a warming world maleswill briefly emerge from eggs as the lonely, functionally extinct winners.

It would be an ignominious end for a species whose roots go back to the dinosaur age.

Last week, almost a thousand attendees from around the globe descended on Dunedin for the 9th World Congress of Herpetology. Held every four years, the event is like the Olympics for those who study reptiles and amphibians.

The 600 pluspresentations included debate on the fragile state of the worlds amphibians and reptiles. Around 40 percent of amphibians are threatened with extinction. Reptile species are under similar pressure.

University of Otago Zoology Professor Phil Bishop, the congress director, said a recurring thread in presentations was the threat of climate change.

It is highly likely that we will observe many species going extinct in front of our very own eyes in the next decade.

New Zealand used to have seven frog species. Three are now extinct and the remaining four are threatened with, or at risk of, extinction.

Climate change is one of those topics where people generally throw their arms up and say theres nothing we can do but weve had enough of not doing anything. We really need to be pushing the people who can do something about it.

The congress released a declaration calling for all governments to acknowledge the accumulated evidence of global climate change and take immediate action to mitigate future impact. This includes increasing protection for biodiversity and wild places.

As a group, the congress also made a commitmentfor itsevents to become 100 percent carbon neutral in future and serve locally sourced food with limited meat and dairy.

Climate change adds pressure to the numerous issues facing amphibians and reptiles.

Bishop said the biggest issue facing amphibians worldwide wasloss of habitat.

Whether its habitat destruction, or habitat alteration by climate change, or habitat fragmentation, thats the main issue.

Frogs are cold-blooded and cant regulate their body temperature themselves, relying on theenvironment around them. There are fears the pace of warming temperatures might prove too much.

If we could just stop messing around with their habitat, a lot of amphibians would be safe.

The fires in Australia highlight another concern. With habitat burnt, any survivors of speciesare easy pickings for predators such as feral cats. Studies show they will travel some distance to hunt in sites which have been recently burnt. For those which escape the flames and predators and manage to establish a new population there's the issue of in-breeding.

Previous studies of Australian frog life after bushfire revealed genetic diversity within the population had decreased. With just a small number of adults surviving the fires, populations had become inbred meaning they were likely to bemore vulnerable to future threats.

Disease is a threat which has become a major concern.

Theyre getting a number of infectious diseases. I liken this to the thousand straws which break the camels back. With a whole number of stressors, amphibiansbeing subjected to emerging diseases, [is] the last nail in the coffin, just knocking them down so they become extinct.

One disease, chytrid fungus is well known. However, presentations at the conference highlighted another virus which may prove to be more of a danger than first thought.

Ranavirus: The new killer on the block

Skin ulcers, limbs dropping off, emaciation and haemorrhaging are all symptoms of ranavirus.

Once caught, theres no cure and the result is often fatal.

The diseaseaffects amphibians as well as reptiles and fish and has been found in the United Kingdom, United States and parts of Asia and Australia.

Research in the UK shows warming temperatures caused by climate change haveincreased the spread and severity of the virus. When the weather warms to 16C, outbreaks increase.

So far, ranavirus hasnt been found in New Zealand frogs. With an active exotic fish pet trade Bishop expects its just a matter of time before its found here.

With no cure available the hope seems to be for species to eventually develop immunity to the virus.

The suffocating fungus

One of the well known issues facing amphibians is the chytrid fungus. This affects how the creatures breathe through their skin and effectively suffocates them.

Referred to as an amphibian apocalypse the fungus is estimated to have caused the extinction of around 90 amphibian species as well as be responsible for a decline in numbers of around 500 different species.

Bishop said a strain of the fungus hit New Zealand in the mid 1990s to early 2000s. Hardest-hit were introduced species and the native Archeys frog.

Studies since then have shown our native frogs have an immunity to the strain present here. Frogs exposed to the pathogen show no signs of disease. Within 10 weeks the frogs are pathogen-free.

If we could close all our borders to make sure no other disease got into New Zealand, were safe from a chytrid fungus point of view because all our frogs seem to be able to cure themselves.

The concern is the arrival of a different strain of the fungus. The strain which is causing the most problems worldwide isnt here yet and Bishop worries every time he hears of any accidental frog or cane toad incursion.

Climate change is likely to alter where the fungus is found. Preferring cool, wet environments, its likely to move up mountains atthe same time amphibians beat an upward escape from warming temperatures.

"There seems to be a lot of emerging infectious diseases which were tolerated by amphibian populations that seem to not be tolerated anymore."

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Spreading Health Solutions and Hope – UC Davis

When it comes to care and services for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities like fragile X, there is a long way to go. Protics published study found that medical professionals in Serbia know very little about fragile X, a problem she hopes to remedy through medical conferences and the countrys newly launched Fragile X Society the only one for the entire Balkan region. With funding support from Sacramentos Serbian immigrant community, Protic already has set up the countrys first fragile X testing site.

The X in fragile X syndrome refers to the X chromosome, where the mutated gene that causes the disorder is located. That gene, FMR1, is involved in making a protein important for the development of critical connections between nerve cells. When the cells cant make the protein, the nervous system can malfunction, leading to the signs and symptoms of fragile X syndrome. Fragile X affects one in 2,500 to 4,000 males and one in 7,000 to 8,000 females.

What the disorder looks like in children varies, but males are more severely affected. They are more likely to have intellectual disabilities and distinguishing physical characteristics like long, narrow faces, big ears, prominent jaw and forehead, unusually flexible fingers and flat feet. Affected individuals also frequently have speech and language delays, behavior challenges, ADHD and anxiety.

An estimated 50% of children with fragile X also have autism, and its the most common single-gene cause of autism, accounting for about up to 6% of cases. And while children with fragile X and autism may share many characteristics, children with fragile X can be more interested in other people, make friends more easily and do better in social settings, Randi Hagerman said.

Ive known many boys with fragile X who have been voted Homecoming King, she told the conference audience one of many hopeful anecdotes she shared during her talk.

As theyve been doing increasingly over the past several years, MIND Institute experts brought a treasure trove of information to the people gathered in Belgrade to advance the regions understanding of fragile X and help clinicians and others begin to address the needs of the affected population.

MIND Institute Director Leonard Abbeduto, a psychologist, whose work includes using digital communication technologies to help parents support their childrens language development, said the trip to Belgrade exemplifies the evolution of the MIND Institute, founded in 1998 to find and develop treatments for neurodevelopmental disabilities. The institutes International Training Program in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, which invites health care professionals and scientists from around the world to train at the MIND Institute, has had 24 participants from China, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, Singapore, Spain, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Japan, Israel, South Korea and Serbia, including Protic. Many of them have taken their knowledge home to create their own programs.

The MIND is a research, treatment and training center created out of the efforts of families who wanted to make life better for their children and other families, Abbeduto said. We are really trying to build on what weve done to enhance our impact locally, nationally and internationally, which is why I was motivated to make the trip to Belgrade.

Joining colleagues from Johns Hopkins, Rush, Emory and other universities, MIND Institute speakers elaborated on the latest in clinical diagnosis and assessments for children with fragile X, family-focused language interventions, the latest in scientific discovery and DNA testing, new targeted treatments currently in use and others on the horizon, as well as the importance in involving patients and families in advocacy efforts.

I find that we have so much knowledge at the MIND Institute, I really want to share it, said Randi Hagerman. Sometimes, in many other countries the doctors have never even heard of fragile X syndrome.

Maija and Cristian Sukreski traveled from Croatia to the meeting in Belgrade in search of advice to help their 3-year-old son, Petar, diagnosed a year ago with fragile X. The tiny, blond Petar is rambunctious, nonverbal and increasingly aggressive, hitting his parents when they attempt to calm him. Its a trait his mother worries could become dangerous as she tearfully ponders the future.

Their trip, Maija Sukreski said, was to find help.

He is going to therapy now, and I hope he can receive other therapy that will be more effective to slow down the behavior problems and help him talk, she said.

In a small and drab clinic exam room, the couple awaited a chat with David Hessl, a MIND Institute psychologist and researcher known internationally for his work to refine psychological assessments for children with fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Petar stood, biting his hands then flapping them, a common autism characteristic referred to as stimming short for self-stimulating. They told Hessl about the boys worrisome behaviors.

The aggression is a form of communication, Hessl told the parents. Hes not angry with you. Hes just overwhelmed.

Hessl suggested that instead of punishing Petar for hitting, they should reinforce good behavior with rewards of things he wants, like bananas, or special toys.

When he hits, dont be emotional or reactive. Stay really neutral. Turn away, he said, adding: Put a lot of time in this now and you will save yourself a lot of problems later. When his speech comes, he will probably be less aggressive.

In another exam room, Hagerman and Protic were talking to the Cvijetics while Demetrije chewed his knuckles, played with his fathers iPhone and made frequent whimpering sounds.

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First stranded orca in nearly 20 years discovered on England’s east coast – Sky News

The first stranded orca whale in England and Wales for nearly two decades has been discovered.

The 15ft-long juvenile male died after becoming stranded in the salt marshes of The Wash, the bay and estuary where Norfolk and Lincolnshire meet.

Experts are investigating the incident - the first confirmed stranding the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme has had in England and Wales since 2001.

Orcas are a priority species for research by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), which is a partner of the programme, as they are top predators that can absorb significant concentrations of marine pollutants such as chemicals known as PCBs which accumulate as they go up the food chain.

Blubber, liver, muscle and kidney samples were collected from the whale by ZSL's Rob Deauville and Matt Perkins.

Most of the marine mammal's internal organs were intact despite having died a week ago, meaning its skin has started decomposing.

The investigators will analyse samples for marine contaminants and use genetic analysis to determine which population the whale came from.

Its teeth have also been collected to accurately assess his age.

Experts said there was no evidence of recent feeding as its stomachs were largely empty.

The team found a large fragment of plastic in the first stomach but it had not killed the orca as the stomach was not blocked.

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First stranded orca in nearly 20 years discovered on England's east coast - Sky News

Ken Baker: 2020 is the Year of the Rat, but what do we know about the rodents? – The News-Messenger

Ken Baker, Columnist Published 12:27 p.m. ET Jan. 14, 2020

Ken Baker and Cocoa(Photo: Submitted)

According to the Chinese Calendar, the 13 months from Jan.25, 2020, through Feb.21, 2021 will be the Year of the Ratthe Gold Rat.

Each of the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig) is associated with one of five elements: water, wood, fire, earth or metal (gold). So all told, it takes 60 years (12 x 5) to cycle through all possible combinations.

A person born under the sign of the Rat is purported to be quick-witted and resourceful, with a rich imagination though, perhaps, a bit shy in courage. Since Chinese culture attributes diligence and thriftiness to the rat, its expected those born in a Rat year will do pretty well for themselves.

Or so its said.

Setting aside such cultural personifications along with any aversion we might harbor towards the animal, what have we learned about the rats biology and the way it actually lives its life?

In our area and indeed throughout North America and Europe, the species youd be most likely to encounter today is the brown or Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). But thats only been the case over the last several centuries.

The black rat (Rattus rattus), also known as the roof or ship rat, is thought to have invaded Europe from Southeast Asia sometime between the 4th and 2nd century BC and North America in the 16th century. The somewhat larger and more aggressive Norway rat appears to have reached Europe as stowaways on trading ships from Northern China during the 1500s and North American shores some 200 years later.

In cooler northern climates, the Norway has largely replaced the once abundant black rat, which is still the more common species in tropical areas.

The Chinese Zodiac calendar celebrates 2020 as the Year of the Rat, which gives recognition to this Norway rat.(Photo: Submitted)

It should be noted that there are many other species of larger-than-a-mouse rodents commonly referred to as rats. The genus Rattus alone has over 50 such species and there are interesting beasts called rats in several unrelated genera (Neotoma, Dipodomys and Bandicota, for example).

But the black and Norway are the two species that have played the largest role in human history. In fact to ask about the natural habitat of either mammal poses an interesting challenge. Both have been so closely associated with human habitations for so long that the best description of their normal habitat in nature might simply be wherever people live.

Which is not to say their biology is any less complex and interesting. Female Norway rats, for example, commonly live in colonies of six or so related individuals. Each female will have her own nest chamber within a shared (often underground) burrow. Intriguingly, members of the group will often nurse their young collectively.

While daughters commonly remain with the colony, males disperse soon after being weaned. If the population of rats in the area is relatively low, one adult male will typically dominate the colony, vigorously defending it against other males and mating with its females.

In dense populations, however, there will be too many intruders for him to maintain exclusive control of the colony and he will have to suffer the presence of other males seeking to mate with females when they come into breeding condition (about once every 4 -5 days if not impregnated).

In the wild (that is excluding rats kept as pets or in a scientific laboratory), the average lifespan of a Norway rat is probably less than one year. Studies of several European populations found about 95 percentannual mortality, with just a (very) few venerable old-timers making it to three years.

The rats perception of the world (its mvelt in the language of behavioral biologists) is very different from our own. Their eyesight is quite weak beyond a foot away, they can only detect large shapes and movement and, like most other mammals, they cannot detect the color red.

But this doesnt make them less effective in navigating their environment. Norway rats, which are primarily active at night, live in a world of textures, sounds and smells. When moving about, the Norways long whiskers whisk back and forth several dozen times per second, lightly touching all nearby objects.

They can hear (and communicate with) sounds much higher in pitch than we can detect, and its been estimated that over 1 percentof their genetic material is devoted to the detection of odors.

Finally a word on the connection between rats and the Bubonic Plague that swept through the Eastern Hemisphere in the mid-1300s, killing 25 to 60 percentof the human population of Europe. The so-called Black Death, caused by the bite of a flea carrying the Yersinia pestis bacterium, has long been blamed on the spread of flea-infested black rats.

However more recent studies have strongly suggested Yersinias initial invasion of Europe might be better pinned on gerbils, of all things, which unlike rats can carry the bacteria in their blood for some time without killing them.

Oh, and regardless of its name, the Norway rat has no special association with Scandinavia.

Ken Baker is a retired professor of biology and environmental studies. If you have a natural history topic you would like Dr. Baker to consider for an upcoming column, please email your idea to

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Ken Baker: 2020 is the Year of the Rat, but what do we know about the rodents? - The News-Messenger