Monthly Archives: December 2012


Humpbacks Multitask for Mates

Posted 31 December 2012 by Anne-Marie Hodge

The trade-offs between rewards involved in either foraging or courting mates have likely plagued animals for millennia. The need to feed often competes with the requirement to reproduce . . . and yet one cannot successfully secure a mate and raise offspring without adequate resources. This dilemma means that animals must carefully balance the time and energy they allocate to each endeavor. Humans may be able to cruise for dates in the grocery store, but few other animals are so... Read more

Prions Survive Crow Guts

Posted 15 December 2012 by Anne-Marie Hodge

Mad cow disease, kuru, chronic wasting disease—all of these ghastly illnesses are caused by prions--misfolded proteins in the brain, which are more technically known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Once a prion infection sets in, the results are gruesome. Loss of muscle control, hallucinations, general neurological meltdown . . . the symptoms of prion disorders can lead to truly tragic and painful deaths, all ultimately due to a few key misshapen proteins (see this neat interactive animation for a refresher... Read more