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Curious Meerkat
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The Curious World of Science, from Evolution to Conservation, from Biotechnology to Medicine
The Curious World of Science, from Evolution to Conservation, from Biotechnology to Medicine

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NEW POST: There’s No Such Thing as Natural pt I - As we all know, natural automatically means good. Nothing in nature has ever hurt anyone, ever. In the first part of my series deconstructing the term ‘natural’, I talk genetically modified organisms and domestication, and ask what is really natural, anyway? I was in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago and I went on a tour of a Spice Garden out there. I was mostly interested to see what all the kitchen spices look like in the wild – seeing vanil...
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NEW POST: Tree Shrews like it Spicy - Virtually all mammals wisely choose to avoid eating chilli peppers and other foods that taste ‘hot’. New research shows that Chinese tree shrews have evolved to eat large quantities of chillies in their diet by tuning down their taste buds to the chemical that makes these foods spicy. Yalan Han of the Kunming Institute of Zoology in China, and their colleagues found that Chinese tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) in the lab were happy to feed on c...
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NEW POST: Ticks rely on Bacterial Vitamin Supplements - Ticks feed on the blood of vertebrates, but this diet is low in B vitamins, which are vital for cellular metabolism. A study published earlier this year shows that African soft ticks (Ornithodoros moubata) supplement their diet with vitamin B from bacterial symbionts. Olivier Duron at the Université de Montpellier in France, and their colleagues, fed ticks antibiotics to kill the resident bacteria, and found they were unable to survive...
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NEW POST: Lice evolved with birds and mammals - Parasites are thought to diversify with their host species, but the theory has rarely been tested. Kevin Johnson at the University of Illinois and his colleagues sequenced the genomes of 46 species of lice that parasitise birds or mammals, and two non-parasitic bark lice, and constructed an evolutionary tree. They estimated that parasitic lice first emerged between 90 and 100 million years ago, but didn’t begin to diversify until 66 million ye...
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If you like the content at Curious Meerkat, you can get even more by becoming a @Patreon from as little as $1 https://www.patreon.com/curiousmeerkat
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Looking for a resolution to that long-running office #science debate? Want to finally prove your partner wrong? Ask Curious Meerkat!
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This week's discussion: how large is your carbon footprint? What's your biggest emissions saving? Where are you worst for the environment? Do you know?
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This week's discussion: can we succeed in building society on another planet?
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This week's discussion: what do you think is most likely to cause the extinction of Homo sapiens?
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Shrews can't hibernate, so instead they shrink their skulls to survive winter http://ow.ly/9I8W30gaHoJ
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