Daily Archives: March 24, 2008

Saiga Saga


Take a deer’s body, attach a camel’s head, add a tapir’s snout, and you have a saiga–Central Asia’s odd-ball antelope with the enormous schnoz. Unfortunately, these animals are as endangered as they are strange looking. The problem is over-hunting. Now, according to a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) study, the saiga’s migration routes are in jeopardy as well.Conservationists tracked saiga with GPS collars in Mongolia and discovered a “migration bottleneck”–a narrow corridor of habitat that connects two populations. Local people herding livestock and increased traffic from trucks and motorcycles are pinching the saiga’s three-mile-wide corridor closed.”Like other species of the steppes and deserts, saiga have avoided extinction by being able to migrate long distances as their habitat changed over time,” said Dr. Joel Berger, a WCS conservationist and professor at the University of Montana. “Given the uncertainty of how global climate change might affect specific regions, and how and where species might persist, prudent conservation strategies must take into account the movements of highly mobile species like saiga.” The Mongolian government, which participated in the study, has already expressed interest in protecting the migration corridor.

Read the rest of the Siaga Saga here.

Code patent case

The [British] government is appealing against a High Court decision that granted Symbian a patent on a computer program.The ruling overturns a refusal by the UK Intellectual Property Office to give the mobile phone firm a patent.The case is being watched with interest because before now it was rarely possible to patent dedicated computer programs in Europe.

Read the rest here.

Geographic Patterns of Genome Admixture in Latin American Mestizos

ResearchBlogging.orgSignificant cultural and physical differences … the stuff of race and ethnicity … are prominent when people move across continents or between them. Eventually, the ponderous events of history, which involve occasional foldings in the continuum of human variation, causing apparent patchiness, are offset by the frequent events of human activities, resulting in genetic and cultural admixtures. What colonialism, invasion, and migration do is undone.A new study out in PLoS Genetics examines this phenomenon for Latin America, with a study of genetic admixture. Continue reading Geographic Patterns of Genome Admixture in Latin American Mestizos

The Framing Critique (Dawkins-Myers-Expelled!-Gate)

Here is an updated set of links to postings on the critique of Myers and Dawkins’ response to Myers-Dawkins-Expelled!-Gate. The point of these links is to provide quick access to the critiques coming from The Intersection and Framing Science blogs, and responses to them. I’m not going to keep updating this entry, so if you have any links please add them in the comments.If your comment gets moderated it is probably because links with comments get tossed automatically in the dungeon, sometimes. I’ll be checking the dungeon now and then and freeing such links. Continue reading The Framing Critique (Dawkins-Myers-Expelled!-Gate)