Science online, virgin birth chromosomes edition

Now this is a radical feminist. Photo by J.N. Stuart.
  • Males replaced by an extra round of DNA replication: Female whiptail lizards can lay fertile eggs without the help of a male because they start egg formation with extra copies of their chromosomes. (Not Exactly Rocket Science)
  • Pathogens. It’s always pathogens: In his inaugural article as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Robert Rickleffs proposes that coevoluiton with pathogens explains most of the diversity of life on Earth. (Coevolvers)
  • Evolutionary conservation biology? To conserve the diversity of life, we need to know how it evolved in the first place, and how it might evolve in the future. (The EEB & flow)
  • Plant vs. plant: The spread of one invasive plant can be checked by creating barriers of native plants. (Conservation Maven)
  • You mean it’s not just to make winter that much more miserable? Flu cases may peak in winter months because drier air transmits the flu virus more effectively. (Influenza A (H1N1) Blog)
  • Unintended consequences: Fifty years of selecting foxes at a fur farm for their tameness also changed the shape of their ears and tails. (The Thoughtful Animal)
  • The virus only has to get lucky once: Even as we find new ways to attack HIV, the virus keeps mutating; which is why the “cocktails” of drugs taken by HIV patients must target many different viral proteins. (The Daily Monthly)
  • We all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place: Mammals that live most of their lives up in the trees tend to live longer than similar-sized mammals that live on the dangerous, dangerous ground. (New Scientist, Gene Expression)