Hilary Miller

Science podcasts - Chicken or Egg

Oct 10, 2009

For those of you who prefer to get your science in aural form, I thought I’d share a couple of excellent sites for podcasts.  Both of these sites succeed in making science entertaining for the public, covering both breaking science stories and discussing the science of everyday phenomena.  The Naked Scientists are a group of researchers from [...]

Sirocco gives kakapo a bad name… - Chicken or Egg

Oct 04, 2009

There’s not many people who get to see kakapo these days… and even fewer who can say they’ve been shagged by a kakapo.    This video (which is apparently a hit on Youtube) comes from the new BBC series Last Chance to See , part of which was filmed in New Zealand last summer.  I hope the series [...]

What good is a genome anyway? - Chicken or Egg

Sep 30, 2009

I read an interesting post by Olivia Judson at the New York Times blog a few weeks ago, which asked if you could sequence any genome, what would you choose?  Olivia’s choice was the coelacanth- a worthy choice, given that the coelacanth may represent the ancestor of all tetrapods (the amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals).  No prizes [...]

Pesky reptiles confuse palaeontologists - Chicken or Egg

Sep 17, 2009

This from a letter to Nature, in the latest edition: Could Nature have been unknowingly publishing papers for the past 80 years about crocodilian gastroliths (stomach stones) instead of stones concluded to be 2.5-million-year-old hominid tools? This possibility could cast doubt, for example, on the nature of the Oldowan specimens described by Michael Haslam and colleagues in their [...]

Bird sex gene identified - Chicken or Egg

Sep 11, 2009

 In mammals, sex is determined by genes contained on sex chromosomes – males have an X and a Y chromosome, and females have two X chromosomes.  In birds things are quite different, as it is the male that has two of the same type of sex chromosome.  Male birds have two Z chromosomes and female birds have a [...]

Protected minke whales from unreported bycatch sold on Japanese markets - Chicken or Egg

Sep 06, 2009

Japan kills over a hundred minke whales each year under the guise of “scientific whaling”, and much of the meat ends up in the commercial markets destined for Japanese dinner plates.  Now a study just published in Animal Conservation indicates that a similar number of whales are killed as “bycatch” in Japanese coastal waters, [...]

Be a friend of Darwin on Facebook - Chicken or Egg

Aug 30, 2009

Not that I want to be endorsing Facebook, but this message came through on evoldir this week and I thought it was worth sharing… I’m writing with a special request regarding a campaign that a ragtag group of volunteers on Facebook has created – along with support from E.O. Wilson, Sean Carroll and media partners like National Geographic. The [...]

Natural selection definitions and modes - Chicken or Egg

Aug 26, 2009

Greg Laden has written some useful posts over the last few days on natural selection.  This post deals with how to define natural selection and deals with some common misconceptions on the topic, and this one covers modes of selection.   There’s also an interesting post of whether humans are still subject to natural selection. So head on [...]