Friday Five: Animal Planet

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


For some reason, or maybe because I’m just more attuned to it for some reason, a lot of science news this week had to do with the animal world.

1. Compared to animals, humans don’t actually travel around much.  A team of NU researchers is finding that human movement is highly predictable and pretty restricted.  Their results, which were based on cell phone gps data (they swear it’s anonymized) were published this week in Nature Physics and a summary is available on the NU News site.

2. Jonathan Franzen’s acclaimed new book “Freedom” has arrived at Snell. A realist novel in the spirit of Tom Wolfe, it is the story of a dysfunctional family trying to navigate the shoals of 21st century America.  One of the protagonists is an environmental lawyer and much of it is set in and around the environmental movement.  Oprah’s just chosen it for her book club (despite the fact that Franzen has dissed her book club taste in the past!).

3. This week PLoS (Public Library of Science) Biology reports on the demise of the tiger and a way to ensure its survival through the protection of its breeding grounds.

4. When it comes to eating animal products, the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that there’s a big difference between low-carb diets high in animal products and those low in animal products.  Those low in animal products resulted in lower mortality from all causes.

5. Science News reports that an ancestor of the virus that causes AIDS has been present in monkeys for 32,000 years!

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch, Research Online, Sustainability

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