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The nucleic and amino acids caught up in the infamous "selfish" segregation distorter (SD) saga may be just inanimate chemical compounds to most of us, but they have put on a soap opera for biologists since the phenomenon was discovered in fruit flies 50 years ago. 

When male flies make their sperm, the SD gene (call it "A") manages to rig meiosis — the specialized cell division that makes sex cells — so that maturing sperm that bear chromosomes with the susceptible allele (call that one "a") end up defective and discarded. They never even leave the testes. It is murder, of a sort. Similar selfish systems occur in mammals, including humans.


Remarkably well-preserved fossils of two crocodilians and a mammal previously unknown to science during recent Panama Canal excavations have led to discovering of new species.

The two new ancient, extinct alligator-like animals and an extinct hippo-like species inhabited Central America during the Miocene about 20 million years ago.  The fossils shed new light on scientists' understanding of species distribution because they represent a time before the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, when the continents of North and South America were separated by oceanic waters.


It's among the most ancient of questions in history, covering metaphysics, chemistry, biology and theology: What are the origins of life on Earth?


New surveys find that older adults who play video games report higher levels of emotional well-being.

Scholars asked 140 people aged 63 and older how often they played video games, if at all. The participants then took a series of psychological assessment tests to determine their emotional and social well-being. 61 percent of study participants played video games at least occasionally, with 35 percent of participants saying they played at least once per week.

The survey found that participants who played video games, including those who only played occasionally, reported higher levels of well-being. Those who did not play video games reported that they felt more negative emotions and had a tendency toward feeling higher levels of depression.


The timber industry, including pulp and paper producers, are among Canada's most important industries  - but they are also one of the largest producers of wastewater and greenhouse gas emissions in wastewater is a concern. 

Until now, greenhouse gas emission estimates have been limited by the mathematical models used to predict them. Researchers have recently developed a new dynamic method to better predict the emission content of these gases.   


A new paper says that flocks of birds, schools of fish, and groups of any other living organisms might have a mathematical function in common - body sizes are distributed according to the same mathematical expression, where the only unknown is the average size of the species in an ecosystem.