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Hayley MannRSS Feed of this column.

In 2006, I graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Genetics and Anthropology. I've had the privilege of working for various laboratories conducting research in different areas of interest including... Read More »


Molecular anthropology—you probably haven’t heard of this discipline by name but I guarantee that you already find this particular field fascinating.  Therefore, I’d like to formally introduce to you the field of molecular anthropology which includes such areas of research as; genetically reconstructing man’s ancient migration from Africa to the Americas, resurrecting Neanderthal genomes and identifying ancestral origins through DNA ancestry.

Before the invention of boxed chocolates, Corvettes and bling-bling, all a man had to do for sweet lovin' was provide his special ladies with meat.  Studies of extant hunter-gatherer societies show that literally bringing home the bacon leads to greater reproductive success.  Highly skilled hunters also partake in more extra-marital affairs and in polygamous societies, have more wives. 

Spanking, flagellation and cockbinding; researchers at the University of Northern Illinois have been very naughty in their attempt to quantify physiological responses to sadomasochistic activities.

 In their Archives of Sexual Behavior publication, the stress hormone cortisol along with the dominance associated testosterone hormone was measured in 58 sadomasochistic practicing couples before and after kinky sex fun time. 

Their results, along with a review of S&M literature suggests couples that practice S&M experience reduced levels of stress and feel an increase in relationship closeness.
With all the "bro's" and "ho's" we hear about in the rap world, I think it's safe to say that as a society, we all agree that the rap industry could use a drastic image change.  Furthermore, if that image change could include an educational aspect, then that would definitely be beneficial for our children. 

Just imagine, all the cool and funky beats of rap music coupled with the wholesome words we use in science class.  What a concept!  And please, don't be hatin' on me because you didn't think of it first.
Botox and face lifts only give the appearance that you've turned back the clock, and although expensive procedural looks are deceiving, your telomeres don't lie.  As your cells divide, telomeres become shorter, eventually leading to cell death over time. 

Unfortunately, scientists are far from curing this universal "disease" known as aging.  However, understanding the mechanisms of aging will have a more immediate impact on the development of stem cell therapies, and researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have discovered that the female egg is capable of reversing this telomere molecular clock.

Weeds, trees or tomatoes; no matter the plant genome of interest, Yves Van de Peer and associate Bioinformaticians at the VIB-Ugent research institute repeatedly observe that the last genome duplication to have occurred in all extant plants happened at the same time—65 million years ago.  This is a rather peculiar date considering it coincides with earth's last mass extinction event.  With this factoid in mind, an inference can be made; duplicated chromosome mutants (polyploids) have a strong advantage during times of environmental hardship.