Cigarette Butts as Nesting Material Comes with a Cost

Birds using discarded cigarette butts experience short term benefit from the repellent action of the nicotine. In the long term the use of cigarette butts is associated with signs of increased DNA damage.   There is no such a thing as a free cigarette; lining nests with discarded butts brings short-term benefits, but causes toxic…

Men Get Sexier When They Help Out

  http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/182/abstract Selflessness is sexy: reported helping behaviour increases desirability of men and women as long-term sexual partners Background Despite its short-term costs, behaviour that appears altruistic can increase an individual’s inclusive fitness by earning direct (selfish) and/or indirect (kin-selected) benefits. An evolved preference for other-regarding or helping behaviour in potential mates has been proposed…

Chinese Mind-Body Exercise Improves Self-Control In Autistic Children

In this study children trained in a traditional Chinese mind-body exercise showed greater improvements in self-control than the control group using PMR. Open access from PLOS ONE http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0068184 A Chinese Mind-Body Exercise Improves Self-Control of Children with Autism: A Randomized Controlled Trial Self-control problems commonly manifest as temper outbursts and repetitive/rigid/impulsive behaviors, in children with…

Excessive Television and Antisocial Behavior

More reason to turn off the television and engage in alternative activities. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/02/13/peds.2012-1582 Childhood and Adolescent Television Viewing and Antisocial Behavior in Early Adulthood OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether excessive television viewing throughout childhood and adolescence is associated with increased antisocial behavior in early adulthood. METHODS: We assessed a birth cohort of 1037 individuals born in Dunedin, New…

Athletic Mice Have Bigger (mid) Brains

These are not dumb jocks. Mice that have been selectively breed for voluntary running have larger midbrains. This supports a model that proposes sections of the brain can evolve independent of the rest of the brain.  Also see “Genetic architecture supports mosaic brain evolution and independent brain–body size regulation” See also http://jeb.biologists.org/content/216/3/iii.full http://jeb.biologists.org/content/216/3/515 Mice selectively bred…