Ticks rely on Bacterial Vitamin Supplements
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Ticks feed on the blood of vertebrates, but this diet is low in vital B vitamins. A study published earlier this year shows that ticks supplement their diet with vitamin B from mutualistic bacteria. .. read more..
Lice evolved with birds and mammals
Monday, May 28, 2018
Parasites are thought to diversify with their host species, but the theory has rarely been tested. Kevin Johnson at the University of Illinois and his colleagues sequenced the genomes of 46 species of lice that parasitise birds or mammals, and two non-parasitic bark lice, and constructed an evolu... .. read more..
Monday, April 30, 2018
This month I’ve been working on a book proposal, which has been keeping me very busy, as well as a couple of blogs that will also be comedy sets! I wrote a short piece about social immunity in acrobat ants. Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn .. read more..
Ants immunise their young
Sunday, April 29, 2018
As I’ve mentioned before, living in a large densely-packed social group, like a city or an ant colony, comes with some drawbacks – perhaps worst of which is the risk of catching a contagious diseases. Earlier this year I wrote about research showing that raider ants treat injured workers... .. read more..
Saturday, March 31, 2018
This month I've been away in California, so I've been less productive than usual. But I finished the article I promised you last month, about social medicine in ants , which was a lot of fun to write. I'm looking for interesting new blog topics for 2018, so please send me your science questions ! .. read more..
The Ant Doctor Will See you Now
Sunday, March 18, 2018
I’ve spent more time than most observing ants, and I’ve come to find them ‘cute’ – something few other people understand, and that is often hard to convey. So it’s nice to find a paper that offers the opportunity to give people a glimpse into the cuteness I see... .. read more..
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Greetings from snowy London! Over the last month I’ve been working on some really cool articles for Curious Meerkat – one I’d hoped to publish before the end of Feb but you’ll have to wait a few more days! I’ve also been working more on my upcoming podcast, and a ver... .. read more..
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
I must apologise to anyone who has been trying to visit the Curious Meerkat site recently. I’ve had a nightmare with web hosting migration this month, but I’m pleased to say it’s all finished now and the site is back up and running for good! In between sorting that out and doing... .. read more..
Biological Linguistics: What is a bug?
Monday, January 29, 2018
I’d like to talk about a very important issue, very close to my heart, and one that I think needs greater public awareness – the definition of the word ‘bug’. See, people think they can just throw the word bug around willy-nilly. Anything small, flying or irritating, is a bug. Any pest, is ... .. read more..
What are the effects of yoga and meditation on the brain?
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Question: What are the effects of yoga and meditation on the brain? Answer: Yoga and meditation have effects on physiology, brain chemistry, and cognitive processes; these vary depending on the exact type of practise being performed and how long a person has practised it for. Studies of brain act... .. read more..