Monthly Archives: January 2019

Cuckoldry in the family: When should brothers share their wives?

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In human societies, the answer to the above question may be a resolute never, but not all animals play by the same rules. In fact, such behavior might be more common than previously thought. In a new study published this month in BMC Biology, Aneesh Bose, Jonathan Henshaw, Holger Zimmermann, Karoline Fritzsche, and Kristina Sefc investigate how relatedness in cichlid fish can lead some males to tolerate extra suitors intruding on their territories and mating with their partners.


The viral content of human genomes is more variable than we thought


Parts of human DNA are of viral origin: many of them were inserted into the primordial genetic material of our ancestors many millions of years ago and have been inherited by successive generations ever since. Thus, they are not thought to vary much in the genomes of modern humans. Human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) are by far the most common virus-derived sequences in our genome. New research published in Mobile DNA shows a mechanism that has introduced more inter-individual variation in HERV content between humans than previously appreciated.

Biology Health Medicine

Understanding humans – the key to African swine fever control

African Swine Fever Wild Boar Epidemiology Cycle

For more than ten years African swine fever (ASF) has been spreading in Eurasia, currently expanding its territory both west- and eastwards. The disease affects domestic pigs and wild boar: animals usually die within three to ten days after infection and the case fatality rate can be almost 100%. Disease impacts are enormous, relating to the welfare of domestic pigs and wild boar, and negative economic consequences for individual pig farmers, the pig industry, the hunting sector, regions, nations and common trade areas. A review published in Porcine Health and Management presents recent developments in the epidemiological understanding of African swine fever, based on the current epidemic in Europe and Asia.

Biology Health