monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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Entries Tagged as 'Evolution'

Seriously, People, It's Selection, Not Mutation!

September 21st, 2014 · No Comments · Evolution, Infectious Disease, science

I just read an excellent piece at Slate.com this morning by Benjamin Hale. He notes that the scariest, most insidious thing about Ebola Virus Disease is that the disease capitalizes on intimate contact for transmission. While diseases such as influenza or cholera are transmitted by casual contact, frequently to strangers, via aerosolized droplets (influenza) or fecally […]

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Selection is What Matters

September 12th, 2014 · No Comments · Evolution, Infectious Disease

This has to be a quick one, but I wanted to go on the record is noting my frustration at the current concern that Ebola might “mutate” into something far worse, like a pathogen that is efficiently transmitted by aerosol. For example, Michael Osterholm wrote in the New York Times yesterday, “The second possibility is one […]

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EEID 2014 Wrap-Up

June 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Evolution, Human Ecology, Infectious Disease, science

It’s been a long time since I’ve written in monkey’s uncle. Life has gotten pretty busy and my seeming inability to write brief entries has led me to neglect the blog this year. However, I am freshly back from the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado and feel compelled to […]

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Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease

May 25th, 2013 · No Comments · Evolution, Human Ecology, Infectious Disease, science

I am recently back from the 2013 Ecology and Evolution of Infections Disease Conference at Penn State University. This was quite possibly the best meeting I have ever attended, not even for the science (which was nonetheless impeccable), but for the culture. I place the blame for this awesome culture firmly on the shoulders of […]

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Response to Selection

April 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Teaching

I’m done now with the first week of the Spring quarter. It was a bit challenging because I had to attend the PAA meetings in Washington, DC for the latter part of the week, but Brian Wood ably covered for me on Thursday. I thought that I would use the blog as a tool for […]

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Nicholas Wade on Science and Anthropology

December 11th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Anthropology, Human Ecology, Teaching

Nicholas Wade, who normally writes really terrific stuff on science in the New York Times, has a brief piece on our Anthropology fracas du jour. It’s good to see an expression of concern for the place of science in anthropology in such a prominent place and by such an important science writer.  I just wish […]

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Ah, Ape-Scat, Pleasing is the Fragrance of Your Perfumes

September 30th, 2010 · No Comments · Infectious Disease, Primates

One of the fundamental ontological questions of our day is surely, “is there anything you can’t do with ape scat?” Well, OK, this might be pushing it a bit far, but a recent article in the New York Times makes a pretty strong case for the blessings of this pungent goo.  My collaborator Beatrice Hahn, […]

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On Systematic Nomenclature

May 12th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Evolution

OK, this may seem like a pretty serious geek-out, but a pet peeve of mine has just been tweaked by the New York Times.  Olivia Judson has written her usual stimulating and thought-provoking essay, this time on the recent decoding and publication of the Neanderthal genome by Svante Pääbo and colleagues at the Max Planck […]

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Best Simile Ever?

April 20th, 2010 · No Comments · Anthropology, Evolution

Matt Ridley pens a hilarious simile in his great book, Nature Via Nurture (published as The Agile Gene in the United States) that I think you might actually need to be an evolutionary anthropologist to fully appreciate.  And I quote: Just as sex enabled mammals to combine two great inventions — lactation and the placenta […]

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The Key to the Survival of the Human Species?

October 16th, 2009 · No Comments · Demography, Evolution

Perhaps it’s just me being a bit groggy from jet-lag, but I just read one of the most bizarre things I think I have ever seen in the New York Times.  There is a generally very interesting article by Sarah Kershaw on so-called “cougars,” older women who have sexual relationships with younger men. It was […]

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