Thursday, October 12, 2006
Humans have a way of helping many species go extinct especially very soon after they colonize a new area. Researchers in Cyprus have found a surprising survivor there: a new species of mouse. Well, actually it's an old species - a survivor from before humans came to Cyprus, and a nice link to the evolutionary history of mice (and maybe men).
It's unlikely to make humans go extinct, but a study suggests that having red hair genes may raise your risk of cancer. This goes for just being a 'red carrier' - that is, with only one copy of the gene so you don't have red hair - as well as being a full redhead. Interesting.
Humans also do pretty well at trying to make themselves extinct, by trying to kill lots of other humans. Thus far in dubya's Iraq war, more than 650,000 Iraqis have been killed - that's about 425,000 in excess of previous death rates! And we still don't have any indications that it's gonna get better anytime soon. All this so Americans can drive Hummers.