2009年02月16日

今も時代の先端を行くダーウィン


Darwin, Ahead of His Time, Is Still Influential
( New York Times )

Darwin’s theory of evolution has become the bedrock of modern biology. But for most of the theory’s existence since 1859, even biologists have ignored or vigorously opposed it, in whole or in part.

It is a testament to Darwin’s extraordinary insight that it took almost a century for biologists to understand the essential correctness of his views.

Biologists quickly accepted the idea of evolution, but for decades they rejected natural selection, the mechanism Darwin proposed for the evolutionary process. Until the mid-20th century they largely ignored sexual selection, a special aspect of natural selection that Darwin proposed to account for male ornaments like the peacock’s tail.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・bedrock 岩床、基礎事実
・existence 存在、実在
・testament 聖約、証拠
・extraordinary 異常な、非凡な、法外な
・insight 洞察(力)
・aspect 一側面、様相
・ornament 装飾(品)


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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 科学

2009年02月04日

赤ん坊は知っている「汚いものは体にいいんだよ」


Babies Know: A Little Dirt Is Good for You
( New York Times )

Ask mothers why babies are constantly picking things up from the floor or ground and putting them in their mouths, and chances are they’ll say that it’s instinctive -− that that’s how babies explore the world. But why the mouth, when sight, hearing, touch and even scent are far better at identifying things?

When my young sons were exploring the streets of Brooklyn, I
couldn’t help but wonder how good crushed rock or dried dog
droppings could taste when delicious mashed potatoes were routinely rejected.

Since all instinctive behaviors have an evolutionary advantage or they would not have been retained for millions of years, chances are that this one too has helped us survive as a species. And, indeed, accumulating evidence strongly suggests that eating dirt is good for you.


【 まずは準備運動 】

・instinctive 本能(instinct)的な
・explore 探検する
・identify 同定する、身元を確認する
・droppings 動物のふん
・evolutionary 進化(evolution)の
・retain 保持する
・accumulate 積む、ためる


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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(2) | TrackBack(0) | 科学

2009年01月28日

コーヒーに認知症の予防効果


Coffee Linked to Lower Dementia Risk
( New York Times )

Drinking coffee may do more than just keep you awake. A new study suggests an intriguing potential link to mental health later in life, as well.

A team of Swedish and Danish researchers tracked coffee consumption in a group of 1,409 middle-age men and women for an average of 21 years. During that time, 61 participants
developed dementia, 48 with Alzheimer’s disease.

After controlling for numerous socioeconomic and health factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the scientists found that the subjects who had reported drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia, compared with those who drank two cups or less. People who drank more than five cups a day also were at reduced risk of dementia, the researchers said, but there were not enough people in this group to draw statistically significant conclusions.


【 まずは準備運動 】

・dementia 認知症
・track 追跡する、(競技用)トラック
・consumption 消費、摂取
・participant 参加者
・significant 意味のある、重要な


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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 科学

2009年01月19日

サルは最良の石を選ぶ


Monkeys Pick Right Stone for a Tough Nut
( New York Times )

It’s a simple rule: If you want a job done right, choose the right tool for the job.

Carpenters know it well; so do plumbers, masons and car mechanics, to name a few trades.

And capuchin monkeys, apparently.

Researchers have found that bearded capuchin monkeys in the wild will select the most effective stone for use in cracking nuts, rejecting those that are too light or crumbly. They make the right choice by looking at the stones but also by lifting or tapping them if necessary.


【 まずは準備運動 】

・plumber 配管工
・mason 石工
・beard (あご)ひげ
・reject しりぞける、拒絶する
・crumbly もろい、砕けやすい
・tap 軽く叩く


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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 科学

2008年12月17日

犬は不公平を理解する


With Treats, Dogs Seem to Know What's Fair
( New York Times )

To the list of the qualities of dogs - enthusiastic and steadfast come to mind - can be added another. That pooch of yours, researchers say, may be envious.

Scientists in Austria report in The Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences that a dog may stop obeying a command if it sees that another dog is getting a better deal.

In this way dogs may be showing a sensitivity that is similar to, although perhaps more primitive than, that shown by chimpanzees and some monkeys. Until now those primates were the only nonhumans to show what is called “inequity aversion” in the absence of a reward.


【 まずは準備運動 】

・steadfast 不動の、不動の
・obey 服従する
・sensitivity 感受性、敏感さ、傷つきやすさ
・primitive 原始的な、素朴な
・primate 霊長類の動物
・inequity  不公平(な物事)
・aversion 嫌悪、反感


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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 科学


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