Daily Archives: May 1, 2017

Researchers Create Red-Eyed Mutant Wasps

Researchers at UC Riverside’s Akbari lab have brought a new strain of red-eyed mutant wasps into the world.The wasps were created to prove that CRISPR gene-slicing technology can be used successfully on the tiny parasitic jewel wasps, giving scientists a new way to study some of the wasp’s interesting biology, such as how males can convert all their progeny into males by using selfish genetic elements.No one knows how that selfish genetic element in some male wasps “can somehow kill the female embryos and create only males,” said Omar Akbari, an assistant professor of entomology who led the research team. “To understand that, we need to pursue their PSR (paternal sex ratio) chromosomes, perhaps by mutating regions of the PSR chromosome to determine which genes are essential for its functionality.”

Source: Researchers Create Red-Eyed Mutant Wasps

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Student: ‘Manscaping’ Is An Offensive and Gendered Term

It’s offensive for men to “manscape,” a University of Texas San Antonio student says.That’s because “manscaping’ has “gender[ed] yet another aspect of everyday life,” wrote Samantha Ceballos in the student newspaper.While people of all genders groom their body hair, Ceballos claims that the term “manscaping” glorifies male hair-trimming. Meanwhile, she writes, “though the term ‘ladyscaping’ exists, it is rarely discussed.”Some men choose to groom until they are nearly hairless, while others maintain immaculate mustaches or beards, Ceballos notes. Either way, she says, “manscaping is used as a tool to prove masculinity,” and there is a “stigma that surrounds men and their ability to decorate themselves in western society.”Bald, waxed or bearded, she says, “manscaping is a thing because society has made it one. … Guess what, guys? You all manscape, whether it be to look like an aerodynamic swimmer or to look like a mountain man.”

Source: Student: ‘Manscaping’ Is An Offensive and Gendered Term | Heat Street

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The color distribution of M&Ms, as determined by a PhD in statistics 

Troves of internet literature document the things that engineers and scientists do when left alone with candy. To this compendium we can now add a definitive investigation of M&M colors.Patented in 1941 by candy kingpin Forrest E. Mars, Sr., M&Ms were a shameless rip-off of UK treat Smarties, which Mars may or may not have seen British soldiers eating during the Spanish Civil War. (Debates on the relative merits of Smarties and M&Ms are also a big internet thing, but that’s a separate issue.)Since then, there have been many colorful (sorry!) moments in the M&M rainbow’s history: the 1976 coup replacing red with orange, after red’s original dye was found carcinogenic; red’s triumphant, non-cancer-causing 1986 return; the 1995 landslide popular election that installed favorite blue in place of boring, buzz-killing tan.

Source: The color distribution of M&Ms, as determined by a PhD in statistics — Quartz

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