When a zebra finch hears a new song from a member of its own species, the experience changes gene expression in its brain in unexpected ways, researchers report. The sequential switching on and off of thousands of genes after a bird hears a new tune offers a new picture of memory in the songbird brain.
Not every new song they heard made permanent gene changes. While its amazing that the zebra finches can possess this level of memory and devout considerable biological resources to it, if every new song made permanent gene changes it be bio overload. The finch ignores some songs or parts of songs, seems to process parts of some songs, but still regulates the genes and new protein production so the new input does not overwhelm normal functioning.
For the hard core science geeks that were wondering how they got these genetic snapshots to determine their findings, the researchers used microarrays.
All those chart and graph making skills they teach in school actually get put to good use once in a while, Apocalypse Not: Behind the Swine Flu Hysteria
Sometimes you have to wonder about the evolutionary or social benefits of trying to give a guy a break. The day after John Dickerson’s poignant defense of Governor Sanford’s basic ‘humanity”, South Carolina Governor Sanford Compares Himself to King David. Thanks you governor for that non-lesson in humility. We all make a screwy comparison once in a while, but some people and groups seem to have more of a flare for it then others. While I was researching something about the history of slavery I came across this gem, Virginia state representative Robert Marshall (R) compares stimulus package to slavery.