In this week’s PLoS ONE media digest: upright humans from 3.6 million years ago, new dinosaur species, endangered flat-headed cat, drugs and sleep deprivation in adolescent social networks, pesticides killing honeybees, new classification of lemur species, and more.
In Laetoli Footprints Preserve Earliest Direct Evidence of Human-Like Bipedal Biomechanics by Raichlen et al., human volunteers walking either upright or crouched left footprints in the sand. These prints were then analyzed and compared to the footprints left by Lateoli hominins 3.6 million years ago. The results suggest that our ancestors, even that far in the past, had an upright posture and a gait somewhat similar to ours. The study was reported at Washington Post, Scientific American blog, BusinessWeek, Laelaps, Wired Science, Softpedia, ThisDay, Arizona Daily Wildcat, and Ecographica, among others.
The Spread of Sleep Loss Influences Drug Use in Adolescent Social Networks by Mednick, Christakis and Fowler, was covered by Telegraph, Times of India, BusinessWeek, TheMedGuru, Celebrities With Diseases, bolohealth.com, KPBS, Vancouver Sun, Tucson Citizen, UPI, WTAM, JoinTogether.org, and Sleep Review.
A New Basal Sauropodomorph Dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Navajo Sandstone of Southern Utah described by Sertich and Loewen, was covered by Deseret News, Independent Online, Newswise, FOXNews, WRGB, China Post, Softpedia, Times of Malta, WKRG-TV, The Epoch Times, TheChronicleHerald, Ethiopian Review, The Open Source Paleontologist, Dinochick Blogs, David Hone’s Archosaur Musings
Modelling the Species Distribution of Flat-Headed Cats (Prionailurus planiceps), an Endangered South-East Asian Small Felid by Wilting et al., was covered by BBC News, National Geographic, Mother Nature Network, and Cordis News.
High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals in North American Apiaries: Implications for Honey Bee Health by Mullin et al. was reported on by Science News, AP, Journal Watch, 80beats, Natural Resources Defense Council, Delaware News Journal, Firedoglake, The Olympian, Treehugger, Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog
Non-Invasive Bleaching of the Human Lens by Femtosecond Laser Photolysis by Kessel et al, was covered by the New York Times Observatory.
The Number of Cultural Traits Is Correlated with Female Group Size but Not with Male Group Size in Chimpanzee Communities by Lind and Lindenfors was written up in Wired Science.
Epidemiologic Investigation of Immune-Mediated Polyradiculoneuropathy among Abattoir Workers Exposed to Porcine Brain by Holzbauer et al., was covered by Austin Post-Bulletin.
The Lectin ArtinM Induces Recruitment of Rat Mast Cells from the Bone Marrow to the Peritoneal Cavity by de Almeida Buranello et al., was covered by Oneindia.
Genetic Patterns of Paternity and Testes Size in Mammals by Soulsbury was covered by National Geographic.
Delimiting Species without Nuclear Monophyly in Madagascar’s Mouse Lemurs by Weisrock et al., was covered by Lealaps.