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Science

Physics makes rules, evolution rolls the dice
19 Jul 2018 at 5:37pm

Differential methylation affects risk of MS
19 Jul 2018 at 5:37pm

Mesophotic coral ecosystems are threatened and ecologically distinct from sha...

The rapid degradation of coral reefs is one of the most serious biodiversity problems facing our generation. Mesophotic coral reefs (at depths of 30 to 150 meters) have been widely hypothesized to provide refuge from natural and anthropogenic impacts, a promise for the survival of shallow reefs. The potential role of mesophotic reefs as universal refuges is often highlighted in reef conservation research. This hypothesis rests on two assumptions: (i) that there is considerable overlap in species composition and connectivity between shallow and deep populations and (ii) that deep reefs are less susceptible to anthropogenic and natural impacts than their shallower counterparts. Here we present evidence contradicting these assumptions and argue that mesophotic reefs are distinct, impacted, and in as much need of protection as shallow coral reefs.


19 Jul 2018 at 5:37pm

Meat consumption, health, and the environment

Both the global average per capita consumption of meat and the total amount of meat consumed are rising, driven by increasing average individual incomes and by population growth. The consumption of different types of meat and meat products has substantial effects on people’s health, and livestock production can have major negative effects on the environment. Here, we explore the evidence base for these assertions and the options policy-makers have should they wish to intervene to affect population meat consumption. We highlight where more research is required and the great importance of integrating insights from the natural and social sciences.


19 Jul 2018 at 5:37pm

Modeling the ecology and evolution of biodiversity: Biogeographical cradles, ...

Individual processes shaping geographical patterns of biodiversity are increasingly understood, but their complex interactions on broad spatial and temporal scales remain beyond the reach of analytical models and traditional experiments. To meet this challenge, we built a spatially explicit, mechanistic simulation model implementing adaptation, range shifts, fragmentation, speciation, dispersal, competition, and extinction, driven by modeled climates of the past 800,000 years in South America. Experimental topographic smoothing confirmed the impact of climate heterogeneity on diversification. The simulations identified regions and episodes of speciation (cradles), persistence (museums), and extinction (graves). Although the simulations had no target pattern and were not parameterized with empirical data, emerging richness maps closely resembled contemporary maps for major taxa, confirming powerful roles for evolution and diversification driven by topography and climate.


19 Jul 2018 at 5:37pm


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British Medical Journal


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Most-read BMJ articles


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